Thursday, September 25, 2014

After-school Hiking and Walks

I love hiking but I'm low on time so I try to get mini-hikes in after school, if the weather is good. We're going into fall now so the hiking will be sublime. Here are some of my favourite local hills that can be hiked in an hour or two.

Chimsan Park

This park has lots of little hiking paths that branch off the main path. A nice way to do it is to start with a steep climb up the stairs at the southern end and then walk a loop on the hiking paths. There's a pretty pagoda and some fitness equipment at the north end, at the peak. It's usually not too busy, and it's close to the Sincheon river. There is a bike rack near the stairs at the south end. Otherwise, take a bus or cab to Chilseong Emart and walk to the park from there.


I took a cab to one of the buildings that was near the start of a trail, and then hunted around for the start. This hill is a little steep but you can get to the peak in about 15 minutes if you try, and then walk along the ridge until you feel like going down again. It's not as developed as most of the other parks. I liked the wildness of it. For an extra challenge, you could follow it with the Beomeo Trek. 

This is the route I took: 

Beomeo Trek
North of Muhaksan and a short walk away, Beomeo has two parks that are right next to each other, so if the big one isn't big enough you can follow it with the other park. 

Die-hards with a free day could attempt the Beomeo Loop. The map says 2hrs 42 mins but it really depends on your own speed and how much you want to push yourself. I think Beomeo has one of the prettiest parks in Daegu.

The saddest hill in Daegu: Waryeongsan

This crescent-shaped hill has a very sad story attached to it. From wikipedia: 

The Frog Boys (Korean개구리소년) were a group of five South Korean schoolboys who disappeared on March 26, 1991. The boys had gone to Mount Waryong to catch frogs but never returned. Their bodies were found 11 years later. Although it was discovered that they had been murdered, the case has never been solved. 

Many of their families quit their jobs to look for them, and ended up losing everything. It's a terrible tragedy and gives the hill a hushed, eerie feeling. Flower petals cover the paths in spring and it's hard to believe that something like that could have happened in such a peaceful place. 

Yeonap Park

This is the hill across the river from Chimsan Park. I decided I wanted to see the temple/memorial hall(?) I'd spotted from a distance up close, so I walked in the direction of it and kept walking until I found a way up the hill. I ended up walking up a really steep road, then finding a path that led off into the forest. I wasn't even sure if I was going the right way. But I kept going. I ended up behind the temple, peeking over an ancient wall. I followed the wall to the front, walking over piles of broken traditional roof tiles, but the temple was closed. Oh well, it was worth a try. The suburbs behind it are full of old buildings and Buddhist temples, and it was a really interesting walk. I bumped into only one other hiker, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds this is a good one. 

The memorial hall (closed)
And for those of you who hate hills, here are some of my favourite walks in Daegu:

Sincheon River
The river cuts through the center of the city, and you can walk in either direction for miles. Make sure you're on the West side of it as you head south, because there are no exits on the east side for a solid 5-7km stretch.  If you head north and then west, you'll walk through a beautiful wetland reserve, and can see lots of cranes, storks and other long-legged birds. North and then East will take you through a bizarre sculpture/farm park and close to Costco and the EXCO center. 

Yulha Sports Field to Dongdaegu
Walking along the river, cross at the bridge to the War Memorial Museum, and then walk to Dongdaegu Train Station. It's a long walk with a few hills but there are lots of interesting things along the way, such as surprise camels. 
The Junggu Walking Tours
A bunch of alleys in Downtown Daegu have been laid out as walking tour trails for tourists. You start at one end and meander along the route, reading the signs and looking at interesting things. There is an app in the android store that you can download which provides you with maps and more information. 

And then...
Sometimes I just walk. 

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