Taiwan’s Waterfalls Top 17 NEW Waterfalls From 2016

2016 was an absolutely incredible year for me. I visited over 100 waterfalls in four different countries and am part of a new and growing hiking group in southern Taiwan (Southern Taiwan Hiking Group – FB). My waterfall guide has grown to 150 waterfalls (end of January) and over 50 more in 4 other countries. 2017 will see a focus on getting to the last really important waterfalls in Taiwan such that I will be able to publish a Taiwan’s Waterfalls guidebook someday. This is a daunting task but step 1 is collecting the information and writing it down. I hope to have information on 200 waterfalls by the time I self-publish. For the latest updates you can follow me at Taiwan’s Waterfalls FB and Taiwan’s Waterfalls IG.

My next goal is to start doing more international trips. Indonesia is one of my favorite countries and I have found so many interesting and incredible waterfalls there. Japan has always interested me but I am usually busy during the summer and fall and haven’t been able to schedule a trip yet. I also want to cover the major waterfalls in all of the East Asian countries and visit Europe sometime. I have a future expansion of my waterfall guide planned. Right now I hide my international trips on my Taiwan’s Waterfalls website but soon they will have their own website (bought the domain) with their own IG and FB accounts. You can start following them now Planet Waterfall IG and Planet Waterfall FB.

One other big first for me this year was publishing a Taiwan’s Waterfalls calendar. I didn’t do much promoting it but I did sell 80 copies of it. This is something I definitely plan on doing again next year and hopefully come up with an even better plan for selling it. The calendar is print on demand so all you need is a credit card and lulu.com will ship anywhere in the world. Click to view the calendar on lulu.com

I hope that everyone’s 2016 was great and I hope that some of you were able to use my waterfall guide to visit some great places. Did anyone do something particularly memorable in 2016? Does anyone have any big 2017 plans?

My top waterfalls from 2015

My 2016 waterfall to do list (did 8/10)

My 2014 year in review (link)

  1. I started last year by going to Baiyang Waterfall in Taroko Gorge on January 1st. My sister and brother-in-law braved the horrible holiday traffic on the way to one of Taroko Gorge’s best places. The hike to the waterfall passes through (at least) 8 tunnels along an old road before arriving at the waterfall. The traffic leaving Taroko Gorge was awful unfortunately. I cannot believe they don’t have some sort of traffic control on peak traffic days to avoid buses getting stuck in the narrow roads. Multiple times we (and many cars behind us) had to back up due to a buses coming uphill.

Find out more about Baiyang Waterfall

2. Longgong (Dragon Palace) Waterfall in Chiayi had been on my to do list for a long time. At Longgong Waterfall hikers are able to go behind the waterfall via a cleft in the rock.

Find out more about Longgong Waterfall

3. At Chinese New Year I planned my entire trip to North Sumatra around visiting Sipisopiso Waterfall. It didn’t disappoint at all. The waterfall is over 100 meters tall and all you need to do is turn around for a great view of Lake Toba. The hike is nothing special (600+ stairs) but it is a magnificent waterfall.

Find out more about Sipisopiso Waterfall

4. I had high expectations for Sipisopiso Waterfall but I knew very little about Dua Warna Waterfall prior to visiting. Dua Warna is less visited and it follows a trail for 4 km through a beautiful forest. Dua Warna falls 25-30 meters into a stunning turquoise blue pool surrounded by green walls. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls. Sadly, a flash flood occurred this year and about 20 university students were killed. The waterfall remains closed the last that I heard.

Find out more about Dua Warna Waterfall

5. During the 2/28 holiday Asher (followxiaofei.com) and I hiked the Shimenggu Trail in Chiayi and this is the trail that I repeatedly tell people is my favorite hike. The waterfall is nice but this trail has it all. You start by hiking up a nearly straight, 500 meter tall valley. There is a suspension bridge to 1000 person cave and Shuiyang Lake. There is an old farmhouse with a beautiful garden with cherry blossoms, rhododendrons and maple trees. Sadly most of the giant cypress trees were illegally logged recently but one still stands next to the trail. I returned this year and explored the valley above Qingrengu Waterfall and I can see why this place is called Shimenggu (Stone Dream Valley).

