If you’re searching for a hike around Taipei that isn’t crowded with locals and tourists every weekend, head down MRT Line 3 to Jingmei Station in Wenshan District (文山區). Not far from the station you’ll find the Xianjiyan (仙迹岩) hiking trail with entrances on Jingxing Rd. There are signs pointing to the trail from the station.
Xianjiyan is a fairly easy hiking trail in the city–the beginning of the hike has a lot of steps, but once near the peak there are fewer to climb. The peak of Xizikou Mountain (溪子口山) is only 143 meters above the city, but provides great views along the way–you can even make out Taipei 101 in the distance.
As this isn’t a popular hiking trail, there are fewer people; it’s easier to escape the crowds and traffic of Taipei and enjoy nature for a few hours. There are multiple branches to the trail–the main trail goes straight from Jingmei and splits to head to Xinglong Rd. near Wanfang Hospital Station on Line 1 or to Xiuming Rd., with no nearby MRT station.
There is a temple along the trail along with some Buddhist history and monuments. Xianjiyan is a rock above the Xianyan Temple that bears what is said to be a footprint left by one of the Eight Immortals, Lu Dongbin.
Depending on your route, the hike through Xianjiyan can take anywhere from an hour to three hours.