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  • Writer's pictureKirk

A Walk in the Korean Woods

I was in the northeast corner of South Korea in the mountain region when I took the opportunity to walk in the woods. I was near Mt Seorak, a popular destination for locals and tourists, when I found this well groomed trail through the mountain woods.I was surprised to have this one hour walk to myself.



As the mountains as a back drop I began my hike:



I crossed this bridge before the forest trail began. But, before I launched my journey I decided to walk down on the rocks to this stream. I expect it's a raging river in rainy season with all the mountain water funneling to this outlet.


The river basin looked like it could have come from Maine with all the rocks. The water was amazingly clear and I was tempted to drink from it, but I'm very careful after my stomach surgery this year. I no longer possess the ability to vomit so I take no chances consuming a foreign bug that may force me to try the strength of the fundoplication procedure. I saw no fish in the stream either, causing me further suspect to its fit for use, but I expect my concern were unfounded for this mountain water.


Now, on to the trail:

I never encountered another person in the forest, even though the trail was well groomed. It surprised me because there were so many Korean tourists at the mountain this day due to it being a Korean holiday (I think they had a holiday every week I was there).


I know they were there to see the mountain, as was I. But, instead of going directly up the mountain I decided to explore the base first. I'm glad I did because this was a very serene walk through a Korean forest. An opportunity I will likely not have again.


Here are some of the trees so you can get a feel for the forest in this Asian country.


Being in the mountains, this is a cooler climate. It was a pleasant 60 F during my hike.



The path continued for quite a long stretch:


Other than a few birds the only critters I encountered were these:

Do they resemble their USA cousins?


I didn't have to worry about any aggressive animals. There used to be bear in them there woods, but they were hunted to extinction years ago. Sad story. They actually have a monument erected to the last living bear of that mountain:



The trees I encountered looked similar to those found in the USA. Deciduous hardwood trees and pine in the higher elevations. The pine tree is the most common tree in Korea, not unlike the USA. It just had a stranger feel to it walking through the forest of a foreign land.


I spent about an hour on this excursion then it was back to the entrance for the mountain, the primary reason I was there. I'll post on the beautiful views of and from these mountains later.


I'll leave you with a few videos of my walk:




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