Korea: Riverside Pathways


Riverside Bicycle Routes in Korea

So far our favorite ride, this is a recently completed (2015) bicycle route that follows Korea’s four major rivers—Hangang RiverNakdonggang RiverGeumgang RiverYeongsangang River— stretches 1,757 kilometers across the country and takes riders past traditional Korean villages, historical relics, and restaurants with traditional Korean food. The routes are mostly on paved bicycle paths that feature vehicle free cycling and offer a variety of convenience facilities including camp sites, food stops and covered shelters. Bicycle rental shops are on the way, so visitors can rent a bike and gear.

Korea South of Seoul
On the Hangang River (한강) river path a little south of Seoul. The four rivers trail system was created K-Water to rehabilitate and repair areas along the rivers and to make the areas safer from floods.

This is a easy system of cycling paths that anyone can follow and is suitable for all ages. Just follow the signs that indicate the route. Some of routes are on roads but traffic is light. The Seoul to Busan route can be done with a couple of weeks of pedaling


Guides, Maps and Other Information


Korea Tourist BoardRiverside Bicycle Routes in Korea Korea Tourism Organization. Has short descriptions of the major routes. You can also try this link. And click the search button. It will list all bicycle rides on the sites in Korean. Turn on Google Translate for other languages.

Cycling Corea "An enthusiastic amateur cyclist who loves cycling and I want to help others to experience the wonders and joys of exploring Korea by bicycle." Has links to guides and maps.

Rivers guide by K-Water Covers all of the river routes but doesn't provide much detail

Riverside Bike Trails in Korea PDF made by the South Korean Tourist office.

Korea.netKorea.net Korea.net is the Internet portal that represents the voice of the Korean government and which promotes Korea online. Not specifically about cycling but has lots of info.

Korea.netNaver Maps This the "Google Maps" of Korea only better. Has amazing detail and shows bikes paths. Click on 자전거 to turn on cycle paths.

See the Maps and Guides page for more mapping information.

Korea Paths Map

Click on map for larger image


Downloadable guides in PDF format. These are out of print.

Nakdonggong

Hangong

Geumgong and Yeongsang as an Ebook

There are many cycling apps with maps available for iphone and android. A couple of the better offline apps are listed here.

Maps.MeMaps.me is listed here because it is the app we use most often for navigation on roads or on trails. It is based on OpenStreetMap and covers most of the planet. It does not display OpenCycleMap.

Guru MapsGuru Maps has the ability to show map types other than OpenStreetMap, in particular it will display OpenCycleMap.


What it is Like

Korea is a place where any cyclist can find a route to please them. Those who want an easy ride can follow the 1,700 kilometers of long-distance cycle paths. In the far north there are opportunities for cyclists who love the challenge of switchbacks and steep climbs. In the south you can take a ferry to semi-tropical Jeju island and follow the serene coastal cycle paths.

- Travel Tips
Korean Air and Asianawill ship bicycles for free as baggage. Must be under 50 Lbs.

- Ride Quality
Mostly on paved pathways near major rivers. Road sections are on small agricultural roads. In a few areas the path may be near busy roads. Some sections are on causeways dedicated to cyclists.


Typical Riverside Path Dedicated to Cyclists.

- Elevation Change
The routes are mostly level but in some areas the routes travel through hilly terrain. Although the steeper sections are on roads, traffic is very light.


Some of paths are actually roads but traffic is light.

- Best Season
September, October, and November. Summers can be hot and wet and winters are cold.

- Options
Busan is an easy place to start a ride, transportation from the airport is by light rail and only takes a few minutes. Many hotel/motels are near the light rail system. Busan is also the place to catch a ferry to Jeju Island which has a round the island cycle route.


Korea riverside path. Just follow the signs to know where you are. Some riders may find this a little unexciting because its so easy but if that is the case just ride faster.



There is always plenty of fast food along the way at K-Water facilities or convenience stores. There are many K-Water informational centers where you can use free Wi-Fi and relax in beautiful surroundings. Finding hotels, restaurants and grocery stores is a little difficult especially if you are not used to the language. In some locations you will have to leave the cycleway and go into a nearby town for services. Camping is a possibility along the cycleways,


Korean Cyclist
You will not be alone on this ride. The cycleway is used by many local cyclist and people from other countries.


Links to More Detailed Information about Riding in Korea

Bicycle Touring from Seoul to Busan

Across Korea on a bicycle

Ministry of Interior site on "Happy" routes. Is good for an overview of what's out there.