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Bukhangang
Bicycle Path

Conquer a close course from Chuncheon.

Romance and railroads beckon on a short ride north of Seoul.

The Bukhangang Bicycle Path (북한강자전거길) follows the North Han River (북한강; Bukhangang) from Chuncheon (춘천시) to Namyangju (남양주시) on the edge of Seoul.

The bike path follows a decommissioned rail line through valleys, under bridges, and by tree adorned hillsides.

The Stats
Start
Chuncheon City
(춘천시)
← 70 km →
4 hours
End
Namyangju City
(남양주시)
Checkpoints Logo
Checkpoints (4)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
Link button to Kakao Maps directions.
Directions
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.
Highlights

City-to-City Path Breakdown

A quick jaunt from Korea’s romantic city to a Seoul satellite along an old rail line.

Bike Path Overview

The path from Chuncheon, Korea’s romantic city, rolls around a lake and follows a tourist train through tree adorned valleys and the North Han river.

The Course

Municipalities

The Bukhangang Bike Path travels through two provinces, and three cities and counties. Peruse brief profiles of each.

  • Gangwon Province (강원도), Korea’s second largest and one of two bordering North Korea, hosts the nation’s recreational retreats. With forests and powder blanketed mountains in the west, and an expansive coastline in the east, the province boasts two famous seaside cities. Oh, and it hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
    • Chuncheon City (춘천시; a.k.a. Romantic Chuncheon) is the capital of Gangwon Province. In the past, it collected and stored goods sailing down the North Han River for the capital. Today, a series of natural and artificial lakes created by dams surround Chuncheon, with Uiam Lake bordering the downtown area. Many couples and families escape Seoul for weekend excursions, seeking the K-drama enshrined Nami Island or Korea’s new LegoLand.
  • Gyeonggi Province (경기도), translating to “the area surrounding the capital,” is the most populated province in Korea. While some Gyeonggi cities act as Seoul’s “bed towns,” others hold enough folks to become self-governing metropolitan cities. Some of Korea’s largest conglomerates keep their headquarters in the province.

Elevation

Bike Path Types

Certification

The Bukhangang Bicycle Path claims four certification centers along its route.

Collect all stamps and receive a Bukhangang Bike Path certification. The route counts towards the Grand Slam certification. It is not a part of the Cross-Country certification.

Certification Centers

The North Han River

Highlights

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How To Get There

The Bukhangang Bike Path collides with the Hangang Path near Seoul. The mega-city’s extensive transportation tentacles give cyclists two terrific options to hop on and off the North Han River’s bike path:

Trains

Lugging around a full-size bike? Intercity buses are the transportation option in Korea… most of the time. On the Bukhangang Bike Path, trains have a slight advantage.

Two train lines offer the closest entry and exit points to cycling route’s start and finish lines.

Let’s look at each.

A picture of a mugunghwa train arriving at a station in South Korea.
Though limited and require reservations, trains offer an alternative way to get you and your bike to Korea's bike paths.

The Gyeongchun Line

The Gyeongchun Line (경춘선) connects Seoul and Chuncheon Station (춘천역). It hugs the northern two-thirds of the cycling route, between Chuncheon (춘천역) and Cheongpyeong (청평역) Stations, providing excellent access for bikers and their bikes.

Operating on the Seoul Subway Network, the line runs two types of trains:

First, let’s explore the best entry and exit points for bikers on the Gyeongchun Line.

Start

Want to start the Bukhangang Bike Path in Chuncheon City? Compared to intercity buses, the Gyeongchun Line has a slight advantage.

Chuncheon Station, the line’s last station, loiters in downtown Chuncheon. A ride to Sinmae Bridge Certification Center (신매대교인증센터), the cycling route’s start line, weaves 8.2 kilometers and 30 minutes through city streets and along the riverside (directions).

Seems like a long way. Well, a trip from Chuncheon’s intercity bus terminal lasts 44 minutes and 11.5 kilometers (directions).

End

Want to use the Gyeongchun Line to get home? Maseok Station (마석역) is the closest to the end of the cycling route, marked by the Balgeun Gwangjang Certification Center (밝은광장인증센터). However, it lies 20.2 kilometers away from (directions).

Too far? Check out the Gyeongui–Jungang Line. Its stations sit meters away from the finish line. Not kilometers.

Gyeongchun Commuter Trains

Commuter trains (수도권전철경춘선) run by the Seoul Subway System are the most common on the Gyeongchun Line. They run from either Cheongnyangni (청량리역) or Sangbong (상봉역) Stations in northeast Seoul to Chuncheon Station (춘천역).

Each train stops at 24 stations along its route, creating a 1 hour and 40 minute journey from the start to the end of the line.

Commuter Train Bikes

Like other subway lines, these trains allow full-size bikes (road, MTB, hybrid) on weekends and public holidays. They also accept your greasy wheels between 10:00 and 16:00 on weekdays, unlike other Seoul subway lines.

ITX-Cheongchun

No time for a long trip? The Gyeongchun Line also carries the ITX-Cheongchun (Intercity Train eXpress-Cheongchun), Korea’s only double-decker, limited express train.

“Cheongchun.” Funny name. It’s a portmanteau, created by slamming together “Gyeongchun” and “Chuncheon.”

