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Shihfen Shuangxi Long Hike: A Trail between Two Historic Districts in Taipei with Great Views and You Can See Mt. Qixing

Posted by:  Anusha Lee
Published date: June 29, 2021
A trail between Shihfen and Shuangxi
A trail between Shihfen and Shuangxi
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Table of Contents:

About Pinghu Recreation Area, Mt. Neipinglin, Shuangxi and Pingxi

Pingxi and Shuangxi are two districts in New Taipei City and next to each other. Both are also in the south of Ruifang. There are also many wonderful hiking trails in both districts and one of my favorite places to hike.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Overlooking Shuangxi from Mt. Bianfu (Mt. Bat) 蝙蝠山

Pinghu Recreation Area 平湖森林遊樂區

Pinghu Recreation Area 平湖森林遊樂區 was built by Pingxi Township (now Pingxi District) in the last century, and it was meant to be a forest theme park to attract tourists. However, the business didn’t go as expected, and this area was devastated by several typhoons. Pingxi Township gradually gave it up and let it be free for the public to access.
The name of the location of Pinghu Recreation Area is called Fanzikeng 番子坑. Keng in Chinese means valley. It is said that Taiwanese plains aborigines 平埔族 had lived in Fanzikeng during Jiaqing Emperor of Qing Dynasty. Therefore, the Han people who first immigrated here called this area Fanzikeng. Please note that Fanzi was used to refer to indigenous people and it is not a very friendly name. But, unfortunately we still can hear this nowadays.
Those sections left from the theme park are Huangshan Road 環山道路, the East Trail (footpath) and the West Trail (the natural terrain). The East Trail is more friendly for people who don’t hike regularly.
You can zoom in and out to see the trails and mountains related to this hike.
As to the west one, you’ll need to do homework and get the map or GPX ready before your hike. My hike was on the west one. The West Trail is also part of middle section of Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail. Taiwan Trails and Tales has done an incredible job and finished all the sections of Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The bridge near Sanshuitan 三水潭 on the middle section of Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail

Pingxi: A Place More Than Just Sky Lanterns

Pingxi used to be a coal town, and there is a famous Pingxi Railway Line with all kinds of tourist attractions to explore. Other than the culture and beautiful old buildings left from that era, Pingxi’s hilly terrain also has unique geological formations like potholes 壺穴 (the erosion caused by rivers or waterfalls) and waterfalls worth visiting.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Overlooking mountains in Pingxi. I took this photo at Wumingjian (No Name Peak) in Pingxi in October 2020.
There are 36 waterfalls in Pingxi. You can visit Foreigners in Taiwan’s website for more details.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Those were taken in Maokong 貓空 more then 10 years ago, but you get the idea of what potholes looke like.
Other wonderful trails in Pingxi include Mt. Xiaozhi 孝子山 and Cimu Peak 慈母峰. But if you are not comfortable with height, those might be a little bit scary for you.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Another famous trail in Pingxi, Mt. Xiaozi

Shuangxi: A Hidden Gem

Shuang means double, two or a pair in Chinese and Xi here means rivers or creeks. As you can guess it, there are two rivers in Shuangxi, Pinglin River 平林溪 and Mudan River 牡丹溪. Those two rivers merge in Shuangxi and you can see them when you visit the downtown.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Pinglin River and Mudan River merge in Shuangxi
One thing worth mentioning is that Beishi River originates in Mt. Sanfangxiang of Taipin Village in Shuangxi, and it is the catchment area of Feitsui Reservior 翡翠水庫, the main water source for Taipei City and New Taipei City serving at least 6 million people, a quarter of Taiwan’s population.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Feitsui Reservior in Wulai
From hikers’ point of view, Shuangxi is a heaven. There are so many wonderful trails here, not to mention that many of them are also part of the famous middle section of Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail system, like Bengshankeng Historic Trail 崩山坑古道, Hubaotan (Hubao Lake) 虎豹潭, Wantan Historic Trail 灣潭古道, Diaoshan Old Trail 貂山古道, etc.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Pingxi Historic Trail 坪溪古道, one section of Tamsui-Kavalan trail system. The Chinese Ping here is different from the one from Pingxi 平溪.
I’d love to do more trails in Shuangxi, but the only problem is the transport. There aren’t many public transports coming here, and some of the trails are very remote.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Shuangxi is a very special and quiet place in northern Taiwan.
Other than hiking, there are many great things to see in this quiet town. There’s a 200+ year-old temple, a 100-year-old iron shop, and other old houses in the downtown Shuangxi. You can check out here for the details in English.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
There are many old hourses in Shuangxi.

