Full Moon Forest Park (ManYueYuan 月圓國家森林遊樂區)
Sanxia District, New Taipei City
Introduction: the Full Moon Forest Park is located in Sanxia at the base of high central mountains. The park is known for its two waterfalls. The park is popular and it can be rather busy here on weekends.
Access: take bus 807 from the Sanxia bus terminal. Buses only run about once every 3 hours. Take bus 916 from Yongning MRT Station to reach the bus terminal.
Trail Conditions: mixture of paved, stone, and wide dirt trails with some steep stone steps. The hike is well signposted in English and is easy to follow.
Length: 8km, 3 hours
The park can be seen between buses, spending any longer here may get rather boring. This can also be combined with the Xiongkong Waterfalls hike. Do Xiongkong first then take the bus to the Full Moon Park.
Difficulty Level: 1/5
The bus stop is located in the tour bus parking lot a few hundred meters from the park entrance. Keep walking up the road (go left at a fork in the road) past a couple of more parking lots. After the last parking lot the road is closed off to vehicles. Keep walking along the road and you’ll come to the park entrance gate. It costs $100 to enter the park, or $50 if you live in New Taipei City and have ID. There are also public restrooms here.
From the entrance gate the trail, which is half dirt and half paved, continues to follow the stream. Along the way it passes what appears to be a new visitor center. Although completed for a long time, as of June 2016, this has not yet been opened. Keep going straight at a trail junction here, continuing on the main trail.
There are a lot of pavilions and benches throughout the park.
At the visitors center there is a small store selling drinks, snacks, ramen, and light meals. The menu here is only in Chinese.
After the visitor center the trails makes a short climb on wood supported steps. At the top the wide flat trail leads further into the park passing a wooden house and more rest areas on the way.
Fork left at a trail junction signposted for Virgin Waterfall. There are more benches here and a small waterfall on a tributary stream behind the benches.
From the junction, the trail to the waterfall leads down and crosses the stream over a bridge.
After the bridge steep stone steps lead upwards. The trail levels out at the top and follows the stream towards to waterfall.
Virgin Waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in northern Taiwan. There is a viewing platform and two-level rest area in front of the falls.
After seeing the waterfall return back to the main trail. (Halfway down there is a minor trail connecting to the ManYueYuan Waterfall. This trail may be closed off, but people usually just go over the barrier and use the trail anyways.)
The main trail continues to ManYueYuan Waterfall. Another trail forks off on the left again and crosses the stream over another bridge at the base of the falls. It then climbs up on more stone steps to end at a rest area at the top of the falls. There is also another small waterfall here on a tributary stream.
Back at the trail junction there are also public washrooms. Stone steps lead up to a viewing pavilion at the top of the waterfall.
To return out of the park take the self guiding trail which is signposted just in front of the restrooms. At the top of the steps you’ll come to wooden bridge and another trail junction. This is the end of a trail coming down from the East Eye Forest Park and the Yunei Stream Ancient Tree Grove. Please see my Yunei Ancient Trees page for more information on this hike.
Turn right here and cross the bridge. This mostly stone trail goes through the forest of Japanese cedars and ends back at the new but not yet open visitor center. Few park visitors use this trail and it makes for a more peaceful return.
Map of the Hike