A ride along a river bike trail to two waterfalls in the area.
Access: from Taipei City Hall Bus Terminal take the bus to Loudong, then the local train one station to Dongshan.
This ride goes from the station and follows along the Dongshan River to where it comes out of the mountains. There are two waterfalls (Xinliao and Zhongshan Falls) located on two different branches of the river.
You can rent bikes from a shop outside the station, NT$150 for the day.
From the station ride under the tracks about 100m until you come to a trail junction. Keep going straight and the trail will follow the Dongshan River upstream. The trail was only finished in 2013 and is easy to ride along. Just keep following the river.
The bike trail will end where a road crosses the river. Ride along this road to reach Xinliao Waterfall. The way to the falls is signposted in English. The road ends at the trail entrance and the Dongshan Forest Station.
Xinliao Waterfall is very popular, almost as popular as Wufengchi in Jiaoxi. There are even some tour buses that stop here. The 1km long trail to the waterfall is an easy hike and is well maintained. The trail ends a viewing platform. There are a further nine waterfalls up the river but the trail leading up to them has been washed away by typhoons in recent years so only the lowest falls are accessible anymore.
After you’ve seen the falls ride back to the bridge where the bike trail ended. From there you can cut across to the other branch of the river. The way to the Zhongshan Waterfall is also signposted in English.
Like Xinliao, the trail to the falls starts at the end of the road. But other than that, these two waterfalls couldn’t be more different even though they are so close to each other and similar in appearance. Unlike popular Xinliao, Zhongshan seems to have been mostly forgotten about. The constructed trail to the falls is no longer maintained with signs and benches having become overgrown. The trail is in good condition though as a few people still come here. The falls are 1km from the end of the road. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot past a yellow sign written in Chinese only. Follow the trail across a storm channel and up to the falls. The trail is mostly dirt with some stone and wooden steps. The trail also ends a viewing platform.
After you’ve seen the falls and still have time, nearby Plum Blossom Lake has some nice cafes where you can sit and relax. To reach the lake return to where to river makes to 90 degree turn. There is bridge just south of the turn. Coming from Zhongshan Waterfall, turn left at the bridge, then the first right and ride up to the main road, turn left here, and cross the small stream up ahead. There is a bike path which follows this stream for a short distance before joining the country roads. From here you need to ride on the roads, just follow the bicycle symbols painted on the roads and they’ll lead you to the lake.
Plum Blossom Lake is also part of the Loudong loop bike trail. Please see me entry about this great and peaceful ride through the countryside for more details.
Map of the Ride