Sword Lake Trail (aka Jiantan or 劍潭山親山步道) is a great quality path south of Shilin which spectacular views of downtown. There are a series of three spots over looking downtown, you can easily see everything from Keelung River to the Taipei 101 to even the distant mountains beyond. The clouds/smog were pretty dense during my hike which caused the views the be less than they might have otherwise been, but it was still worth it.
The route I took started at JianTan MRT station and headed east. There are several intersecting paths leading to different temples and areas which all seem very popular with seniors, I saw dozens of people exercising and playing cards. The paths all end near the same place though at the first of the overlooks, I spent several minutes just picking out different places in Taipei I’d been to, it has the best views of the northern downtown area I’ve seen. The end of the hike has many less people and doesn’t have the expansive views of the first half, but is much less crowded seems more natural.
- From: Red Line JianTan station
- Length: 2-3 Hours
- Difficulty: Easy