Xinliao Waterfall 新寮瀑布 is one of Yilan’s most popular waterfalls. There are actually 10 waterfalls within the river system upstream but only the first appears to be accessible. They built a nice trail back to Xinliao Waterfall in 2006 but it was destroyed by a typhoon in 2009 (not Morakot).
The new trail is rare in Taiwan where they used rock and wood chips (not together) to make a durable but non-slippery trail back to the waterfall. This hike is short, on a gradual (almost zero) incline and has a very nice footpath making it perfect for families and the elderly. There is one short section of natural trail that might be slippery.
The area is currently under construction for what looks like an extension of the trail to the 2nd tier. It doesn’t look like they will need to close the trail during this construction.
How to get there – Xinliao Waterfall is located in a part of Yilan with small meandering streets. You want to be on Zhongshan Road going towards Renshan Botanical Garden. Turn left at a large brown sign to the Botanical Garden off of Zhongshan Road. After passing by a few factories, Xinliao Pubu (means waterfall) signs will be frequent at this point. Turn left across a pink bridge and then follow road and brown 新寮瀑布 signs to the end. There is a large parking lot with bathrooms at the trailhead.
The hike – The trail starts at the parking lot and follows a mixture of wood chips, small rock, natural trail and ultimately wood steps to a viewing platform. Near the midpoint of the trail there is a small orchard that still needs a few years to look impressive.
Dates visited – 11/22/2014 and 4/1/2017