Mountain Names with Pinglin 平林

You might have noticed that many mountains here ended with Pinglin. Actually, there are 6 mountains that has Pinglin in their names, and they are Mt. Pinglin 平林山 (height: 210 meters), Mt. Dapinglin 大平林山 (height: 420 meters), Mt. Neipinglin 內平林山 (height: 502 meters), Mt. Xianeipinglin 下內平林山 (height: 504 meters), Mt. Shangpneipinglin 上內平林山 (height: 532 meters), and Mt. Dongneipinglin 東內平林山 (height: 122 meters).
Names-with-Pinglin
Here's the list of mountains names with Ping Lin around this area. Shan means mountains.
Some hikers connect Mt. Dongneipinglin, Mt. Pinglin, Mt. Neipinglin, and Mt. Dapinglin and develop a Four Lin Distance, and the route is around 10 km (6.2 miles).

How to Get There

No matter which trailhead you want to start, you can take Local Train and get off at Shuangxi or Shihfen Train Station. It's better to have a GPX with you so you can follow the track to get to the trailhead.

Peaks and Places to Reach

Shihfen Train Station: 十分火車站, a famous tourist attraction packed with tons of people and identical shops. I usually try to avoid taking the train here, because it will be like a battle to get on the carriage.
Qianjieling or Qianjie Peak: 千階嶺 meaning thousands of steps in Chinese, height 330 meters (1,083 feet). The view is great.
Mt. Fanzikeng: 番子坑山, height 476 meters (1,562 feet). I honestly think you can skip this one, but the round trip to this small peak is only 20 minutes.
Mt. Neipinglin: 內平林山, height 502 meters (1,647 feet). The highlight of this hike. You definitely have to visit this peak. There is a Class 3 Triangulation Stone on the peak.
Mt. Dapinglin: 大平林山, height 420 meters (1,378 feet). Not much to see here.
Mt. Xinluwei: 新路尾山, height 315 meters (1,033 feet). You can get some decent views here.
Mt. Dazhulin: 大竹林山, height 304 meters (997 feet). I missed this one, but it seems not much to see on the peak according to other hikers.
Shuangxi Train Station: 雙溪火車站. A quiet small time but much to my liking. This place is worth paying a visit even not for hiking.
See the map and itinerary first

You Can’t Miss Trails in Pingxi and Shuangxi, Especially When They Were Just Cleared Up

Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles)
Brief itinerary: Shihfen Train Station (Height 213 meters) ➔ Qianjieling (Height 330 meters) ➔ Mt. Fanzikeng (Height 476 meters) ➔ Mt. Neipinglin (Height 502 meters) ➔ Mt. Dapinglin (Height 420 meters) ➔ Mt. Xinluwei (Height 315 meters) ➔ Shuangxi Train Station (Height 36 meters) (I missed Mt. Dazhulin)
GPS coordinates of Qianjieling entrance: 25.043782, 121.782943
I’ve been following several hikers’ blogs to see the latest news about the trails. Many of them had posted that they just did Shuan-Shih (meaning from Shuangxi to Shihfen) Long Distance Hike, and the trail condition was extremely good, thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteer hikers 聯合探勘隊 and Blue Sky Team 藍天隊 to clean up the grass and tree branches. This is usually a cue for me to do my solo hike.
Tonghou Traversing in Wulai, Taiwan
A group of volunteer hikers clean up the trails from time to time and replace the old faded signs.
This is a point-to-point hike, and most hikers start from Shuangxi Train Station and end at Shihfen Train Station. Both are wonderful places, but I didn’t want to get caught up with the tourists when I finished the hike. So, I decided to start my hike from Shihfen Train Station, the opposite direction.
I was lucky to have a gorgeous Sunday to do this hike. I took an early train and got off at Shihfen Train Station. Shihfen is famous for sky lanterns, but I DO NOT suggest people to do that.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I often see debris of sky lanterns on the trails, and some landed in a very difficult locations to be retrieved.
You need to take the roads from Shihfen Train Station to the trailhead, and there are many junctions that might be confusing. Having a GPX track in your smartphone is necessary.

