The first time I saw this mountain was on a field trip. I had just started teaching a class of kindergartners and we were on our first field trip. It was probably my second or third week of being a teacher. Needless to say, my co-teacher was the real MVP. Who am I kidding she was always the MVP. Cars can not drive up to the top so we parked at the parking lot and started up the mountain.
The mountain itself is not a difficult hike at all. There is both a paved trail that is used as a road to the nursery and a more natural trail. The paved trail is very easy and has plenty of places to stop and rest. In contrast, the nature trail has lots of stairs and fewer places to stop and rest. Regardless of the route, you take the top makes it worth it.
The Botanical Garden is at the top of Renshan mountain. It use to be a nursery to grow saplings until it was converted into a garden. Now it has Chinese, Japanese and French style gardens. Naturally, these gardens are best viewed in the spring and early summer. However, the view is one of the biggest highlights in my opinion.
From the top of Renshan, you can look down onto Langyang (Yilan) Plain. In addition to seeing the major cities of the county, on a clear day, you can see the ocean and Turtle Island. Another attraction on Renshan is the remains of the camphor industry. At one point camphor oil was one of the main exports of Taiwan and is still a common product today. Camphor is used as an insect repellent and in medicine still today.
Renshan Botanical Garden is located at No.500, Xinliao Rd in Dongshan Township. They have a store at the top that is open from 8:00 to 17:00. I suggest packing good walking shoes, a snack and a water bottle for the hike up. Plenty of small stalls sell water and snacks at the entrance on Xinliao rd. Lake Meihua and Sanqing Temple are nearby and can be visited in addition to Renshan.