Find out more about Qingrengu Waterfall

6. Hudie (Butterfly) Waterfall is part of one of the 7 Guguan Heroes hikes in Taichung. I didn’t think the Tangmadanshan Hike was that great but Hudie Waterfall is a really nice one.

Find out more about Hudie Waterfall

7. Wutai in Pingtung County is one of the best regions for checking out waterfalls in Taiwan. Feilong (Flying Dragon) Waterfall was another great find by Asher (followxiaofei.com). This was also the start of our Tuesday morning hikes with the Southern Taiwan Hiking Group (FB). Most English teachers don’t start work until 5pm on Tuesdays and we took advantage of that by going out for morning hikes to some great places.

Find out more about Feilong Waterfall

8. I grew up in Minnesota and took many trips to the peaceful Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) but I didn’t spend much time exploring the rest of the north shore in Minnesota. I went home in June last year and dragged my family to a total of 13 waterfalls on my trip home. Minnesota has an amazing system of state parks and the north shore is wildly underrated nationally in my opinion. The High Falls of the Baptism River at Tettegouche State Park is just one of the great waterfalls along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Find out more about High Falls on the Baptism River

9. The High Falls on Pigeon River is located on Minnesota/Canada border and is legitimately one of the top 25 or 50 waterfalls in the US. My trip home occurred weeks after heavy rains hit the state and all of the waterfalls looked amazing.

Find out more about High Falls on the Pigeon River

10. Fenghuang Waterfall isn’t particularly large and the hike isn’t that great down 1500 stairs but it is a great swimming hole. This was one of trips where the Southern Taiwan Hiking Group really came together as a group. 14 of us hung out for one afternoon and kicked off a great fall and winter of exploring Taiwan.

Find out more about Fenghuang Waterfall

11. Shiwang (Lion King) Waterfall had been on Asher’s (followxiaofei.com) to do list for a long time but I never had any really good information or photos of the place. The area is really, really steep and I had thought it might be inaccessible by normal hikers. Asher’s persistance paid off on a tip from some elderly Taiwanese hikers and we found the trail down to the waterfall. I plan on going back this spring using the river from Sandimen because I didn’t like this hike at all. It descends about 300 meters in only 1 km on broken slate. The other route might be longer but likely more enjoyable.

Find out more about Shiwang Waterfall

12. Rainy weekends and later on typhoons affected Taiwan all summer and we took very few trips. I had looked forward to the 4 day Moon Festival holiday weekend for weeks and was devastated when a typhoon was going to ruin our plans. In less than 24 hours I booked a plane ticket and landed in East Java to explore waterfalls. My favorite waterfall was obvious (the next one) but many of them could have been on this list. I had done a lot of research on this area but I missed Watu Ondo Waterfall and only found this one because I was looking for others.

Find out more about Watu Ondo Waterfall

13. I really enjoyed my East Java trip in September but Madakaripura Waterfall absolutely blew me away. It falls 200 meters into a hollow green tube. This is without question my favorite waterfall that I have ever been to.

Find out more about Madakaripura Waterfall

14. Almost immediately after returning from Indonesia I flew to the Philippines for the TBEX (Travel Blogger Exchange). That event was outstanding and it was the perfect excuse to explore southern Cebu and Kawasan Falls.  Kawasan Falls is famous internationally for its amazing blue waters but the atmosphere suffers a little bit due it being built up with restaurants. My recommendation is to do the full day canyoneering trip down to Kawasan Falls.

Find out more about Kawasan Falls

15. Kawasan Falls might be the most famous waterfall in Cebu but Inambakan Falls was easily my favorite. The biggest reason is that there were very few people and it was nearly as beautiful as Kawasan. Southern Cebu unlike much of the Philippines is terrible for farming but it contains a lot of limestone and every one of its waterfalls had beautiful blue pools.

Find out more about Inambakan Falls

16. Yunsen Waterfall is a great waterfall on one of the nicest waterfall hikes in northern Taiwan. The trail is easy and passes through a beautiful forest. Stronger hikers can see up to 8 waterfalls if they do the longer version of the hike to Manyueyuan.

