The Breathtaking Mingchih Forest Recreation Area in Taiwan

The Mingchih Forest Recreation area.
The Mingchih Forest Recreation Area is a famous resort in northern Taiwan's Yilan County. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

The Mingchih Forest Recreation Area is a spectacular resort in Yilan County’s Datong Township in northern Taiwan. As Mingchih’s Chinese name (literally bright lake) suggests, the resort features a beautiful artificial alpine lake with crystal blue water. 

Please watch the following video of “The Breathtaking Mingchih Forest Recreation Area in Taiwan.”

Embraced by high mountains, the resort stands at a height of 1,150 meters (3,772 feet) above sea level. It is the highest point of the Northern Cross-island Highway, one of Taiwan’s three breathtaking east-west mountain routes. 

Mingchih Forest Recreation Area is a fantastic destination for vacation year-round.
Mingchih Forest Recreation Area is a fantastic destination for vacation year-round. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Covering an area of around 3 hectares (7.4 acres), the recreation area also boasts beautiful forest landscapes, as the lake is surrounded by forests thick with planted cryptomeria and old-growth cypress.

Mingchi Forest Recreation Area is surrounded by lush trees and flowers.
Mingchih Forest Recreation Area is surrounded by lush trees and flowers. (Image: Julia Fu via Nspirement)

Besides the charming ambiance, the recreation area also provides visitors with a good chance of seeing wild animals, ranging from Formosan macaques, squirrels, Mandarin ducks, mallards, and various species of birds and butterflies.

Mingchih Forest Recreation Area has many trails with splendid views.
Mingchih Forest Recreation Area has many trails with splendid views. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

With its distinctive natural beauty and unique location, Mingchih has won itself a lovely name as the “Pearl of the North Cross-Island Highway.”

History

Mingchih was originally called “Momo Bale” by the Atayal people, which means the “pond at the top.” It was renamed “Chiduan (池端)” by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation period. 

Mingchi Lake is surrounded by a spectacular walking trail.
Mingchi Lake is surrounded by a spectacular walking trail. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

In 1965, when late president Chiang Chingkuo visited “Chiduan” and found that it was as beautiful as a bright lake, he then renamed it Minchi. Currently, it is one of the eight forest recreation areas managed by the Veterans Affairs Council. The Mingchih Forest Recreation Area has been open to the public since October 10, 1993.

The trails in Mingchih Forest Recreation Area are well designed and easy to walk.
The trails in Mingchih Forest Recreation Area are well designed and easy to walk. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Mingchih Divine Tree

Standing strikingly outside the entrance of the resort, the Mingchih Divine Tree is one of the outstanding features of Mingchih. It is a nearly 1,500-year-old red cypress that is 31.6 meters (104 ft) in height and 11.62 meters (38 ft) in circumference.

The Mingchih Divine Tree is one of the symbolic features of the Mingchih Forest Recreation Area. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

The charming lake

Often shrouded by a cloudy mist, Mingchi Lake is surrounded by a footpath with captivating views. Besides a cute little island in the center of the lake, there are some dead redwood trunks standing in the water. It creates an abstract ambiance for the lake and makes it even more charming. Another good thing about the lake is that there is a lookout pavilion on the lake, where a female cello player often performs relaxing music to soothe visitors.

A cello player performs relaxing music at the pavilion on Mingchi Lake.
A cello player performs relaxing music at the pavilion on Mingchi Lake. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Fairy Tale Walking Trail

The walking trail was built along the terrain within the matrix arrangement of tree plantations. It also incorporated the fascinating fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the construction of the trail, which makes it more fun when walking on it.

The tails in the forests of Mingchih are well designed and comfortable to walk.
The tails in the forests of Mingchih are well designed and comfortable to walk. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Commemorative Forest

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the forest on the other side of the Mingchi Lake was named the “Commemorative Forest for the Hundred Years of Sun Yat-sen” in 1964.

The Commemorative Forest for the Hundred Years of Sun Yat-sen in Mingchih Recreation Area.
The Commemorative Forest for the Hundred Years of Sun Yat-sen in Mingchih Recreation Area. (Image: Julia Fu via Nspirement)

Covering about 2 hectares (5 acres), the forest is where the Mingchi Nursery is located. Since there are over 18 families, 38 genera, and 50 species of ferns in the forest, it was renamed the Fern Garden.

There are two wooden walking paths in the Fern Garden. The “Woodland Classroom” for ferns and the two-tiered viewing deck were constructed along the paths, and these allow visitors to learn more about nature from different perspectives and forest ecology.

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  • Billy Shyu

    Billy used to work for the Taiwanese government, and has a liking for the beauty of nature and authentic traditional culture. After his retirement, he has dedicated himself to writing articles on the beauty of Taiwan, traditional culture, and other interesting topics. He will continue to share more interesting articles with our readers

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