During our Raknus-Selu Trail adventures, we spent a night stopped beside Mingde Reservoir. Our host had told us that breakfast would be served at eight thirty, so when I woke up an hour early, I decided to sneak out—cup of coffee in hand—for a little wander around the easternmost portion of the lake.

Distance: About 1.2km.

Time: 15-30 minutes. With breakfast waiting, I completed this in 20 minutes.

Difficulty: 1/10 – This is a very easy stroll. The path is flat (although the surface is not smooth enough for a pushchair or wheelchair), and it’s short. Some stretches have benches, but not all.

Total ascent: Under ten metres!

Water: If you’re only planning on doing this small loop, it would be fine to go without.

Shade: Not very much shade.

Mobile network: Clear mobile network throughout.

Enjoyment: I wouldn’t go out of my way to return here, but listening to the birds sing on a quiet and misty morning was a very pleasant way to begin my day.

Route type: Loop

Permit: None needed

Jump to the bottom of this post for a trail map and GPX file.

I made a clockwise loop of the reservoir starting from Lupin Farmstead Carpark. Despite having been dry as a bone the day before, the road glistened with dampness from an unexpected torrential downpour that had woken us up in the early hours.

Opposite this B&B, take a right off the road and onto the wooden walkway that will take you closer to the water.

The walkway cuts along the back of a campsite. Glancing towards the tents, I saw several damp-looking camp chairs that had got a soaking overnight. The path also appears to have seen better days. A couple of the Miaoli locals we met over the course of our travels expressed their belief that Miaoli is an overlooked and underfunded region.

The water level in this small pond was noticeably lower than it had been the last time I was in the area (despite the misleading impression given by the bright green grass and rain-bearing clouds).

The path hugs the edge of the water along the southern side of the pool. I was thankful for the tree cover when it started to rain again.

The wooden pathway reaches its end beside a land god temple and a patch of wasteland which seems to be a dumping place for unwanted clothing. Turn right here and cut over the narrow strip of land separating this smaller eastern pool from the main body of Mingde Reservoir.

Looking east over where the water was meant to be was quite shocking. Taiwan is currently enduring a drought. Several years with no typhoons making landfall and problem with managing the existing water resources have left several southern cities no choice but to impose restrictions on water consumption.

Once you’re over on the far side, the path heads right again to follow the opposite shore back up to where you started. There’s another campsite here as well as a temple perched on a small hill (I didn’t pay it a visit on this occasion because I was feeling ready for breakfast). Thre are also a couple of companies offering SUP and kayaking experiences. It’s a wonder they haven’t gone out of business yet—they double hit of the pandemic and absence of water for watersports cannot be easy to endure.

The path rejoins the road at the carpark. For me, I had another 200 metres to go before sitting down to a breakfast of radish cakes and red bean mochi.

How to get to Mingde Reservoir

Google Maps address: This walk starts and ends at Lupin Farmstead carpark. There are plenty of free parking spaces for cars and scooters here.

GPS location: N24 35.230 E120 54.810

Public transport: There’s no public transport up to this end of the reservoir. That’s what led to us staying the night here.

Nearby trails:

  • Mount Moyan Trail
  • Raknus Selu – Day 8
  • Raknus Selu – Day 9

Mingde Reservoir Trail Map

GPX file available here on Outdoor Active. (Account needed, but the free one works just fine.)

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