Unusually Quiet Shihfen Train Station and A Little Bit Confusing Start

It was still early when I arrived at Shihfen Train Station. Usually, this place was packed with local and international tourists, but not this early. I was the only person walking along the railway track and I enjoyed the quiet morning.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Shihfen Train Station can be very quiet if you get there really early.
There was a distance from the train station to the trailhead, and I needed to rely on GPX track to get there. After seeing the sign of Nanshanping 南山坪, I crossed Nanshan Bridge 南山橋.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
You need to cross the Nanshan Bridge to get to the trailhead.
I saw the sign of Tamsui-Kavalan Historical Trails high on the wall.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
You'll see many signs like this on Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail.
I walked along Keelung River 基隆河 and reached the end of the road, but there was a small path, so I continued. I didn’t see any sign and I started questioning myself whether I made a wrong turn.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I took the path along Keelung River.
Within a few meters, I saw a dirt path, and instinctively took this one, not knowing where it would lead me, even though my GPX told me that I was on the right direction.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I turned right here.

A Lovely 100-year-old Earth God Temple before Reaching Qianjieling

Then, I saw something that I didn’t expect to see, a small Earth God temple. The trail went up from there, and I finally saw a hand-written sign made by the volunteer hikers when I reached the road. The sign said the temple was more than 100 years old.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
There are many lovely small Earth God temples on Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail.
I followed the road and I finally saw a big map of Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. The one I was heading to was Fanzikeng Trail 番子坑步道.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Seeing this, I knew I was on the right track.
I turned to the pointed direction, and I saw a basketball court, and I finally found the trailhead of Qianjieling (Thousand Steps Peak) 千階嶺.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
It was difficult to read the first two words on the sign.

Great View on Qianjieling aka Flag Peak 千階嶺 (國旗嶺)

Qianjie mean thousand steps in Chinese, I didn’t count how many steps I took, but lucky for me it didn’t take long for the steps to finish.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The sign wasn't lying. There were indeed many steps.
I reached a pavilion like structure within 20 minutes, and the trail became a natural dirt path again, which was good.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
A simplified pavilion here
There were many Coupled Dipteris 雙扇蕨 here, and the sign of Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail was inspired by this fern.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Many Coupled Dipteris here
It took me five minutes from the pavilion to Qianjieling, and there was a Taiwan’s national flag tied on the rope.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Qianjieling
The view up there was great. I could see Wufenshan (Mt. Wufen) Weather Radar Station 五分山氣象雷達站, which was built in 1980, Provincial Highway 2C 台二丙線 and other mountains.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
If you look closer on the right of this photo, you'll see a building with a white ball on the top. That's Wufenshan Weather Radar Station.
There is a step trail going up to the radar station, and I hiked there twice before. But, it was an endless winding road all the way up the the trail entrance.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
On the way to Wufenshan Weather Radar Station
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
A closer look of Wufenshan Weather Radar Station, a landmark that can be seen if you hike in Ruifang and Pingxi.
I continued my hike and reached a 3-way fork, one to Provincial Highway 2C, and the other one to Pinghuxi Trail 平湖西步道. I think this should be Pinghu West Trail. Xi in Chinese means west. I took the latter one with wooden steps all the way up again.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The sign says Pinghuxi, but Xi here means West in Chinese.
Wufenshan Weather Radar Station still could be seen in between the trees, and the trail became flat. This is one of my favorite moments about doing a solo hike. It was quiet and relaxing with beams of sunlight seeping into the trees, and the temperature was perfect!
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Can't get enough of this scenery.
Then, I saw a tree placed flat on the trail and a yellow sign. The sign was made by Pingxi District saying the trail ahead was dangerous, so on and so forth. I continued my hike.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
If you are not a regular hiker, you might think about stopping here.
The trail went from dirt path to steps again, really small steps, or I must have a pair of gigantic feet.
shih-shuang-15-narrow-steps
Probably only the feet of small children can take on those narrow steps.