The ITX-Cheongchun isn’t under Seoul’s Metro System’s jurisdiction. The nationally owned Korea Railroad Corporation (한국철도공사; Korail) operates them.

What’s different about the ITX-Cheongchun?

  • Commuter trains start in eastern Seoul at either Cheongnyangni or Sangbong Stations. ITX-Cheongchun trains begin at Yongsan Station (용산역), near the capital’s heart.
  • ITX trains are faster, topping out at 180 km/h (112 mph), compared to the commuter train’s do-you-even-lift-bro’s 110 km/h (68 mph).
  • Commuter trains stop at 24 stations on its way to Chuncheon. ITX trains pause at a maximum of 14 and minimum of 6 stations.

From the middle of Seoul, the ITX takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Chuncheon. If we time the ITX from the commuter train’s start in northeast Seoul, it takes only 58 minutes.

ITX-Cheongchun & Bikes

Because the ITX-Cheongchun is on Korail’s network, not on Seoul Subway’s system, passengers can’t scan transportation cards and hop on a train. They need to buy tickets.

Have a foldable bike? Just purchase a ticket at the station, collapse your wheels, then jump on the next train.

Full-size bike? You need to book a designated bicycle seat in advance using Korail’s website or smartphone app.

The ITX train’s first and last cars hold four bicycle seats, making eight per train.

When boarding, find a bike rack for your bike in an adjoining car and a cushioned seat for your full-size derrière in a normal passenger car.

Below, find a list of ITX-Cheongchun stations that fall on the Bukhangang Bike Path.

The Gyeongchun Line Bicycle Road (경춘선자전거길) travels along the Gyeongchun rail line from Toegyewon Station (퇴계원역), on the border of Seoul and Namyangju City, until it rolls onto the Bukhangang Bike Path.

Gyeongui–Jungang Line

The Gyeongui–Jungang Line (경의·중앙선) starts at Munsan Station (문산역), near the DMZ, dips to the Han River in Seoul, then spirals out past Yangpyeong County (양평군), along the Hangang Bike Path.

Like the Gyeongchun Line, Seoul Metro’s commuter trains operate on the Gyeongui–Jungang Line. But no ITX trains.

The Gyeongui–Jungang Line employs 8 and 4-car trains. Its 8-car trains provide bike racks and allow full-size bicycles aboard only on weekends and public holidays.

The End

Want to get home after collecting the Bukhangang Bike Path’s last stamp? If you’re riding on a weekend or public holiday, the Gyeongui–Jungang Line lives right next to the finish line.

From Balgeun Gwangjang Certification Center (밝은광장인증센터), climb up to the Bukhangang Railroad Bridge, head west 349 meters to Ungilsan Station (운길산역). Catch a train into Seoul (directions).

Intercity Bus

Not riding on the weekend or holiday? Can’t book train tickets? Intercity buses offer anytime, on-the-spot access to the Bukhangang Bike Path for you and your bike.

Though farther than rail stations, intercity terminals lie close to the cycling route’s start, end, and middle sections.

A picture of an intercity bus with the luggage compartment open.
Pop your bike in the luggage compartment and hop on board the intercity bus.

The Start

Two intercity bus terminals dwell at the bottom of downtown Chuncheon. Sharing a city block with a supermarket, each lives in separate buildings 300 meters apart.

How far is the Bukhangang Bike Path’s start? From the bus terminal’s parking lot, cycle 11.5 kilometers and 43 minutes through city streets, along the riverside, and across two bridges to the Sinmae Bridge Certification Center (신매대교인증센터; directions).

(A ride from Chuncheon’s train station lasts 8.2 km; directions).

Chuncheon City is Gangwon Province’s capital. Its intercity terminal acts as a hub for provincial cities and towns. Buses from Chuncheon also flow to Gyeonggi Province and the nation’s metropolitan cities (timetable). 

The express terminal offers more limited but speedy service to Seoul, Daegu, and Gwangju (timetable).

The End

Balgeun Gwangjang Certification Center (밝은광장인증센터) marks the end of the Bukhangang Bike Path. Hanam Bus Terminal (하남시버스환승공영차고지) in Hanam city is the closest intercity bus terminal. 

Once you grab the final stamp, sail west along the Hangang Bike Path for 12.7 kilometers and 50 minutes (directions).

(The Gyeongui–Jungang Line’s train stations lie close to the final stamp booth. However, these Seoul commuter trains only allow bicycles on weekends and holidays.)

Hanam’s terminal is small. It only offers nine routes, including Incheon, Daejeon, Gangneung, Cheongju, and more (timetable).

Notice something? No Seoul. Hanam is a satellite town, just east of Seoul. Some of the capital’s city buses and subway lines reach Hanam, making intercity buses a smidge redundant.

Hanam City’s tiny terminal doesn’t work for you. Here are three alternatives from the Balgeun Gwangjang Certification Center:

Or pedal 25.6 kilometers north to the Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal on the Bukhangang route (timetabledirections).

The Middle

Two smaller intercity bus terminals lie in the middle of the Bukhangang Bike Path. Each lies less than a kilometer from the cycling route.

Bukhangang Bus Terminals