Find out more about Yunsen Waterfall

17. Aohua Waterfall is really, really far from Kaohsiung but I loved this less known waterfall on the east coast. I look forward to taking a trip back here sometime.

Find out more about Aohua Waterfall

Minnesota’s North Shore Waterfalls

I am probably biased as a homegrown Minnesotan but I think Minnesota is one of the best places in the US to live. Okay, I don’t like the short, cold days of winter but at least that is a beautiful time of year. There are many great places around the state but by far my favorite places are the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the North Shore of Lake Superior. I don’t think this area gets the national recognition that it deserves but perhaps that is a good thing. It has retained some of that small town American charm in an incredibly beautiful place.

Part 1 of my trip home focused on the waterfalls in southern Minnesota where my father has a farm.

Part 2 (this blog post) focuses on the waterfalls of the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Part 3 will focus on everything else we saw along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

On my trip home in June we didn’t go to the BWCA but instead we spent a lot of time visiting the state parks and the lakeshore. As a child we took many trips to the BWCA but aside from Gooseberry Falls we didn’t really stop at the state parks. I had no idea that there were so many state parks and that each of them was so peaceful. Both Waterfalls of Minnesota and Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore and More are great guidebooks and each provided a lot of help planning my trip. I wasn’t able to visit all of the waterfalls or state parks along the north shore but I plan on taking many more trips home.

1. Gooseberry Falls was always one of stops coming back from the BWCA when I was a child. Sometimes we went swimming or sometimes we just stopped to stretch our legs. Since then they have built a new visitor center and a walking bridge under the Hwy 61 bridge. You can now do an easy (some stairs) 1 hour loop and see the 3 tiers of waterfalls. There is also a great picnic area down by Lake Superior and many longer hiking and biking trails.

Click for directions to Gooseberry Falls

2. Beaver River Falls is one of Hwy 61’s biggest roadside waterfalls. This is a great waterfall for those that don’t feel like hiking. You are able to get out of your car and stand on the bridge to view the falls although there are some steep trails that lead down to the water.

Click for directions to Beaver River Falls

3. High Falls on the Baptism River is an impressive waterfall located at Tettegouche State Park. Gooseberry Falls gets all of the visitors but this one is a little harder to get to with fewer visitors. The trail leads to a viewpoint directly on top of the waterfall and then there are stairs that take you to the base of the waterfall where you can swim. Hikers can also visit Two Step Falls on a short detour back to the car.

Click for directions to High Falls (Tettegouche State Park)


4. Cross River Falls is another of Hwy 61’s roadside waterfalls near the Temperance River. This is the view from the Hwy 61 bridge but there are more waterfalls upstream for hikers.

Click for directions to Cross River Falls

5. Temperance River State Park‘s best waterfall inside a narrow gorge. The best views of the waterfall are actually from the top where the water disappears into the gorge. There are several other small waterfalls but this is a beautiful river hike. There is also a stunning view of a small bay with steep cliffs at the mouth of the Temperance River.

Click for directions to Temperance River State Park

6. Cascade River State Park is a series of nice waterfalls with steep cliffs that is easy to access from Hwy 61. Like many of the state parks along the north shore it connects to the Superior Hiking Trail. We hiked along the river from the state park to county road 45 and were picked up. This is a great intro to the Superior Hiking Trail and makes me want to plan a thru hike on the trail someday.

Click for directions to Cascade River State Park

7. High Falls on the Pigeon River is a major waterfall that deserves recognition in top 50 US waterfall lists. The Pigeon River also forms the US/Canada border and the falls can be viewed from either country. One fascinating part of Grand Portage State Park and the High Falls is that it is a cooperative project with the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and the Minnesota State park system. It isn’t as convenient to get there but this is the best waterfall in Minnesota (albeit shared with Canada).

One of my friends commented that the waterfall looks like a giant bear giving the middle finger. Can you see it?

