The Seoul Trail: Section 1 Part 2 From Danggogae (Danggogye Station Line 4) to Hwarangdae Station (Line 6)

A long journey, but as with most journeys that are long, they are well worth the patience and effort. After a frigid January, we decided to take the next leg of the Seoul Trail in early February. Originally, we were going to break the first section into three parts, but as it turns out, the Danggogae to Hwarangdae leg of the journey was not nearly as strenuous. The highlight of the hike being a lookout point on the slopes of Buram Mountain (불암산). The overall hike was a distance of 9.2KM which we finished in under four hours.

IMG_2266

What to Bring: For this hike, I brought my hiking boots and to be quite honest, I didn’t really need them. In fact, they weighted me down a bit and if I were to repeat the hike, I would bring some good running shoes. That said, if you are an avid hiker, the boots might be more comfortable for you. We brought along some snacks (strawberries and beef jerky) and a couple of bottles of water. It was a nice cool day, so there wasn’t much need for too much water, but depending on the season, you will need to adjust how much liquid to bring. In the summer, I would recommend at least two litres of water. We did not see any refill stations on the trail, so keep this in mind if you are hiking in the warmer months.

How to get there: The easiest way to arrive at the second leg of part one of the Seoul Trail is to take the subway to Danggogae Station (Line 4) and depart from Exit 2. After departing from exit 2, make an immediate left and head up the street with the subway station on your left.

IMG_2227 IMG_2229

Weaving Our Way Through the Alleys of Danggogae: Surprisingly, this was the most difficult part of the hike in regards to direction. You will need to weave your way through the urban jungle before embarking on the calmness of the wilderness. After you depart from Danggogae station make a left and walk about 200 meters. You will come across an intersection with a green arrow pointing you in the right direction. The goal is to keep heading east towards Bulamsan, but it is going to require a little zig-zaging through the alleys of Danggogae.

IMG_2231 IMG_2234 IMG_2237 IMG_2238 IMG_2239 IMG_2241 IMG_2242 IMG_2243 IMG_2246 IMG_2248 IMG_2250 IMG_2252 IMG_2254 IMG_2255 IMG_2258 IMG_2259 IMG_2260

The Seoul Trail: Hakdoam Branch Road (2.7KM): The remnants of winter are upon us. The weather is getting warmer, and that beautiful sheet of white snow has melted into the dreary brown of the early spring. Dead leaves from the previous fall that were housed under a thin sheet of snow, partly disintegrated will soon complete the circle of life, for the next spring. It’s a strange time, a paradoxical moment of the year that hovers between death and life. A moment of purgatory in the circle of life. Although it is not the most photogenic time of year, it still has its briefs flashes of beauty.

We didn't notice this booth on the first leg of the section, but it allows your to stamp your progress as you complete The Seoul Trail. There is another one at the end of section one.

We didn’t notice this booth on the first leg of the section, but it allows your to stamp your progress as you complete The Seoul Trail. There is another one at the end of section one.

IMG_2273 IMG_2277 IMG_2278 IMG_2280 IMG_2283 IMG_2285 IMG_2287

IMG_2292

IMG_2294 IMG_2299 IMG_2300 IMG_2302 IMG_2303 IMG_2307 IMG_2310 IMG_2314 IMG_2316 IMG_2319 IMG_2322 IMG_2327 IMG_2330 IMG_2334 IMG_2341 IMG_2344 IMG_2349 IMG_2350 IMG_2353

IMG_2355 IMG_2356 IMG_2360 IMG_2362 IMG_2364 IMG_2366 IMG_2367 IMG_2369 IMG_2370 IMG_2372 IMG_2374 IMG_2378 IMG_2379 IMG_2380 IMG_2383 IMG_2386 IMG_2387 IMG_2388 IMG_2389 IMG_2390 IMG_2393 IMG_2394 IMG_2396 IMG_2397 IMG_2399

Bulamsan Trail Observation Deck: One of the highlights of the hike and a perfect place to get some great photos of Bulamsan and surrounding area. Unfortunately, the smog was strong that day, so some of the photos are a little foggy. That said, on a clear day, the view is breathtaking.

IMG_2407 IMG_2409 IMG_2410 IMG_2411 IMG_2414 IMG_2415 IMG_2416 IMG_2418 IMG_2419 IMG_2420 IMG_2421 IMG_2422 IMG_2424

A Little More Rugged Outdoors and Some Korea War Bunkers: After we left the observation deck, the most strenuous part of the hike commenced. It was a relatively slow incline, but at the end were about 100 steps to the top of a hill. Unfortunately, this incline did not have a great view as it was covered with bush. However, there was a cool bunker left over from the war. JU was brave enough to go in and scope it out. IMG_2425 IMG_2429 IMG_2430 IMG_2432 IMG_2434 IMG_2435 IMG_2436 IMG_2437 IMG_2440 IMG_2441 IMG_2443 IMG_2444 IMG_2449 IMG_2453 IMG_2455 IMG_2456 IMG_2457 IMG_2458 IMG_2462 IMG_2464 IMG_2468 IMG_2470 IMG_2471 IMG_2475 IMG_2478 IMG_2481 IMG_2482 IMG_2484 IMG_2486 IMG_2488 IMG_2489 IMG_2493 IMG_2495 IMG_2498 IMG_2500 IMG_2508 IMG_2509 IMG_2510 IMG_2516 IMG_2517 IMG_2518

bunker seoul trail 2

He doesn’t know it yet, but Ryan’s already dead.

bunker seoul trail 1

IMG_2520 IMG_2522 IMG_2525

The final 3KMs – Gunfire and Gates: The final 3km of the hike leads you into a strange area. On your right is a fenced area which surrounds a gun range and on your left is another fenced in area which we suspect is some type of training area for the military. As you descend back into the streets of Seoul, painted murals on the walls greet you, as well as a beautiful gate for entering into or in or case, leaving Buramsan. After this, it is just walking down sidewalks and under highway overpasses. This is a spot for a rest if you are planning to do the next leg.

IMG_2527 IMG_2529 IMG_2531 IMG_2536 IMG_2538 IMG_2540 IMG_2541 IMG_2543 IMG_2547 IMG_2551 IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2554 IMG_2558 IMG_2559 IMG_2562 IMG_2563 IMG_2566 IMG_2569 IMG_2570 IMG_2579 IMG_2581 IMG_2582 IMG_2583 IMG_2585 IMG_2586 IMG_2590 IMG_2592 IMG_2593 IMG_2594 IMG_2596 IMG_2599 IMG_2605 IMG_2607 IMG_2610 IMG_2612 IMG_2613 IMG_2615 IMG_2617 IMG_2618 IMG_2619 IMG_2622 IMG_2626 IMG_2630 IMG_2632 IMG_2633 IMG_2634 IMG_2637 IMG_2640 IMG_2641

Final Thoughts: Although Danggogae to Hwarangdae is an easier hike, it was not as rewarding as Dobongsan to Danggogae. Maybe it was the fresh coat of snow in the first section, or maybe it was just the feeling of doing something new, but I personally preferred the first the section of the hike as opposed to the second. That said, for a new hiker, I think Danggogae to Hwarangdae would be a perfect starting point because it is not a difficult hike and you do get a few opportunities for some great views. Next week, we start from Hwarangdae Station and start section two of the Seoul Trail! Until then, keep on ROKing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: