Yuanlin Historic Trail is a nice hike high above Baolai Hot Springs. On a clear day there will be stunning views of the Laonong Valley to the west and also of the increasingly popular valley with Qikeng and Shikeng hot springs to the east.
How to get there – Turn east in Baolai at the 7-11 and follow the road as it turns to the left going past a temple. It turns a few more times and then heads uphill. Follow this road until the 2nd left (marked Zhulin Agricultural Farm – I think). Take this road until you see a large bamboo building and turn right at a bunch of green signs. Follow the Yuanlin Historic Trail signs uphill and park at the mapboard.
The hike – Follow the road uphill for about 1 km (scooters can go up) to a clearing with two old farmhouses. In between the two farmhouses there is a second mapboard and the trail is behind it. The trail is pretty easy to follow but every time it comes to tea field or farmhouse it seems to end with no signs. The trail isn’t that difficult to find and typically continues right into the woods after 5 meters in the clearing. There are two stone tables (not together) near the end and shortly after them there is a farmhouse with 4 angry, black dogs. Stay to the right as you pass by but they were definitely unfriendly. The end of the trail is at a 3 direction road intersection and nearby is a nice pavilion with a great view. If you have two vehicles then one could park here or you can hike back. The trail itself is only 3.5 km but double that if you need to hike back to your vehicle.
Dates visited – 3/1/2014 – 2/27/2017