Here Are The Best Nature Parks in South Korea for Refreshing Walks!

Here Are The Best Nature Parks in South Korea for Refreshing Walks!

These nature retreats offer more than you could ask for.

When you find yourself in the Land of the Morning Calm, steal a getaway to these nature parks in South Korea for a rejuvenating experience! These nature parks offer a retreat with more than you could ask for. 

1. Jirisan National Park

Jirisan National Park nature parks south korea

Image credit: buddhaflow

Designated as the first national park in 1967, Jirisan National Park is home to 4,989 flora and fauna. The Jirisan mountain is regarded as one of South Korea’s three legendary mountains, alongside Geumgangsan and Hallasan. People believe that in the past, this sacred mountain was a refuge for many hermits seeking for truth. This gave rise to its moniker Jirisan, which means “the mountain of the odd and wise people”.

Catch the sunrise at Jirisan

South Korea’s largest mountainous national park has some of the best sunrise spots in the country. Cheonwangbong Peak, standing at an altitude of 1,915m, offers an incredible panorama view. However, a rather lengthy ascent and descent await, so remember to bring your own day-sized packs if you plan to take on the challenge! The beautiful view of the sunrise and the sky bursting into a kaleidoscope of vivid colours will eventually reward your uphill struggle.

Tip: To catch the sunrise at Cheonwangbong Peak, you would have to climb to the Jangteomok shelter and stay the night!

Embark on Jirisan’s scenic hiking trails

Relish the lush greenery and sparkling waterfalls while embarking on Jirisan’s myriad trails. For avid hikers who have planned a day trip out to Jirisan, hiking to Buril Pokpo is the way to go! This three-hour round trip starts from Ssanggye-sa and weaves through a forest along a rippling creek. 

To fully experience Jirisan’s beauty, more adventurous hikers can embark on overnight hikes to the peaks of Jirisan’s mountain range. If you are worried about your sleeping conditions, don’t fret! After a weary day of hiking, take refuge in the shelters installed within the national park for the night. Although these shelters may vary in terms of comfort and facilities, most are fully equipped with basic necessities. These include running water and blankets. They say that some even have WiFi! 

Jirisan National Park Jangteomok Shelter nature parks south korea

Catching the sunset after a long day of hiking at Jangteomok Shelter | Image credit: National Parks of Korea Official Facebook Page

These shelters offer incredible aerial views of the surrounding landscapes, too!

Note: Do remember to reserve the shelter beforehand through the national park’s shelter reservation system!

Experience the change of seasons at Jirisan

Spring

As spring beckons, watch as the snow melts away to unearth delicate blooms!

Autumn

If you are planning to travel to Jirisan, autumn is a magical time to visit. Jirisan is home to ginkgo and maple trees; which is indisputably the king of autumn colours.

Witness the autumn colours of Jirisan come alive as it is blanketed with carpets of amber and burnt copper. Come late October during peak season, Ssanggyesa Temple, Baemsagol Valley and Piagol Valley are the prime locations to snap beautiful fall foliage. You can take our word on this because these are some of the best fall foliage sites highlighted by Korea’s tourism board, too!

Winter

Lastly, watch Jirisan transform into a dreamy winter wonderland. Jirisan’s Baraebong Snow Festival is best enjoyed by trekking to the Baraebong peak to celebrate the magic of winter. During this time, exhilarating activities such as kite-flying and ice-climbing take place! 

You should also know that Baraebong is well known for its royal azalea flowers between April and May. Be sure to catch this splash of colours if you’d rather travel here during warmer seasons! 

2. Juwangsan National Park

South Korea designated Juwangsan National Park as the 12th national park in 1976. Although this park is relatively smaller compared to the rest, it definitely doesn’t lack in attractions! Juwangsan National Park is home to cavernous valleys, rocky peaks, crystal waterfalls and a plethora of hiking trails. Its main hiking trail runs through the Sangui Parking Lot, Kaldeunggogae Ridge, Hurimegi, and even a waterfall!

Embrace the serenity of Jusanji Pond, a reservoir in the heart of Juwangsan National Park. Be one with nature as you listen to the natural melody from the surrounding woods of Juwangsan Mountain and towering willow trees. 

Fun fact: The 30 willow trees rooted in the pond are a whopping 150 years old!

Needless to say, the best times to visit are either spring or autumn! The blossoming of spring buds and the autumn foliage in full bloom are always breathtaking spectacles.

3. Woraksan National Park

Nature lovers will feel right at home at Woraksan National Park. This lovely park is complete with picturesque pine and Mongolian oak forests, as well as sublime waterfalls. If you are lucky and the weather permits, you can catch a view of the Milky Way in the scintillating night skies, too! 

Designated as the 17th national park in South Korea, this nature’s treasure trove is also home to many animal species. You might even see a Goral, which is the park’s flagship species. They dwell in the surrounding mountains and forests! 

Also read: Why Do Travellers Love South Korea? Let Us Count The Ways

We could go on and on, but these nature parks are great places to start if you want to see the best of Mother Nature in the Land of the Morning Calm!

Exploring all the nature parks that South Korea has to offer has always been on my bucket list. Writing this has rekindled my longing for these incredible nature retreats, and I hope that it has inspired you to bookmark these underrated destinations for your next trip!

About Author

Jaime Lee
Jaime Lee

Golden hour adventures are Jaime's favourite kind of adventures. She hopes to see all the sunsets in the world one day.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Jaime Lee



Related Posts