Korean East Coast Bicycle Route icon.

Gangwon
Bicycle Path

Ride Korea’s east coast resorts and crash into the DMZ.

Seaside cafés? Beaches? No time to relax. Gotta conquer those bike roads.

The Gangwon Bicycle Path (동해안자전거길 (강원)) follows Gangwon Province (강원도) shoreline on Korea’s East Coast.

The second longest certification bike path passes resort cities, blows past barbed wire and lookout bunkers, and explores beaches before finishing near the demilitarized North Korean border.

The Stats
Start
Uljin County
(울진군)
← 242 km →
16.5 hours
End
Goseong County
(고성군)
Checkpoints Logo
Checkpoints (12)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
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Directions
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Highlights

City-to-City Path Breakdown

Sail past a fishing village towards twin resort and port cities.

Discover a mountaintop ship hotel and crowded beaches.

Hop from one tourist town to another and find ports, beaches, and cuisine between.

Ride the final stretch of the east coast and end near the DMZ.

Overview

The Course

Municipalities

The Gangwon (East Coast) Bike Path crosses six cities and counties in Gangwon Province. Read these short 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.
    • Samcheok City (삼척시), 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) 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) 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) 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) 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) 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.

Elevation

Bike Path Types

Certification

The Gangwon (East Coast) Bicycle Path holds twelve (12) certification centers throughout its run.

Collect all stamps and receive the Gangwon (East Coast) Bike Path certification. The route counts towards the Grand Slam certification. There isn’t an East Coast certification.

Certification Centers

Gangwon Province

Highlights

The Saejae Bicycle Path is one of the shortest (100 km) certification paths. However, it offers plenty of scenic mountain vistas and historic treasures.

Imwon

More to come.

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Chuam Candlestick Rock

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Mangsang Beach

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Gangneung Coffee Street

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Gyeongpo Beach

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Jigyeong Park

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Dongho Beach

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Yeonggeum Pavilion

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Bukcheon Railroad Bridge

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Unification Observatory

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How To Get There

The Gangwon (East Coast) Bike Path slithers through resort cities and port towns on Gangwon Province’s shores. While their train stations don’t accept bikes, their wide reaching intercity bus terminals do.

Intercity Bus

There’s just one way to get to the Gangwon Bike Path with your bike: Intercity buses. (Unless you undertake an epic cycle or own your own car.)

The largest cities on Gangwon Province’s coast lie midway up. Not near the start or finish lines. Therefore, you may need to make connections to get to your final destination.

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

The start of Gangwon Bike Path? It’s complicated.

Technically, the Gyeongbuk and Gangwon Bike Paths don’t meet. Route engineers are still piecing together the route between the Uljin Sweet Fish Bridge Certification Center, Gyeongbuk Bike Path’s finish line, and Imwon Certification Center, Gangwon Bike Path’s start line.

What can you do about the bike route gap? Two options.

Skip the Gap

Want to begin the Gangwon Bike Path on the Gangwon Bike Path? The closest bus station is:

The Imwon Terminal lies less than two kilometers from the Imwon Certification Center (directions), the start line. However, the terminal is fun-sized. Just connecting stop for short-hop, regional buses.

Arriving from off the coast? Connect with the Imwon Terminal at one of these terminals:

Skip the Gap to Gangwon Bike Path

Cycling north on the East Coast Route? Did you collect the last Gyeongbuk Bike Path stamp in Uljin? Want to skip the gap and ride the Gangwon Bike Path?

Head to the Uljin Bus Terminal (울진종합버스터미널). It doesn’t run buses to the Imwon Bus Terminal. But between 8 AM and 11 PM, it sends six buses to Hosan Bus Stop (호산버스정류장), 6.7 kilometers south of the Imwon Certification Center (directions).

Cycle the Gap

Maybe the bus timetables don’t line up with your schedule. Or, you’d like to conquer every inch of the East Coast. Then cycle the gap between the Gyeongbuk to Gangwon Bike Paths.

Arriving from out of town? Start at the Uljin Bus Terminal. It lies 36.3 kilometers south of the Imwon Certification Center, Gangwon Bike Path’s start line (directions).

Just finished the Gyeongbuk Bike Path? From Uljin Sweet Fish Bridge Certification Center, Gyeongbuk’s finish line, cycle 37.2 kilometers to the Imwon Stamp Booth (directions).

