Every weekend, Seoulites of all ages head out to the hills and mountains that surround the city. Autumn is a particularly popular time for hiking. While Seoul is not as well served with parks as cities in some other countries, the city and its immediate vicinity have a wealth of hiking trails. Sundays are especially crowded as that is the one day almost everyone has off work/school.
There are a number of hiking groups made of up expat and Korean members, including the International Hikers Club. For more information on scheduled hikes, check out K4E's What's Going On section.
Seoul Hiking Club goes hiking every Saturday. All fees go toward supporting the hikes and the club web site. Members are either Expats or English-speaking Koreans. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you want to join.
Seoul Hiking Group organises hikes and other events 3-4 weekends a month. A reguar event is HOW IS (Hiking On Wednesdays In Seoul), a free night hike in and around Seoul. Contact: Jason T Chun, coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seoul International Hiking Club: email@example.com - meets every Saturday generally (occasionally on a Sunday and occasionaly has over night trips). SIHC operates with volunteers and participation is free of charge. Participants include Expats and English-speaking Koreans. The only fees are usually for transpotation/accomodation costs. SIHC provides K4E with information on its weekely hikes. See What's Going On.
The Royal Asiatic Society (RAS) also offers some hiking opportunities, but it's not a regular thing.
Some Walks In and Around Seoul:
Bukhansan and Dobongsan: to the north of the city is a National Park, the southern part of which is called Bukhansan while the northern part is Dobongsan. Walking maps are available from the City Hall Tourist Office. The walks in Bukhansan generally start around the Gugi and Bukak Tunnels and are rated easy to medium. The National Park ha plenty of historic temples and relics.
Bugak Skyway No 2 opened up to the public for the first time since 1968 in late 2009. The path, which starts on the border between Seongbuk-gu and Jongno-gu, is 1.9km long and follows the path taken by the 31 North Korean commandos who attempted to assault Cheong Wa Dae on Jan 21, 1968. Called "the DMZ inside Seoul," the path has been off-limits to civilians, and as a result enjoys a well-preserved natural environment. The route, called the Kim Shin-jo Route (after the leader of the commandos), is best approached via Exit 6 of Hansung University Station, Line 4, Stop 419. From there, take a village bus and get off at Seongbuk-dong Residents Center and walk in the direction of Haneul Maru. You should be able to find the start of the route from there.
Namsan is an easy stroll above the Grand Hyatt Hotel. You have the choice of staying on the path or climbing the stairs. A lot of people come to Namsan to walk their dog(s).
Ansan Park can be accessed via Yonseil University/Severance Hospital or Seoul Foreign School grounds. Bongwana Temple is worth a visit.
Inwangsan is located in the Downtown area. Starting from Sajik Park near Gyeongbok Palace, the walk is along the old city walk and has beautiful views over the city and Blue House. No cameras or mobile phones are allowed. The walk is easy to medium.
South of the River is Gwanak-gu. Located around Seoul National University, it offers many walking trails. Located in a beautiful forest, near the town of Sungnam, is the mountain fortress of Namhansansung. Walks are easy.
K4E Editor: Korea4Expats want to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, so if you notice an error or omission in the contents above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a favourite walking trail do let us know about it.
Last Updated on 2013-01-14
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