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Hiking up Huoyan Mountain

Huoyan Mountain (Huoyanshan), located on the border of Miaoli County’s Sanyi and Yuanli townships, is included among Taiwan’s top “hundred small peaks” and was voted No. 1 on an online hiking-trails survey. Its attributes include unique scenery, featuring sharp bare hills, a convenient location, accessible trails that only take about three hours to hike, and mountain-top views that make it an excellent Instagram photo-taking venue.
If you take National Freeway No. 1 north from Taichung, you’ll see Huoyan Mountain to your left on the north bank of Da’an River after about 15 minutes. After taking the Sanyi Interchange exit, follow the signs to Provincial Highway No. 13 (don’t go up to the bridge).  This route travels downhill and meets County Highway No. 140, where you can make a U-turn and park your car beneath the overpass for free. Cross the road and you’ll see trailhead. You won’t need to worry about getting lost because Huoyan Mountain is a popular trail and it is clearly marked with signs. 
Although the trail is surfaced with red soil and rocks and travels between trees, it’s still relatively easy to hike, even for senior citizens and children. As you continue, you’ll come to the South Huoyan Mountain geographic point which, a few steps away, offers a beautiful canyon-like scene. The main trail eventually loops around and ends up back at the start point. This venue is so popular because it doesn’t take much effort to appreciate full mountain vistas. Hikers usually take their time, snapping photos of the rewarding panoramic mountain views of the fields, roadways and Da’an River. 
You can take a break and then continue up to Huoyan Mountain’s triangular terrace at the top. However, if you only want to take in the canyon scenes, you can turn around and head back to the parking lot. Those feeling a bit more energetic can also travel along the circular Nan An Old Trail, pass by a residential area, listen to some barking dogs, and bypass a bit of Province Highway No. 13, before getting back to the overpass and your car. If you want to take this highway north, you’ll actually need to drive south and make a U-turn on an industrial road first before getting back get back onto Highway No. 13 and connecting to the Sanyi Interchange.
Finally, if you’re feeling a bit hungry at this point, heading north on Province Highway No. 13 and passing a gas station and traffic light will bring you to two local restaurants selling Hakka-style flat noodles and an abundance of broiled delicacies for reasonable prices.

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