Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kangneung Vicinity Hiking Trails

I've been visiting Kangneung for its beauty and a quick place to escape with water, sunshine and nature for the past several years. By express bus it takes about 3 hours from Seoul, add an hour for subway transportation in Seoul and an hour of local bus to get to the lake/beach and the 5-hour trip is doable, even for a day-trip if arriving early and leaving on one of the late buses.
Anyway, in the past year or two there has been a lot of development around Kangneung area. The path circling the lake has been broadened and exercise equipment set up in a couple of spots, scenic benches and tiny pavilions are scattered around the lake, but even better is the growing number of extensive hiking trails connecting the lake, different parts of Kangneung and wandering out to various beaches and through rice fields. So far, 14 color-coded trails have been built, varying from 9.4 kilometers to 18.5 kilometers. At present, there are 74.4 kilometers of trail for people to wander along. When a person gets to the express bus terminal in Kangneung, a tour map of the trails can be picked up at the tourist information booth in front of the terminal. The pictures below are snippets from the tour map. And would I just love love love to hike all of these trails as the setting can be quite picturesque here still. 
This map is the extensive 74.4 kilometer network of hiking trails that have been built so far in the Kangneung area. (I think construction is mostly complete although I did see evidence of landscaping in some spots and wonder why when nature in its raw beauty is so much more beautiful - and easy to 'care for' - than human landscaped scenes.)

These particular trails that weave through or go near the relatively newly built wind-power generators are some trails that I would like to go on to see the great (but very destructive) generators. So far, these generators have not been productive, and since they are no longer one or two years old, tours don't seem to be offered anymore. I spent hours trying to figure out how to get a tour of the compound but it seems they've been curtailed. I am very much against these generators for several reasons, the first being that they are built in air-streams which birds use for flight, which means that birds fly into these things all the time and dead birds pile up under them. I wanted to see if people were allowed near enough to see this kind of destruction of wildlife and wanted to ask questions about the bird population before and since. However, I don't think people would be allowed near the generators as I've read that these cause great buzzing in the head and are harmful for humans biorhythms. I have so many questions about these things!

Trail #5 goes around Kyungpo Lake, connects with the yellow marked trail or goes kind of along the east sea beach down to a neighboring village. Trail #5 is the one I plan to walk first, and then spend the night in 슨바람다리 and then the next day take Trail #6 inland. Trail #6 goes along a relatively unpopulated stretch so the clean air, the leisurely or brisk walk and just the pleasure of being away from stifling Seoul would such a pleasure to enjoy!

OK, I've taken many pictures and shared them from Kyungpo Lake, but here are some more. The beauty of the lake is so spectacular in the fall. Some of these pictures were taken in a light autumnal rain. The birds didn't mind so I didn't either.

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