5 fresh spots for great walks near Camp Carroll in South Korea
5 fresh spots for great walks near Camp Carroll in South Korea
Chilgokgun is full of wonderful walks and these ones will take you to this Korean region’s many reservoirs. Trails vary from easy to moderate, and in a couple of cases, can be slightly strenuous.
Looking for a change of pace? There are some great walks to take around Chilgokgun which will allow you to reconnect with nature and get some fresh air. Below are five spots for a nice mix of beautiful countryside and picture-perfect waters.
1. Nakdonggang Riverside Walk
This walking track makes for an easy stroll along the Nakdonggang River with scenic views, historic spots and great wildlife-watching opportunities.
The walk loops around the expansive river, so you can choose whatever starting point is convenient for you. If you are coming from Camp Carroll, make the bridge over the river your start and endpoint. If you have a car, you can start your family-friendly jaunt at Chilgokbo Weir. The building serves as one of the certification centers where cyclists get their stamps to certify completion of the River Bike Path Tour.
From there, you can also set off on a bike ride as the park also has a fantastic bicycle path that leads to Busan where the Nakdonggang River ends.
Along the route near the dam, look down for the rare fish ladder structures. These are artificial steps built to facilitate the natural migration of fish. If you're lucky, you can spot a school of fish moving through the fishway on the side of the weir.
The weir generates electricity for the region, so you’ll be able to see the roaring waters as you cross the weir bridge. Once you’ve crossed, the trail will lead you past a pavilion to the Gwanho Fortress, which is over 1,500 years old. Go up the hill, then you can get a bird's eye view of the river and its beautiful surroundings.
Down the hill, you'll reach a camping site on the river’s edge, which is also accessible from the bridge. The campsite is an easy place for family-friendly fun and a great spot for a casual BBQ.
Past the campsite, there is a 265-meter-long bridge that takes you to the largest outdoor pool in the Gyeongsangdo area. At night, the bridge is lit up with LED lights, creating a beautiful sight.
If you want to see a different side of the river, make a beeline for Waegwan Railroad Bridge from the bicycle tour certification center. The short 1.3-kilometer-long walking path will have you walking across different landscapes including sand, grass, wooded and paved roads. During the hot summer season, don’t miss the musical fountain with water perfectly synchronized to popular K-Pop songs.
For a touch of history, stop at the Waegwan Railroad Bridge near the end of the second walking course. During the Korean War, this bridge played an important role in slowing North Korean soldiers who were advancing south. The 1st U.S. Cavalry Division blasted off a one-floor section of the bridge, which made it difficult to cross. There are still remnants of this damage on the steel structure, a reminder of the devastation caused by the war.
From there, cross the bridge and walk in a counterclockwise direction if you want to explore more of the area. On this walk, you’ll enjoy stunning views of flora and fauna and plenty of spots to catch your breath and take it all in.
- NAVER MAP: http://naver.me/x0a9B0Rk
- ADDRESS: 경북 칠곡군 석적읍 중지리(KOR)
2. Jicheonji Reservoir Circular
For a road less traveled, head to Waegwan’s Jicheonji (지천지), a 3.5-kilometer-long loop walk with a couple of steep hills and stairs. Though part of this walk may be difficult for small children and elderly people, half of the walk features a flat, paved path ideal for walkers of all ages and fitness levels. It's only a 10-minute drive from Camp Carroll.
Before I visited this spot, I had no idea that it is a perfect place for all kinds of recreation, including water skiing, camping, and much more. Nature lovers will enjoy the ducks and birds that call this place home. Go up to Nakwahdam Observatory at the top of the hill for a stunning view of the reservoir.
- NAVER MAP: http://naver.me/FAr2YBDI
- ADDRESS: 경북 칠곡군 지천면 창평리 (KOR)
3. Yuhakji Reservoir Circular
Yuhakji (유학지) is a serene 1.7-kilometer-long trek and a perfect pondside stroll. The walk also features a tiny, wobbly suspension bridge, forested roads, and the refreshing scent of the water nearby. You can reach this walk via a 20-minute drive from Camp Carroll.
For a look at the entire pond and a shaded place for wildlife observation, stop at the pavilion in the parking lot. The pavilion and trail are popular among local residents, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of the day. There are also coffee shops near the pond to get your caffeine fix and take a rest for a while. Your furry friends are welcome but must be on a leash.
- NAVER MAP: http://naver.me/GLKhdp7H
- ADDRESS: 경북 칠곡군 석적읍 성곡리 유학 저수지(KOR)
4. Dumanji Reservoir Walk
Dumanji Reservoir (두만지) is a well-maintained path in Yangmok and is only a 15-minute drive from Camp Carroll. Drive past secluded villages and Yangmok traditional market, and then you'll reach the reservoir. Park your car at the shrine adjacent to the walking path.
If you're interested in history, stop at the shrine where General Sin Yu's tablet is enshrined. General Sin Yu is known for his defeat of the Russian Army around the Amur River in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
From the shrine, take a leisurely stroll along a wooden walkway. This little-known spot is also a place for cherry blossom viewing in the spring season. The 150-meter-long cherry blossom promenade might be too short but worth a visit.
Take the path through the forest for more incredible views and soon you’ll reach a high spot for a look from above at the reservoir.
- NAVER MAP: http://naver.me/5zvSU8R4
- ADDRESS: 경북 칠곡군 약목면 남계리 산21-5 (KOR)
5. Dongmyeongji Waterfront Ecological Park
Dongmyeongji Reservoir (동명지) is a picturesque spot about a half-hour drive away from Camp Walker and Camp Carroll. With its wide-open spaces, dazzling waterfront views, and beautiful parks, the path offers the perfect setting for a lovely escapade or quality family time. The reservoir paths feature floating walkways that allow you to walk on the water so you can feel close to nature.
This beautiful spot is also part of the Pilgrim's Way that starts from Gasil Catholic Church and ends at the historical Hanti Martyrs' Site where martyrs were killed and buried in the mid-1800s. The pilgrim route was recently created as a 40-kilometer-long trekking course consisting of five themed sections inspired by the path that Catholics used to walk to the Hanti Martyrs' Site in the early 19th century to escape persecution.
While you’re making your way through this trail, keep an eye out for native birds like mallards that populate the reservoir. When night comes, you'll have an opportunity to take in the beauty of the suspension bridge illuminated with vibrant colors.
Make a quick stop at Songnimsa Temple(송림사), known for its five-story brick pagoda that dates back to the ninth century, on your way back home. If you have no idea what to eat in the area, head to Donggungjeong(동궁정), a Korean restaurant that serves up tasty rice with seasoned vegetables and cheonggukjang (fast-fermented bean paste).
- NAVER MAP: http://naver.me/FCb4vj7A
- ADDRESS: 경북 칠곡군 동명면 구덕리 135-3(KOR), 135-3, Gudeok-ri, Dongmyeong-myeon, Chilgok-gun (ENG)
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