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Seoul Forest

Hangang Bike Path
Learn Seoul Forest, whose history encompasses royal hunts and horse races.

Opened in 2005, Seoul Forest (서울숲; map) is a park that lives on the corner of Jungnang Stream (중랑천; map) and the Han River. It hosts an abundance of green branches, silver-topped reeds, and sculptures on the western edge of Seoul’s Ttukseom Island (no longer an island).

The site where Seoul Forest sits holds a deep history. 

  • The area sat outside the fortress walls of Hanseong, the capital of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1897). Kings used the area as the hunting grounds and military training fields.
  • The area held Seoul’s first water treatment facility (수도박물관; map). Completed in 1908, the plant purified water for 165,000 Seoul residents; about 32% of the population. Its main building still sits in Seoul Forest. 
  • From 1954 to 1989, it hosted Seoul’s first horse racetrack, which included a small golf course in the infield. You can see racehorse statues in Seoul Forest’s entrance plaza.

Planners divided Seoul Forest’s 595,000-square meters into five mini-parks. Each sports unique characteristics.

  • Culture & Arts Park — plaza, visitors center, and sculptures.
  • Experience Learning Center — old water treatment plant, insect and flower gardens.
  • Eco Forest — plentiful trees, walking paths, and a small zoo.
  • Wetland Ecology Garden — bird observatory and wetlands gardens.
  • Hangang Riverside Park — riverside area with bike paths and marina.