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Trekking away from virus fears

May 23, 2020 - 16:01 By Im Eun-byel
While the COVID-19 still poses a threat in South Korea, it is May, considered the queen of all seasons here.

Though it may be risky to visit crowded places, taking a walk in a remote place can be a way to cheer ourselves up in this blissful weather, while taking precautions against the virus.

Trekkers should wear mask at all times, keep a safe distance from others and use hand sanitizers. Using a personal vehicle, if possible, is an option. Also, gatherings for eating or drinking after trekking should be avoided.

For trekking sites, The Korea Herald and the Korea Tourism Organization suggest the following options.

Yongmasan, Achasan Trail 
(Korea Tourism Organization)

12.6 kilometers

Those who opt for a quick getaway while staying in the heart of Seoul can visit Yongmasan, Achasan Trail.

Achasan, located in eastern Seoul, is a favored hiking, trekking spot for Seoulites. It is not much of a hike, as the mountain is not steep, and 300-meter high above sea level. Wooden decks are laid out along the trail.

The mountain top offers a panoramic view of the Han River and the cityscape of eastern Seoul. Lotte World Tower is visible, too.

The Achasan trail is gradually linked to Yongmasan trail, in total making a 157-kilometer long course that surrounds the eastern part of Seoul.

Near the Gwangnaru Station, Yukgaejang restaurants, serving spicy beef soup, line up, offering a hearty meal for trekkers.

Seokmodo Sangju Cost Road 
(Korea Tourism Organization)

Ganghwa, Incheon

Seokmodo Sangju Cost Road, situated in Ganghwa, one-hour drive west of Seoul, overlooks the eastern part of Seokmodo. Though situated on an island, the trail is easy to approach by car via Seokmo Bridge.

The trail landscape slowly changes from mountains, fields to the ocean. Before the beginning of the forest trail, a pavilion sits, functioning as an outdoor shelter for tired trekkers.

Nearby, there is Minmeoru Beach, highly popular as a free camping site, where visitors can observe the sunset. Bomunsa, a sacred temple built in AD 635, is also situated nearby. 

Seonjaryeong Windmill Trail
(Korea Tourism Organization)

Gangneung, Gangwon Province

Seonjaryeong Windmill Trail, one of the 22 trails of Baugil in Gangwon Province, runs along the mountain range of Baekdudaegan, often referred to as the “spine” of the Korean Peninsula.

Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch and the nation’s largest wind power plant complex create a spectacle sight. Seonjaryeong is 1,157-meter above sea level, but the trail begins at 850-meter high point. The top is a plateau, full of wild flowers from spring to fall.

Other trails of Baugil are worth exploring too, being nature-friendly roads that stretch about 400 kilometers. Bau means rock in the Gangwon Province dialect and gil means road in Korean. 

Homi Coastal Trail 
(Korea Tourism Organization)

Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province.

Situated in Homigot, a small islet jutting out into the East Sea, Homi Coastal Trail allows trekkers to observe the beautiful scenery of the coastlines of Pohang.

As some of the scenes from “Samguk Yusa” (“Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms”), an extensive book that covers the legends, folktales and history of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, are based on the places on the trail, trekkers can, in a way, walk through the history of Korea.

The trail is situated near Guryongpo, an old port where the recently aired smash-hit drama “When the Camellia Blooms” was shot at. Homigot Sunrise Square is a famous spot for observing the sunrise on New Year’s Day, as it is the first place on land here to see the sunrise.

Yudalsan Dullegil 
(Korea Tourism Organization)

Mokpo, South Jeolla Province

Yudalsan is often said to be one of the most beautiful mountains here. Even before being officially designated as a trekking trail, Yudalsan Dullegil was often visited by nearby residents.

Starting out from the Yudalsan parking lot, the trail visits the famous sightseeing spots of Mokpo, including Fisherman Park, Mokpo Shisa, Dalseongsa, Sculpture Park and Nakjodae.

Though a nature-friendly forest walk, the trail overlooks the Mokpo Bridge. At night, when the lights are on, the Mokpo Bridge creates a stunning view.

By Im Eun-byel (