Sunday, November 21, 2010
Xinliao Waterfall 新寮瀑布
This used to be a major tourist destination because of the beautful setting and two scenic waterfalls. Unfortunately, the valley was badly hit by typhoon Parma in 2009, and parts of the trail leading to the waterfall collapsed into the river. Due to the fragile geology of the area, the government has decided not to rebuild the trail for the time being.
Officially the trail is closed to the public. However, this being Taiwan, you can go there anyway. In fact it's fairly popular on weekends.
As you walk up the trail, you will encounter three barriers which are supposed to keep people out. You can easily walk over or around these and keep going. The trail to the waterfall is short - you can get there in about 15 minutes. There are a couple of spots where you have to watch your step, but most of the trail is ok.
The valley is extremely beautiful, and the waterfall is impressive. Of course the size of the waterfall varies depending on recent rainfall. If you visit after it has been raining, you will get a better show.
The observation platform for the waterfall has been washed away by the typhoon. And the trail up to the second waterfall has been blocked by landslides.
Given the condition of the trail, I wouldn't recommend going too far out of your way to visit this waterfall. But if you are staying in Luodong, or visiting the trails around Renshan, the waterfall is worth a quick sidetrip.
To get here, follow the road to Renshan (see my post). When you get to the parking lots in front of the Renshan Botanical Gardens, just keep going along the road which follows the river until it dead ends in front of the trail entrance.