Xinshan Dream Lake (aka Xinshan Menghu) is a beautiful lake in Xizhi District of New Taipei. It is a popular place to stop for couples and Instagrammers due to its dream like aura. Also you can take the steep climb up Xinshan and enjoy some amazing views of east Taipei and Keelung. Besides taking photos, this Xinshan Dream Lake is a great place to relax and enjoy nature.
The rock formations that form the Xinshan Dream lake hike formed as sediment under the ocean millions of years ago, and was later uplifted thanks to the collision of the Eurasian and Phillipine plates. The rocks are mainly sedimentary and are part of the same formation that forms the special rock formations on the northern coast around Keelung, and the waterfalls in Pingxi.
Xinshan sits at 499 meters above sea level, while dream lake is 325 meters above sea level, which means the hike gains 175 meters from dream lake (in less than .5 KM), making it a short, steep hike.
Dream Lake get's its name from the thick fog that covers it during winter months, making it look like a dreamscape. Dream Lake is a popular spot for couples, wedding photography, and Instagram photos.
Moderate: About an hour hike round trip, steep and difficult climbing through the forest with aid of ropes.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: Take Xiwan Road (夕萬路) from Xizhi until you come to the turnoff the Xinshan Menghu on the right. It is a small one lane road up the mountain. There is scooter parking and limited car parking on the side of the road. You may need to park further down and hike up if you drive a car. The Lake trail is at the end of the road.
By Bus: Take Dongnan Bus F910 from Xizhi Park about 40 minutes up the mountain to Xiwan Raod Bridge No. 3. From there you have to hike up to Xinshan before you come down to dream lake. Or you can get off at Menghu Intersection, but it is a long walk up the road.
Please see below:
Check out our drone footage of Xinshan and Menghu below, for an overview of the entire area.
I have been to Xinshan Dream Lake once by scooter. It is a short drive from my house and it is a well advertised hike from Xizhi, so I was always curious.
Coming from Xizhi, you will pass the Lincoln Apartment buildings (林肯大郡), part of which infamously collapsed during a landslide during the 921 earthquake, killing 28 people.
When you get to the end of the road, you will run into a bunch of shops which are trying to make a money grab at this popular trail.
The trail runs in a giant circle, but we only did the leg from Dream Lake to the top of Xinshan.
Pavilion near the parking lot.
Trail up to Dream Lake.
Paved steps up to Dream Lake.
More paved steps to dream lake, and an untied dog which luckily was friendly.
The first view of Dream Lake.
Pavilion next to the lake.
Rope swing that swings over the lake, a perfect photo op.
Another view of the tree swing.
Panorama of the lake.
People relaxing on a floating dock.
Heart shaped thingy for photos.
Wooden dock on the lake.
Another view of the dock. This lake is so small in America we would definitely call it a pond. But it is a nice, peaceful place to hang out.
View of the dock from the other side of the lake.
View from behind the lake.
Yeah I was lucky with the weather that day. I thought it was just a few minute hike from Menghu lake (judging from the signs which I am sure I recall only a 15 minute walk to the top) but it turned out to be a super steep butt kicking hike to the top that took the better part of 40 minutes.
From the get go, there were rope climbs. I was carrying a baby on my back, so not the hike I was prepared for. Also, this part of the rope looked like it could snap at any moment.
This is probably the best view of Dream Lake from the Trail. But you have to stand on a cliff to get this shot.
Gnarly hike up this trail. It is much steeper than it looks.
It may not seem like it, but this is nearly vertical. You can tell by the steps in the ground.
And there are roots everywhere on the trail.
Finally made it to the top, and we get a great view of Wuzhishan.
There are lots of boulders at the top, which make for good shots.
View of Taipei from one of the boulders.
View of Xizhi from the top.
View of Keelung.
View of Wuzhishan.
Panorama from the top.
View of the rocks at the top, eroded by wind and rain.
Sun shining from behind Wuzhishan.
Another view of the mountain scenery.
View of Xiwan Road up to Wuzhishan.
View with Taipei in the background.
Closeup of Taipei.
View of Xizhi, Nangang, and Neihu.
Downtown Xizhi below.
View toward Keelung.
View of Keelung Harbor and Keelung Island in the background.
View toward Wanli.
Closeup on Dream Lake from above.
Another view from above Dream Lake.
For the full circular hike, you can check out this blog by Taiwan Trails and Tales.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs around Taiwan!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.