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New Taipei City Travel

Smile Trails Trekking Routes Connect City and Home Mountains for an In-Depth Experience of Local Life Aesthetics

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Press Release from the New Taipei City Government Tourism and Travel Department - May 28, 2024
Smile Trails Trekking Routes Connect City and Home Mountains for an In-Depth Experience of Local Life Aesthetics

[New Taipei City]Since the launch of the Smile Trails brand in 2020, it has attracted numerous people to explore the mountains and visit small towns, particularly drawing more families to experience the mountain environment. To expand the mountain tourism circle and provide more ways to enjoy the Smile Trails, enabling both domestic and international tourists to easily experience the beautiful distance between New Taipei City’s mountains and urban areas, the New Taipei City Government, following the brand’s launch, has continued to survey over 200 kilometers of mountain trails, inventory resources, and, after consensus workshops with local workgroups and experts, carried out trail maintenance. Combining mountain and town tourism concepts, the "Smile Trails Trekking Routes" were launched again today (May 28).

The trekking routes, connecting towns through mountain trails, offer opportunities to experience unique mountain resources while allowing tourists to deeply appreciate the distinctive stories of different towns’ histories, industries, and cultures through trail crossings.

The "Smile Trails Trekking Routes" consist of five main sections: the Datong Mountain Range section, the Yushan Mountain Range section, the Tianshang Mountain Range section, the Erge Mountain Range section, and the Wufen Mountain Range section. Primarily utilizing mountain trails, it also integrates bike paths, industrial roads, and public transportation routes, planning a total length of 108 kilometers of home mountain travel paths. Along the way, the route spans from Shulin, Yingge, Sanxia, Tucheng, Zhonghe, Xindian, Shenkeng, Shiding, to Pingxi. This route connects different mountain ranges, allowing for quick access to Taiwan’s unique mountains to enjoy abundant resources and overlook cityscapes, as well as visiting surrounding towns to experience local stories developed alongside the mountains, such as coal mining history, indigo dyeing culture, and tea industry.

The Smile Trails have partnered with private businesses and organizations to establish 15 "service point stations" where people can consult about the Smile Trails’ resources and receive various services based on the actual conditions of each point. Additionally, renowned Taiwanese young calligraphy artist Hsu Ching-Lun was invited to design identification signs for these service points, integrating calligraphy lines with the Smile Trails’ identity concept, creating modern and innovative artistic pieces.

New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-Ih expressed his hope to create a livable and beautiful urban living vision. The Smile Trails are not just a mountain tourism route but a localized tourism brand that meets people’s needs, becoming a mountain aesthetic lifestyle that people yearn for. The Smile Trails are the closest shallow mountain trails to the city in New Taipei, reachable within about 30 minutes by bus, train, or even MRT from your doorstep to the trailhead, making it accessible for busy modern people to explore the mountains. These mountains are not only a "spiritual support" but also an important "home mountain" within the city.

The image film "Walking into the Home Mountains in the City," featuring international sketch artist Wang Chieh as the guide, mentions, "Mountains are part of nature and an extension of human life. How our living environment is formed is closely related to the original natural conditions." With his unique artist’s perspective, Wang takes people to understand the aesthetic life of the Smile Trails and records the appearance of the home mountains with his brush.

This year, 10 "Smile Trails Trekking Experience Tours" will also be launched, allowing people to experience the beauty of the Smile Trails up close and explore the beautiful mountains. The first wave of activities will open for registration at 2 PM on May 28 (Tuesday). For more information on New Taipei City tourism, please visit the relevant links.
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