Mt. Fanzikeng Was A Disappointment

Then I reached another 3-way fork, and I took the one to Mt. Fanzikeng. The sign said the peak was only 480 meters (525 yards) away, so why not?
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I turned right here to Mt. Fanzikeng.
From there, it went downhill, not to my liking, because I would have to climb up again later. Soon, I reached Mt. Fanzikeng, and it was a disappointment. I couldn’t tell it was a mountain except for the stone (not a triangulation stone) and the sign, and there wasn’t much to see here, either. So, I left quick and took the uphill again.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The trail to Mt. Fanzikeng
It took me about 20 minutes for the round trip to Mt. Fanzikeng to the 3-way fork. If you ask me, I’d suggest you skip this one and you can save 20 minutes.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I think I can skip this one the next time.
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Wonderful Views on Mt. Neipinglin and You Even Can See Mt. Qixing

While getting back to my next peak, I could see the mountains along the trail. Then, I saw something familiar, and I checked with my PeakFinder app. It was Mt. Keelung. Mt. Keelung looked like a triangular shape from here.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I was very excited to see Mt. Keelung from there.
It seem there were so many trails connecting to this one from Pinghu Recreation Area, because I saw several signs pointing to that direction. I’ll have to explore this area again.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Thank the group of volunteer hikers for the newly made signs.
I reached another fork and one of the signs pointing to Qiankeng Old Trail (Shihquei General or Stone Turtle General) 乾坑古道 (石龜將軍), and Qiankeng Old Trail looked interesting. I continued to my hike Mt. Neipinglin. Qiankeng Old Traill will be on my list.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Qiankeng Old Trail (Shihquei General or Stone Turtle General) sounds interesting.

Found An Interesting Plant

Then, suddenly something on the path caught my attention. The color was too bright red to ignore it, so I stopped to take a closer look.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Look what I had found!
It turned out those were Zingiber kawagoii Hayata 三奈 (but some say it’s 台灣山薑). Those were actually the fruit, not the flowers. After Googling, Zingiber kawagoii Hayata’s flowers are so gorgeous, but it’s not easy to find them.
There were several stone chairs on the trail, and they looked so tempting. I didn’t want to take too many breaks, so I made myself continue.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Those stone chairs looked very tempting.
Around 11:41, I reached a fork again with a big area and several chairs. I decided to give in and had a lunch break. While finishing my lunch and trying to find a safe place to do my business, two male hikers came up to the fork and we had a brief conversation. What a close call…
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Time for a lunch break.
After everything was finished, I resumed my hike around 12:15 and passed a huge rock wall. From here, the mountains from Ruifang were blocked, and I started seeing more mountains from Pinglin 坪林 side. The Pinglin here is different from the names in the mountains. It's a district in New Taipei City and close to Jiaoxi Yilan.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The other side of mountains also looked very beautiful.

Amazing Views on Mt. Neipinglin and Another Wildflower

Then, I reached Mt. Neipinglin. It only took me 10 minutes from my lunch location to here. In hindsight, it would be great to have my lunch at Mt. Neipinglin with stunning views on the peak. The only downside to have lunch here was there was no shade, and it was a little bit hot to sit under the sun.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
My highlight of this hike, Mt. Neipinglin.
I was really amazed by how far I could see from Mt. Neipinglin. I used PeakFind to check and I could see Mt. Qixing Main Peak, 1,118 meters (3,668 feet), the highest peak in Taipei City and almost 30 Km away from where I was. Also, thanks to the great weather.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I could see Mt. Qixing, the highest mountain in Taipei City, from Mt. Neipinglin.
Here's the video I took on the peak.
The whole view from Mt. Neipinglin
While enjoying how far I could see from the peak, I also noticed something near the small trees. It was Taipei Climbing Violet 台北堇菜. Later I saw a lot of Taipei Climbing Violets on Yangmingshan. It’s pity that I couldn’t get better focusd photos.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I found those lovely Taipei Climbing Violet on Mt. Neipinglin.
You can check out my Wildflowers' page to see more details about Taipei Climbing Violet.

