Want to visit seaside cafés? Beaches? The demilitarized zone?
This second longest certification bike path travels through resort cities, passes bunkers and barbed wire fences, and explores beaches. It concludes near the DMZ, the border between North and South Korea.
The Gangwon (East Coast) Bike Path crosses six cities and counties in Gangwon Province. Read these short profiles of each.
- Gangwon Province (강원도; map), 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.
- Samcheok City (삼척시; map), one of Korea’s least populated cities, lives on the East Sea near Donghae City. The city grew a reputation for its cement mining and spelunking because it sits on limestone bedrock. Its coast hosts a rail bike and cable car.
- Donghae City (동해시; map) gets its name from its eastern neighbor: the East Sea (/dōng/, 동, “east”; /hāe/, 해, “sea”). One of Gangwon Province’s larger cities, it operates two important east coast ports, which export iron and coal, keep key naval assets, and launch cruise ships to distant Ulleung Island.
- Gangneung City (강릉시; map) is the largest settlement along Gangwon Province’s coast. It holds beaches famed for the New Year’s Sunrise, a seaside lake, and resort hotels. Because it is the nearest city to Pyeongchang, Gangneung hosted several 2018 Winter Olympic events.
- Yangyang County (양양군; map) wedges between Gangneung and Sokcho. Because of its small population, it borrows education and firefighting services from them. However, the county holds a multitude of religious and vacation spots, including a private surfing beach.
- Sokcho City (속초시; map) is a famed east coast tourist town often mobbed by Seoulites. Tourist destinations include Seorak Mountain, the third tallest in South Korea, a pair of sea lakes with marinas, and golf and horseback riding facilities.
- Goseong County (고성군; map) is South Korea’s most northeastern district, split in half by the Korean War and DMZ. Tourists visit seaside resorts and the Unification Observatory, which gazes into North Korea and Geumgang Mountain.
How To Get There
Don’t have a car? There’s just one way to get to the Gangwon Bike Path with your bike: intercity buses.
Gangwon Province’s largest cities lie in the middle of the province, not near the bike path’s start or finish lines. You may need to catch a connecting bus to arrive at the southern and northern endpoints.
Most of Korea’s certification bike paths start and end with certification centers (stamp booths). Only the north end of the Gangwon Bike Path finishes at a stamp booth. Its bottom end sits in the remote Gopo Port (고포항; map) on Samcheok City’s southern border.
Three tiny intercity bus stops rest near this start line: