[ 1400 Meter to Sea! ] Taiwan JinShuiYing Old Trail MTB Ride 台灣浸水營古道騎

[ 1400 Meter to Sea! ] Taiwan JinShuiYing Old Trail MTB Ride 台灣浸水營古道騎

Taiwan JinShuiYing Old Trail MTB Ride Summary

  • Group Ride
  • Starting/ending Location: JinShuiYing Old Trail Western Entrance 浸水營古道西入口
  • Bike Length: ~ 18 km. Elevation drop: ~ 1400 m to 0m.
    • Ask locals to drive you up: the road to entrance was narrow and bad.
    • Have a guide: This is not a dedicated MTB trail. There were stairs and cliff sections which required walking your bike.
  • Terrain styles:
    • Wet gravel rocks & rock surfaces.
    • Wet trail tree trunks.
    • Dry gravel rocks.
    • Dense roots & dirt.
    • Dirt.


Although Taiwan didn’t have official MTB trails, there were many unpaved “forest roads” (林道) that could ride mountain bikes. With this Taiwan long holidays a group of us decided to go to PingDong (屏東) and try out the long JinShuiYing Old Trail (浸水營古道).


JinShuiYing Old Trail was first built in Qing Dynasty more than 100 years ago, as the route to Taiwan eastern aboriginal villages. Starting from about 1400 meter elevation, the route went east and ended at TaiDong (台東) closer to the sea, with a total length of 18 km.


Ask locals to drive you up:

The road to entrance was narrow and not in good condition. Lots of pot holes, and meeting cars from the other direction was difficult.

Have a guide:

This is not a dedicated MTB trail. There were stairs and cliff sections which required walking your bike. Many wet sections required experienced person giving pre-warning. I would say JinShuiYing Old Trail was even considered difficult for hikers.


Surely you want to know when to stop and walk your bike.

Start: KaohSiung

Me and my friends first met up at KaohSiung, 2 hours drive from TaiChung. We gathered up and loaded our bikes and stuff into a van.

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Friend’s cool electric bike.

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Ready to go.

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Stop by a local rice bowl place to get our breakfast/lunch.

We then drove to PingDong and really to drive up the mountains.

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The mountains we would drive up and ride over.

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Great southern Taiwan mountains.

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After a long drive we arrived at JinShuiYing Old Trail east entrance. Time to gear up!

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Yes, you shouldn’t ride a cruiser on the trail.

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The entrance.




After gearing up we started our ride. The first section was a small uphill to reach the highest point and cross over mountain’s other side. Recent rain made the ground wet and rock slippery.



Rocks here were quite slippery. Sometimes it was easier to walk the bike 🙂





Near the top, trees were few and there was more grass.

VIDEO: ~1400 meter section


Do a bit grouping.




Typical Taiwan forest view: lots of different plants.





These wood crossing was tricky: you had to cross straight, else you would slip.

Down Hill to First Resting Pavilion

After the top, we started descending. Terrain here was rocky and had slippery lying trunks. The lying trunks were even more tricky, as you had to cross them perpendicular or else you slide and fell.


These nasty slippery lying trunks added more challenge to JinShuiYing Old Trail!

As JinShuiYing Old Trail was not a dedicated bike trail, there were stair sections that required walking your bike, unless you were a former down hill racer.

VIDEO: Friend DH on stairs!



Besides the stairs, the trail at this part was quite slippery, with wet roots and gravels.

VIDEO: Trails with wet roots and gravels!


First Resting Pavilion

Around 1050 meter elevation we reached the first resting pavilion, with a nice view facing south. It was time for lunch and some drone flying!


Here the ground began to dry out.





Cloud and dense forest.


Great uninhabited river valleys!



DRONE VIDEO: JinShuiYing Mountain View


Just a bit more stairs right next to the pavilion.

Dry Trail Section to 2nd Pavilion

After the first resting pavilion the trail became drier, making the ride a bit easier (still a lot of rocks though).

These rocks on the trail put heavy burden on our bikes. Sometimes too much that one of our bikes needed some CPR.


How many people it took to fix a bike’s shock?


Reaching the 2nd pavilion.


Dry Roots Section

After the 2nd pavilion, the trail became dry and had more dirt, making the trail comfortable to go faster down hill.

As this part of the trail was less traveled, there were sometimes falling trunks in the trail’s middle.


Trunk crossing + stairs!


The hole of Pangolins.

Going further down, some trail sections had quite a bit of roots, making the ride more fun.


Trail sections with lots of roots. Luckily this section was pretty dry. Otherwise it would be super slippery like this Germany ride.

At this part, unfortunately there was also some sections of narrow cliff crossing. A bit scary but it was ok.



Trail Exit

The last few km of JinShuiYing Old Trail was some nice smooth dirt trail, perfect for quick descend!


We were close to the riverbed.

The exit was on the riverbed, but first we had to cross a suspension bridge. Lol.



Official east JinShuiYing Old Trail entrance.

Riding on Riverbed!

To reach our vehicle pickup spot, we had to ride through some dry riverbed, which is AWESOME!






After a few km on the riverbed, we ended up at JiaLuoBan (加羅板) aboriginal village to catch our truck, and headed back to KaohSiung.


JinShuiYing Old Trail was really something unique for MTB ride. Even in the USA or Europe could you seldom find a trail like this that went all the way from 1400 meter high to around sea level, crossing all different trail conditions.

Nevertheless, you should still be very cautious when riding this trail. I truly hope that in the future the Taiwanese government could recognize MTB, and making this trail multiple-use.  With 3-hour MTB ride rather than 8 hour hike, JinShuiYing Old Trail would surly be more accessible and easier to maintain.

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