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Forest Trails in Seoul, South Korea
Did you know that the oldest and largest cities in Korea are built among mountains and forests? Naturally, hiking and walking are popular activities in these cities, and ensuring public access to nature is a priority for the government. Though neighborhoods in Seoul are often bleak, grey, and treeless, many of them are fortunately connected to adjacent mountain or forest pathways that weave their way through and around the city.
Highlighting the national commitment to nature access, Seoul is home to Bukhansan National Park, one of few urban national parks, and the world’s most visited national park per area. Outside the park, the city also features hundreds of other forest trails, including the Eunpeyong Trail (featured in the film above) and the 157-km (98 mile) long Seoul Trail which takes walkers through mountains, forests, and fields to circle the entire city.
On weekends, you’ll see subway cars and trails alike, filled with people escaping the built city, for a picnic on a mountain top. On work days too, we met several urban dwellers who get up early just so they can walk to Seoul Metro (the subway system) through a forest. Indeed, when in Seoul this is one of our favorite daily activities, too.