The gap is officially a break in the cycling route. But it looks like any other east coast biking section: coastal roads. A handful of hills. Beaches. Port towns.

Plus, it’ll spritz that sweet completionist musk around your neck.

The End

Tiny Hyeonnae Town (현내면) in Goseong County nestles against on the DMZ. It operates the tiny Daejin Bus Terminal (대진시외버스터미널).

The end of the Gangwon Bike Path, the Unification Observatory Certification Center (통일전망대 인증센터), hangs 3.7 kilometers from the bus terminal (directions).

Each day, between 7 AM and 10 PM, 13 buses head to the same destination: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합터미널).

Five of the 13 buses offer nonstop service to Seoul. The others also head to the capital, but make a handful of stops along the way, picking up passengers as they carve inland (timetable).

Total travel time? 3 to 3.5 hours.

Not heading to Seoul? Dong Seoul Terminal is a terrific pivot point, sending buses to the farthest reaches of Korea at all hours.

(Want to start the Gangwon Bike Path at the DMZ? Dong Seoul Bus Terminal sends nine buses a day to Daejin Bus Terminal between 7 AM and 7 PM; timetable.)

Gangwon Bus Terminals

The Middle

Gangneung, Donghae, Sokcho, and Samcheok Cities, the largest along Gangwon’s coast, offer entry, exit, or connection hubs. Let’s glance at their intercity bus terminals.

Gangneung

Gangneung is Gangwon Province’s largest coastal city. Sitting midway up the bike path, its terminals provide the most routes and connecting buses to shoreside settlements.

The express and intercity terminal aren’t in the same building. But they share a courtyard.

Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal’s buses visit every metro city and province, other than Jeju. Local buses frequent coastal destinations, like Imwon Bus Terminal, Gangwon Bike Path’s start (timetable).

Gangneung Express Bus Terminal provides non-stop service to Seoul, Daejeon, and Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces (timetable).

Donghae & Samcheok Cities

The downtowns of Donghae and Samcheok Cities press near the bottom of the Gangwon Bike Path. Only 14 kilometers separate their intercity bus terminals (directions).

Perhaps because of their proximity, Donghae’s single jonghap (종합; combined) terminal supplies far more routes than Samcheok’s express and intercity terminals put together.

Intercity buses from Donghae visit Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and surrounding provinces (timetable). Useful bike path connections include Imwon (Gangwon Bike Path’s start), Yeongdeok (Gyeongbuk Bike Path’s start), Uljin (Gyeongbuk’s end).

Express buses run to the same cities as the intercity terminal. A handful of buses filter to Gyeonggi, Gangwon, and North Gyeongsan Provinces (timetable).

Samcheok’s intercity and express terminals live in separate buildings. But only a sidewalk separates them.

Intercity buses drop by nearby coastal towns, Seoul and a few other major metro terminals (timetable). Express buses go directly to Seoul and Gyeonggi cities (timetable). 

The Gangwon Bike Path’s first terminal is in Samcheok. However, it lies 37.7 kilometers from the first certification center (directions).

Sokcho City

Northern Sokcho is the last big city before the DMZ. A popular resort town along the coast, it holds two separate express and intercity terminals.

The terminals don’t live on the same block. They’re separated by 3.4 kilometers or a 15 minute bike ride (directions).

The intercity terminal rolls to Seoul, Busan, and more. It also flows to a handful of east coast cities, including GangseongGangneungDonghaeSamcheokUljin, and Pohang (timetable).

Sokcho’s express terminal sends non stop buses to Seoul and Incheon (timetable).

A picture of Woryeong Bridge (월영교) on the Nakdong River in Andong City, South Korea.
Near the start of the Nakdonggang Bike Path, Woryeong Bridge connects Woryeong Park with Andong Folk Village.

Woryeong Bridge (월영교) or Woryeonggyo spans the Nakdong River a kilometer downstream from Andong DamMeasuring 387 meters long and 3.6 meters wide, Woryeong is Korea’s longest wooden bridge.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Estuary Bank (낙동강하구둑) on the Nakdong River leading to Eulsukdo Island in Busan.
The Nakdonggang Estuary Bank consists of two sections, east and west Eulsukdo Island in Busan.

Two dams comprise the Nakdong Estuary Bank (낙동강하굿둑) near the Nakdong River’s end. They block the two streams flowing around Eulsukdo Island. The east dam crosses from mainland Busan to Eulsukdo and over to the Gimhae Delta.