In the Tamlan-Northeast Coast National Trail System, the Caoling Historic Trail has 8.5km of trails requiring about 3 to 4 hours to traverse.
The Caoling Ancient Trail is a leg of the Tamlan Ancient Trail linking the Tamshui Department (Manga) and the Kemalan Department (Ilan) in the old days. It is the only leg of the Tamlan Ancient Trail that is available to this day. The ancient trail begins at Yuanwangken in Gongliao, Taipei County and ends up in the Dali mountains in Ilan. It is said to have been opened by Yang Tingli, the governor of Taiwan in the 12th year of Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty (1807). The trail was built with grit, a common construction material available in the area.
Along the trekking route of the trail that begins in Fudeh Temple, Yuanwangken, in Gongliao, the trip takes one by the border of 2 counties and the main attractions are Clear Mountain Creek, Fudeh Temple, Dominating Monument, Tiger Monument and the Observatory. The trip ends up at the Dali Tourist Information Center for the Caoling Ancient Trail. The entire trip should take 3 to 4 hours.
The Dominating Monument, erected by Liu Mingdeng, the Taiwan general garrison commander in the 6th Year of Tungzhi of the Qing Dynasty (1867), is located at 240m above sea level and it is said that the monument was erected to intimidate mountain devils. The Tiger Monument at the entrance to the top of the hill, where the ancient trail is found, is located at about 330m above sea level. The monument, made by Liu Mingdeng, highlights a spot that is vulnerable to strong windstorms. The idea of the monument originates from the saying, "Clouds Bring the Dragon and Winds Bring the Tiger."
The Caoling Ancient Trail is now an ideal site for a trip outdoors in in autumn and winter. It is known as Caoling because of the miscanthus sinensis by the ancient trail. Currently, the Caoling Ancient Trail is an attraction under the management of the Northeast Coast National Landscapes Area under the Bureau of Tourism. There are 3 pagodas on the way to the ancient trail, with explanatory boards and public toilets. At the entrance to the Caoling Ancient Trail in Dali, there is a service center (to the south of the Heaven God Temple in Dali), providing rest and services.
The entire Caoling Ancient Trail measures some 8.5km in length and it passes by fruit farms and terraced paddies. At the entrance to the ancient trail, one can see Guishan Island and the small towns in Daxi and Gongliao, which provide an inviting but vast view, making the site a popular attraction. Built in the Qing dynasty, all these valuable and historical remains are vivid testimony to the pioneer spirits of our ancestors.
Overall, Caoling Historic Trail is the 15th most popular hiking trail of all 21 hikes in China.