Being dog owners ourselves, we’re constantly looking for dog-friendly hiking options. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite routes around the area to help take some of the guess work out of your weekend adventure in the countryside. As a rule of thumb, Eco-Parks and National Parks are typically NOT dog friendly (there are exceptions as you will see below). Also, please be respectful of other hikers that may not be comfortable around your “large” dog. Keep them leashed when necessary, clean up after them and don’t let them kill any of the wildlife 🙂
Mudeung National Park (or any NP for that matter) doesn’t exactly scream “dog friendly”, but Mudeung is unique in a few key ways that make it a bit more accessible for you and your pup. In short, it’s very large and was only recently given national park status. Provincial parks, Mudeung’s former rank, aren’t as heavily funded and therefor lack the strict regulations found in national parks. They’re usually free so there is no reason to limit the number of access points and trailheads leading into the mountains can be found in just about every village in the countryside. We have one right in our front yard that connects to Sosaewon, Shikyoungjung, and a massive network of trails throughout the surrounding mountains. These types of trails are dog friendly and usually much less crowded!
Continue reading “Hiking: Mudeung National Park (Shinseondae) – Dog Friendly Route”
Destination: Byeonsanbando National Park / Wido Island
This trip to the Buan peninsula had been canceled twice previously, so even though I got rained out on the last day it was still labeled a success. The entire area is beautiful and offers excellent coastal roads for cycling (didn’t do much hiking due to the incredible heat during mid-August). Oddly enough the biggest challenge was finding food!
Continue reading “Bike’n Hike (XII): Byeongsanbando National Park / Wido Island”
Destination: Jirisan National Park
Cycling: 164 km
Hiking: 20 km
Jirisan National Park, the destination of the 9th Bike’n Hike, is downright intimidating. It commands a lot of superlatives (biggest, oldest, highest) and having cycled and hiked there on separate occasions, I knew exactly what I was in for. I could have easily canceled the trip for any number of reasons; thunderstorms were on the way and it wasn’t exactly the best time for a three-day bike tour. Truth be told, I was just afraid I wouldn’t make it to the finish line! In fact I did make it and it wasn’t all that dramatic. Fun actually. Here’s all the gory details:
It’s all much more scenic than it looks…the weather wasn’t cooperating and the early morning light wasn’t helping either. Just past the lake you’ll pick up 15, but it’s not long after (7km) that you’ll need to jump on 22. You need to follow 22 until you find 18, which takes you directly to the park entrance (Hwaeomsa), where you’ll find accommodations and food. Sounds confusing, but these roads are all well marked…just keep heading towards either Suncheon or Gurye. Additionally it’s top-notch cycling! Gorgeous valleys and no major climbs to worry about. Wind is more of an issue than elevation.
Day 2 (hiking): Hwaeomsa to Nogodan Ridge
Day 2 of course started out with more bibimbap, before entering the park and walking the kilometer or so to Hwaeomsa Temple. The trail up the mountain starts just behind the temple, and while you do have the option of simply walking around the temple, I highly recommend walking through the temple instead. It’s an impressive temple. Very well maintained and very active. Chanting and drums at 9am is a pretty fun start to any day of hiking. Once you walk out the small back gate of the temple, turn right and look for the wooden bridge. For the next 3+ hours you will be hiking uphill!
Unfortunately this park entrance, the closest entrance in terms of cycling, doesn’t offer anything in terms of a “loop” hike. You don’t have much option but to hike 10km up to the top and then head back down the way you came. It definitely isn’t an easy hike and takes a solid three hours to get to the top (at least two heading down). The last two kilometers are by far the steepest and slowest. Not very many people on the trail during this trip so it was nice to have the forest to myself for once.
Day 3 (cycling): Jirisan National Park to TDH – 84 kilometers
When you head out of Guyre, stay on road 17 and follow the river to Gokseong. Pretty easy! If nothing else look for this MASSIVE bridge.
With stops for lunch and snacks it took me a little over five hours to get home. Plenty of time left in the afternoon for a nap and a BBQ!