Click for directions to the High Falls on the Pigeon River (Grand Portage State Park)

Southern Minnesota’s Waterfalls

Most normal people wouldn’t step off of an 11 hour flight from Asia and stop for a waterfall hike on the way home but I (and my sister and brother-in-law who were on the same flight) am not normal. We landed early in the afternoon and one of the most important things (in my experience) to get over jetlag quickly is to stay up until 9pm the first night no matter how tired you are. The short hike to Hidden Falls (#1 on this list below) was perfect. It wasn’t very difficult but we stayed active and jet lag was minimal for the trip.

My trip started at my father’s farm near Conger, Minnesota before spending a few days in the Twin Cities and finishing up on Minnesota’s North Shore. I had taken many trips to the BWCA as a child but other than Gooseberry Falls we didn’t stop at many of the waterfalls along Hwy 61. I am still surprised at how many and how big the waterfalls are up there but those will be shown in part 2 (3 parts) of this blog series. Other than Minnehaha Falls (not really southern Minnesota…) I had no idea that any waterfalls existed in southern Minnesota. Here are the five waterfalls that I visited in southern Minnesota.

  1. Hidden Falls at Nerstrand Big Woods State – Northfield, MN

Hidden Falls in Big Woods State Park was the biggest surprise for me on this list. The Minnesota and Mississippi river valleys have some hills so waterfalls aren’t a complete surprise but southcentral Minnesota is as flat as a pancake. Hidden Falls is only 8-10 feet tall but it is a broad fall and is very impressive after recent rains. It is only a short hike to the waterfall but there are 11 miles of hiking trails at Big Woods State Park for those wanting to stretch their legs a little more.

Click here for directions to Hidden Falls

2. Minnehaha Falls – Minneapolis, MN

Minnehaha Falls is Minnesota’s most popular waterfall since it is located in the center of Minneapolis. It will be crowded on weekends but the park is a lovely area to spend an afternoon in.

Click here for directions to Minnehaha Falls

3. Minneopa Falls at Minneopa State Park – Mankato, MN

Minneopa Falls was an unexpected surprise fairly close to my hometown. I had taken many trips to Mankato and even lived there for a month as a child (Vikings training camp was awesome) but Minneopa Falls wasn’t on my waterfall radar until I started planning my trip home. My expectations for Minneopa Falls were modest but we were pleasantly surprised by a beautiful 40 foot waterfall that nearly matches the more famous Minnehaha Falls.

In addition to the waterfall you can also visit a bison conservation area at Minneopa State Park. We saw about 8 bison in a meadow near Seppmann Mill. Only cars (DO NOT GET OUT) are allowed into the conservation area but there is a walking trail on the other side of the enclosure where you might have a better chance of seeing them.

Click here for directions to Minneopa Falls

4. Minnemishinona Falls – Mankato, MN

Until recently Minnemishinona Falls was on private property but Nicollet County took advantage of an opportunity and acquired the land. The waterfall and the overhanging cliff are pretty cool but I really wanted to be at the bottom of the waterfall instead of on the bridge. They only acquired 3 acres of land and the rest is private property. Please respect the neighbor’s land.

Click here for directions to Minnemishinona Falls

5. Vermillion Falls – Hastings, MN

Vermillion Falls is part of Hastings history with one its mills located right next to it. There is a nice park and a few miles of trails next to the river to explore within the town of Hastings.

Click here for directions to Vermillion Falls

These are certainly not all of southern Minnesota’s waterfalls but these are the ones that I visited during my trip home in June 2016. Hopefully I will visit a few more waterfalls on my next trip home. Do you have any favorites that aren’t on list that I must visit next time? Remember that this is only part 1 of my trip home. I still have another blog of waterfalls along the North Shore to write. That entire area is beautiful and we only visited a small part of it on this trip.

I would like to give a special thanks to Lisa Crayford’s ‘Waterfalls of Minnesota’ guidebook (connect with her on her waterfall FB page). She has directions to over 100 waterfalls in her book (just released in May 2016). I really enjoy taking waterfall photos and I love her technical perfection that she shows in the book. I have been given a few new ideas for tricky to photograph waterfalls.