January 25 Qintiengang Trail Hike in Yangmingshan National Park

Maybe some of you might be getting tired of reading about great weekend hikes in beautiful weather. So I will try to mention only the highlight of this Saturday hike. We went up to Yangmingshan National Park again, as it was another nice sunny day.

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A view from the Qintiengang trail

This time, we decided to hike along the Qintiengang trail. This is a trail that starts up in the grassy highland meadows of Yangmingshan, and stays mostly on the ridges of some of the mountains. This is another area of the park that is very popular for families and others that come to picnic. Most of them just stay in the hills near the parking area, instead of hiking along the trail as we did.

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Jeff is standing near the trail sign in the parking lot at Qintiengang

There is a shrine for TuTe Gong, the earth god, at the trail entrance. There is a large, relatively new temple facing the trail. It looks like many others that I have seen in Taiwan.

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Temple honoring TuTeGong, the earth god on the Qintiengang trail

But behind it is another temple, much older. This small temple is over 200 years old, and was where travelers would stop and pray for peace, and peddlers carrying fish would stop and ask which direction they should go to sell their wares. It is very small, and I had to bend over to look inside of it.

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Small, old shrine of TuTeGong on the Qintiengang trail

There was a very old looking statue inside the small shrine, with a stone tiger in front of it.

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Stone tiger and statue of TuTeGong inside the small shrine

While I was taking photos of the shrines, Jeff was taking lots of pictures of the beautiful scenery along the trail. it was a nice clear day, so we could see a long way.

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Jeff is taking pictures along the trail

This restored gate is where the Qintiengang trail meets up with the Jinbaoli trail that goes down to the coast. We did not take that trail.

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Ann is standing at the gate to the Jinbaoli trail

There are signs along this trail telling you to keep your distance from the wild cattle and water buffalo that roam these grasslands. We saw a lot of cow patty-type poop on the trail and alongside it, and there were some buffalo wallows (muddy pits) in one of the high  meadows. But we had not seen any cattle or buffalo yet.

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Jeff is standing in a buffalo wallow in a meadow along the Qintiengang trail

And then, there were buffalo on the trail! They are big enough to have the right-of-way, so everyone waits until they have moved out of the way! These are water buffalo, not wild cattle, because their horns are facing backwards. The cattle have horns facing forwards.

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Wild buffalo on the Qintiengang trail

One of the highlights of this trail is the cypress (red cedar) trees along part of it.

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Cypress trees along the Qintiengang trail

There is also a beautiful forested section of trail. These trees were planted to beautify the area for the crown prince of Japan’s visit back in the 1920s. For some reason, these trees have thrived, but subsequent efforts in later years at reforestation have not been successful in Yangmingshan.

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Jeff is standing under some tall trees along the trail

After we reached the far end of the trail, we passed at a coffee shop conveniently located near the trail head. We had to decide if we were going to walk the entire 10 kilometer trail back to where we started and catch the bus, or continue and try to walk back to NeiHu from here.

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Jeff and Ann relaxing and drinking coffee at a coffee shop near the end of the Qintiengang trail

There were a lot of roosters and chickens hanging out around the coffee shop!

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Rooster near our table at the coffee shop

We decided to try to walk back to NeiHu. And we did make it back home, but it was another 6 or 7 kilometers before we got to a bus stop that would take us back to where we lived in NeiHu. So we ended up hiking for about 7 hours, and over 16 kilometers. But we figured it was a good test to see if we would do okay hiking all day through the jungle in Sumatra, Indonesia!

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