Liyu Lake is located at the foot of Liyu Mountain, in Shoufeng Township's Chinan Village. It is only 18 kilometers from Hualien City, and is one of the older scenic areas. Liyu Lake is about 1.6 kilometers in length, and 930 meters in width, making it the largest inland lake in Hualien County. The original inhabitants called it "Dapo", while the Ami called it "Banao". It was later named Liyu Lake (Carp Lake) after Liyu Mountain, located by its east banks.
According to geological research, a river known as the Gutonglan River used to be located between Liyu Mountain, Tongmen Mountain and Mugua Mountain. The nearby Wenlan River, Lao River, Baibao River and Pinghe River were all branches of the Gutonglan River, and the current location of Liyu Lake is where a wider part of the Gutonglan River was situated. Due to erosion, a river-capture phenomenon occurred between the Pinghe and Baibao Rivers, and between the Lao and Baibao Rivers. This caused the Lao River to change direction, and the waters of the Gutonglan River decreased. In addition, due to the crumbling of the alluvial fan of the Wenlan River to the north of Liyu Lake which resulted in silt deposits, Liyu Lake’s outlet was blocked. Also, the gushing of the Lao River's subterranean drainage has helped to create this barrier lake that has become the present Liyu Lake.
Due to an abundance of natural travel and recreation resources, Liyu Lake was developed into a well-known scenic spot early on. After the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area was established, more planning followed, allowing Liyu Lake to become a site of many varied recreational activities, such as light-boat sailing, the construction of a single-lane road to encircle the lake, and footpaths for strolling along the shore. Liyu Lake has a visitor center where visitors can find detailed information on all aspects of traveling. Liyu Lake’s shore recreation area has developed a variety of water activities and recreation facilities which are suitable for the whole family. The bicycle path that circles the lake is around 5 kilometers long, and allows cyclists to experience the pleasant natural beauty of the lakes and mountains from their vehicles. The 601 meter-tall Liyu Mountain has many forest footpaths which allow hikers to enjoy the birds, flowers, and scenery, making it one of the best exercise choices. If you are not in a hurry to leave Liyu Lake, there is a fully equipped, up-to-date campsite in beautiful surroundings, just several hundred meters south of the lake. The visitors can experience outdoor recreation with the sky for a ceiling, and the ground for a bed.
On the opposite side of the road separating the road from Liyu Lake is a restaurant and store. The restaurant serves specialties like taro pastries, sweet potato pastries and shrimp cakes, and all of the ingredients are locally produced. These specialties are very popular among the locals, too.
Address：No.100, Huantan N. Rd., Shoufeng Township, Hualien County 974, Taiwan (R.O.C.)(Take the road on the east side at 16K, Provincial Highway No.9 C)Opening Hours of visitor center：08:30~17:30
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