More Rugged Terrain to Mt. Dapinglin

After I was satisfied with my time admiring the views, I resumed the hike. The first thing to overcome was the steep slope.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
It was a huge steep slope after Mt. Neipinglin.
There were ropes almost all the way to down or up to the next peak. Now, I realized why most hikers started from Shuangxi side to do this hike.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
More ropes and more steep slopes.
Although it was steeper after Mt. Neipinglin, the trail was well-marked with new hand-written signs and cleared up when I was there. There were some forks here, too. I passed a sign pointing to Youkeng 幼坑, which was also a great place to hike.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Seeing the sign to Youkeng made me want to do this trail.
Then, within a few minutes, I reached Mt. Dapinglin. There wasn’t much to see around here but with way too many tiny bugs. So, I quickly left.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Mt. Dapinglin

Mt. Xinluwei with Great Views and Other Late Hikers

The trail after Mt. Dapinglin was less steeper, and it took me around 1 hour to reach Mt. Xinluwei. The view on Mt. Xinluwei was great, too.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Mt. Xinluwei
When I decided to take a longer break, even thinking about brewing a cup of coffee for myself, I saw a hiker coming from the direction I was going to take. Then, more and more followed, a huge group to be exact. It was already 14:29 and I was surprised to see those hikers coming this late. To my dismay, I quickly gathered my stuff and continued my hike.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The view on Mt. Xinluwei was better than Mt. Dapinglin.
Then I reached a fork and there was an old house standing there. The roof and most of the wall of the house were already collapsed, but we still could find relics like this on the old trails in Taiwan.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
You'll find many relics like this on Tamsui-Kavalan Historic Trail.
There were still many hikers from the big group, and it was difficult to find a quiet place to take decent photos of the old house. I got distracted and disturbed and ended up taking the wrong turn. While taking the wrong turn, more and more hikers coming toward me kept asking me questions like why you went there. Most Taiwanese hikers aren’t used to solo hikers. This group was no exception. They thought I was one of them, but I really didn’t want to explain to them.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I got distracted and took a wrong turn.
Unfortunately, I wasted precious 10 minutes before getting back to my right direction. The funny thing is the more I tried to avoid the crowd, the more I got stuck with them. While I made my way to my direction, I heard their guide yelling at me, don’t go alone. I didn't reply. I heard somebody explaining to him instead.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
This was the direction I should go.

Trying to Find Mt. Dazhulin But Failed

Soon I found myself walking on some concrete path.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
Started walking on the concrete path
When I looked up, I saw a mountain and my PeakFinder told me it was Mt. Canquanliao 燦光寮山, one of my favorite mountains in Ruifang.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The mountain in the center was Mt. Canguanliao, hight 738 meters (2,421 feet).
Then, the concrete path became wider, so wide that I became to suspect myself taking a wrong turn again. However, I still could see the sign telling me the direction to Mt. Dazhulin.
Shortly, I saw a lamppost with two signs telling me one direction would take me to Mt. Dazhulin, and Mudan Train Station, and the other would take me to Mt. Xinluwei and Xinluwei Old Trail. So, I took the one to Mt. Dazhulin. This should be right, right?
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
The sign on the right told me I should turn left to get to Mt. Dazhulin.
However, I still couldn’t find my way to Mt. Dazhulin even though I saw the hand-written signs agian. I was a little bit tired. I checked my phone, and I could get the internet access here. I decided to ditch Mt. Dazhulin and get myself back to Shuangxi Train Station.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I decided to use Google Maps to get to Shuangxi Train Station.
It wasn’t difficult to find Shuanggan Road 雙柑路, but it was a little bit boring to walk on the road with my heavy rainboots. Fortunately, there were interesting things to give me distraction, like this narrow gutter above a small creek. I’ve been wondering what the gutter was for. It seems too narrow for people to walk on it.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
A small gutter above a big gutter. I was wondering what the small one was for.
While on Shuanggan Road, there was a map telling you those interesting places to visit in this area.
shih-shuang-41-map
A map about the tourist attractions in Shuangxi.
Then I saw a post saying Donghe Trail 東和步道. Donghe Trail seemed like a short and sweet trail to try, but I was too tired to explore it, especially after seeing I still had to take 2.3 km from this post to Shuangxi Train Station.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
I still had to walk 2.3 km to the train station from here.
It took me 50 minutes to get myself back to Shuangxi Train Station, and it was 16:45. Finally, I could call it a day. Later I realized that Mudan Train Station was much closer to the sign pointing to Mt. Dazhulin. Lesson learned.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
It took me 48 minutes to Shuangxi Train Station from the sign to Donghe Trail.

