The waterfalls are nice but if you are going all the way to Aowanda then you definitely don’t want to miss the suspension bridge. The suspension bridge was destroyed by Typhoon Sepat in 2007 and rebuilt one month before Typhoon Morakot (8/8/2009) hit Taiwan. Luckily, the new bridge survived the storm and it is the focal point of many visits to Aowanda. In addition to that Aowanda has maple trees, cherry blossoms and beautiful forests to walk through.
There are 3 waterfalls at Aowanda all along the waterfall trail. The first isn’t that impressive but Double Waterfall is picturesque. Galloping (like a horse) Waterfall is the tallest and is typically referred to as Aowanda Waterfall. The trail was rebuilt a few years ago and ends at an elevated viewpoint.
How to get there – From the 3 freeway take the 6 freeway 40 kms to highway 14. Turn left on highway 14 and after you climb the hill into Renai turn right on Daan road. Daan road follows the reservoir and it is best to drive cautiously. The road continues straight but Daan road turns off to the left at a large red sign with Aowanda on it. Follow this road until the end to reach Aowanda.
The hike – It will take about 4 hours to hike both the bridge and the waterfalls. I think it is best to hike to the bridge first going down Strongman Slope (all stairs) and then up to the bridge. On the other side of bridge there is a nice loop that few take through the forest. Coming back take the Maple Tree Trail. At the top the trail you can choose to go back to the visitor center or to continue past the parking lots and down the road to the waterfall trail. The waterfall trail goes uphill from the road and you can take a shortcut past the adjustment pond to the visitor center.
Entrance fee – 200/person (weekends and holidays) and 100/car
Dates visited – 1/24/2012 – 1/30/2017