Dadi Gorge is an almost inaccessible gorge at the north end of Nanhua Reservoir. Unless you have a boat the only time that you can hike there is during March and April when the reservoir is at its lowest levels. When the reservoir recedes there is a beautiful bed of grass left behind and it is really cool to hike past this. I think I liked this better than the gorge itself.
Beware that this place is very popular and it is a good idea to show up early in the morning. I was there at 10:30 almost by myself but the rest of my group showed up at 11:30 and by then well over 50 people from multiple groups had shown up.
Rating and length – easy – 2 hrs – 4 kms (round trip)
How to get there – Dadi Gorge is at the northern end of Nanhua Reservoir near Jiaxian. From Kaohsiung you can take Hwy 29 the entire way to Jiaxian but make sure that you stay on Hwy 29 since it splits a couple of times. Shortly after the CPC gas station and before you enter Jiaxian turn west onto Hwy 20. Turn north on Tainan road 179 less 2 kms from Hwy 29 and just after the last Liuyi trailhead signs. If you get to the reservoir you have gone too far. Follow road 179 until the 12 km marker. There should be a parking lot next to a mango farm on the left side. Walk through the parking lot and there is a path to the river.
Can only be hiked in March and April when the reservoir is at its lowest.
Note – Cannot be hiked in 2016 due to high reservoir water levels (constant winter rain) this year.
The hike – There isn’t a formal trail but there is a small dirt path that leads down to a normally dry creek. Turn to the right and follow this tributary down to the main river flowing into Nanhua Reservoir. There should be a well worn path to follow and the makeshift bridges lead to a gorge on the opposite side. It will take about 10 minutes to walk to the end of the near vertical gorge to a beautiful small pool. On the way back we accidentally followed a different path out of the riverbed and it led to the small farm road next to the parking lot.
GPS info – trailhead N23.124814 E120.568177 – gorge N23.129016 E120.563074
Date visited – 4/19/2015