Thoughts about This Hike and Other Routes

This is a wonderful hike that I’ll do it again, and this is how I will do it.

Start the Hike from Shuangxi Side

After doing this hike from the Shihfen side, I understand why most hikers did it from the Shuangxi side, because you will start climbing the steeper slopes first. After the hard work, you will see the amazing views on Mt. Neipinglin and end the trails with the much easier log steps.
Moreover, there are more restaurants that are still open in Shihfen after you finish your hike. When I finished my hike in Shuangxi, I was trying to find a restaurant, but all of them were closed. I was so hungry, and we weren’t allowed to eat on the trail due to the pandemic.
Hike between Shihfen and Shuangxi
There are many things to see in Shuangxi.
The only drawback is you will have to squeeze yourself into the carriage of Pingxi Line with other tourists, and you have to transfer your train at Ruifang Station. The other option is to take Bus 795, and Bus 795 will take you to MRT Muzha Station via Shenkeng Old Street. It can be very crowded in the bus, too.

The Other Route with An Interesting Folk Story: Qiankeng Old Trail and General Turtle

According to Mountain Shade Fox Trace 山影狐蹤, Qiankeng Old Trail was a trail that connected between Dahua 大華 and Shihfenliao 十分寮, but the residents moved out of here after Pingxi Line and other roads were available.
According to the legends, Xuantian Shandi or Emperor of Mysterious Heaven 玄天上帝, conquered a turtle and a snake and appointed them as generals in his court. However, General Snake wanted to take a break, so he sneaked into the human world and caused many troubles. Therefore, Xuantian Shandi sent General Turtle to stop him. However, the battles with General Snake were so intense that General Turtle was too exhausted to return to Xuantian Shandi's court, and he was forced to rest by Qiankeng River.
While he was waiting for his end to come, the Earth God showed up and negotiated a deal with General Turtle, which was the Earth God would help General Turtle’s spirit back to Xuantian Shandi’s court, but his body would have to stay in Qiankeng to protect the local people. After the deal was struck, General Turtle's spirit finally returned and his body turned into a stone statue staying there forever. That’s why it’s called Stone Turtle. Shih means stone and Gui means turtle in Chinese.
Mountain Shade Fox Trace did a hike to see the Earth God's temple and the statue of General Turtle on Qiankeng Old Trail. The trailhead is close to Dahua Train Station, and you can also hike to Mt. Neipinglin from there.

Take Youkeng Old Trail to Mt. Neipinglin

There are many ways to do Youkeng Old Trail, and one of them is to do a loop hike starting from Sandiaolin Train Station 三貂嶺火車站 to Mt. Youkeng, Mt. Neipinglin, Mt. Dapinglin, Mt. Dazhulin and back to Sandiaolin Train Station.
I’ve been to Youkeng Old Trail before, and I always wanted to do it again. Doing Youkeng Old Trail and Mt. Neipinglin together is definitely a great idea.
Youkeng-trail-tunnel_20170826
There's a beautiful train tunnel for Pingxi Line near Youkeng Old Trail.
There are too many routes in Pingxi and Shuangxi to introduce them all on this post. But no matter which one you take it, please put Mt. Neipinglin in your itinerary. I guarantee you that you won’t regret it.
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Map and Itinerary

Group Hike or Solo Hike: Solo hike
Date of Hike: January 31, 2021

Route map for Hike Between Shihfen And Shuangxi by Anusha Lee on plotaroute.com

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Click timer to change the speed to meet your condition.
Note:
My GPS track may not be totally accurate and is for reference only.

Based on my hike on January 31, 2021

08:40 Arrived at Shihfen Train Station
08:48 Reached the footpath by the river
08:50 Saw a fork and turned right to the dirt path
08:54 Passed the 100+ Year-old Earth God Temple
08:56 Saw sign of Fanzikeng Trail (TK2-6) and a basketball court
09:00 Went through the basketball court and a toilet, and arrived at the entrance of Qianjieling
09:18 Reached a pavilion and hiked on the ridge
09:23 Reached Qianjieling (aka Quoqi Peak, meaning Flag Peak)
09:32 Arrived at a 3-way fork and took the Pinghuxi Trail
09:54 Reached the yellow sign with a warning
10:09 Reached a 3-way fork and took the Fanzikeng Trail one
10:24 Arrived at Mt. Fanzikeng, no view
10:35 Back to 3-way fork and headed to Mt. Neipinglin
10:41 Passed the sign of Pinghu Recreation Park parking lot
10:55 Reached the fork to Mt. Neipinglin and Qiankeng Old Trail (General Stone Turtle)
11:00 Reached a wide area with stone benches
11:41 Reached another big area with stone benches. Took a lunch break.
12:15 Resumed the hike
12:22 Saw the sign saying To Huangshan Road at the East Trail of Pinghu Recreation Area. Then reached Mt. Neipinglin.
13:16 Saw the sign of Qiankeng Old Trail, Mt. Dapinglin, Mt. Neipinglin
13:23 Saw the sign to Youkeng Old Trail and bamboo woods
13:26 Reached Mt. Dapinglin. No views.
13:35 Reached a fork with signs of Mt. Xinluwei, Xiangong Temple, Mt. Neipinglin
14:26 Reached the fork with sign of Mt. Dapinglin, Shihfanzikeng No. 1, and 2 minutes to Mt. Xinluwei
14:28 Arrived at Mt. Xinluwei. Met a huge group of hikers and I quickly left.
14:46 Reached a fork with a relic in the bamboo woods, met those hikers again, and took the wrong turn
14:55 Finally found the right path
15:04 Reached the flat concrete road
15:17 Reached the road, saw a lamppost with signs of to Mudan Train Station + Mt. Dazhulin, but I still couldn’t find the entrance to Mt. Dazhulin. So, I gave up and continued the industrial road.
15:54 Reached Shuanggan Road
15:57 Passed the sign of Donghe Trail and 2.3 km to Shuangxi Train Station
16:45 Finally reached Shuangxi Train Station
Total time: 8 hours 5 minutes, including long breaks

Recommended Blogs and Resources:

Chinese only:
Hiking Biji: Pinghu Forest Trail, the West One 平湖森林步道(西段)
Hiking Biji: Pinghu Forest Trail, the East One 平湖森林步道(東段)
Frank: Shuangxi to Shihfen Hike 新北市雙溪區-平溪區 雙十縱走
Wayfarer: Mudan to Shuangxi Hike 雙牡縱走
Mountain Shade Fox Trace 山影狐蹤: Qiankeng Old and General Shihgui (Stone Turtle) 乾坑古道、石龜將軍(平溪鄉野傳奇)
English posts:
Taiwan Trails and Tales: Tamsui-Kavalan Trails
Mount Neipinglin: a magnificent alternative hiking route from Sandiaoling to Shifen

Related Posts on Taiwan Hikes:

Mt. Teapot, Mt. Banping, and Mt. Canguanliao
Mt. Keelung
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