Cross-Country Routes icon.

Nakdonggang
Bicycle Path

Follow a mighty, meandering river to the bottom of the peninsula.

Korea’s longest waterway equals its longest bike path.

The fourth and final leg of the Cross-Country Route, the Nakdonggang Bicycle Path (낙동강자전거길) follows the Nakdong River (낙동강; Nakdonggang).

Unlike the Ara, Hangang, and Saejae, the Nakdong path doesn’t begin where the others left off. It starts in Andong (안동시) and flows 70 kilometers west to Sangju, the Saejae Bike Path’s end. Then it slides south through Daegu (대구시) and into Busan (부산시) on the southwest coast.

The Stats
Start
Andong City
(안동시)
← 389 km →
20 hours
End
Busan City
(부산시)
Checkpoints Logo
Checkpoints (11)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
Link button to Kakao Maps directions.
Directions
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.
Highlights

Pass history and a hanok village, then meet the Cross-Country Route.

Discover a bike museum, an island park, and waving, riverside grass.

A short ride past wondrous weirs to Korea’s fourth largest city.

Climb steep hills with views of an ancient temple and Confucian academy.

A long stroll through riverside parks to the Cross-Country finish line.

Read about South Korea’s longest waterway, stretching south through the center of the nation.

Learn the top highlights along the Nakdonggang Bicycle Path, including weirs and bird paradises.

Find out how to take a bus, train, or subway to the Nakdonggang Bicycle Path.

Bike Path Overview

The Nakdonggang Bike Path follows the Nakdong River. It starts below Andong Dam, travels west to Sangju City, where it meets the Saejae Bike Path. Then the route continues down through North and South Gyeongsan Provinces until Busan, where it spills into the Korea Strait.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River (낙동강) near Hanam Town in Miryang City, South Korea.
Tree canopies accompany the bike path near Hanam Town on the north side of the Nakdong River.

Most of the bike path tracks the Nakdong River’s gentle downward slope. However, two obstacles make the Nakdonggang a challenge.

  • It’s 389 kilometers, the longest certification route. About 147 km more than the Gangwon Bike Path, the second longest.
  • A handful of leg-leadening, riverside mountains.

Let’s check the course, then look closer at the bike path’s hills and paths.

The Course

The Nakdonggang Bike Path has two starts, one end, and several parallel paths.

Confusing? Let’s break it down.

Following the Cross-Country Route? Did you just finish the Saejae Bike Path? Begin the Nakdonggang Bike Path at the Sangjusangpung Certification Center in Sangju City. Continue south to the Nakdonggang Estuary Bank Certification Center in Busan City.

Want to conquer the entire Nakdong River route and get the Nakdonggang Bike Path Certification? Start 70 kilometers upriver at the Andong Dam Certification Center in Andong City. Cycle downriver until you meet the Cross-Country Route and continue to Busan. 

Let’s skim Nakdonggang Bike Path’s five sections.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
The bike path from Andong to Sangju Cities crosses a variety of path types, including rural and farmer access roads, bike-only paths, and raised boardwalks.

Bike Andong to Sangju

Start upriver in Andong City (안동시), a depository for ancient Korean traditions and culture. Follow the Nakdong River west by historic villages, academies, and pavilions using a mix of bike paths, and farmer access and country roads.

End at Sangpung Bridge (상풍교) in Sangju City, where you’ll rejoin the Cross-Country Bike.

Bike Sangju to Gumi

The route from Sangju City (상주시) to Gumi City (구미시) flows southward along the Nakdong River. Along the way, pass several major highlights, including weirs, natural wonders, and a bike museum. End in downtown Gumi City, an advanced manufacturing hub.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
Boardwalk paths lead to Gangjeong Goryeong Weir and the ARC Cultural Center in Daegu, South Korea.

Bike Gumi to Daegu

The hop from Gumi to Daegu is the shortest along the Nakdong Bike Path. It connects two of the region’s most profitable cities, while passing a few weirs and war memorials.

End in an extensive park with architectural flair on the periphery of downtown Daegu (대구시), Korea’s four largest city.

Bike Daegu to Changnyeong

Off into the country. The fourth leg of the Nakdonggang Bike Path brings you into green spaces between farms and urban outposts. Along the way, pass an ancient Confucion academy, more watergates, and the river’s most challenging hills.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
The Nakdonggang Bike Path through Yangsan and Busan Cities flow through green, riverside eco parks.

Bike Changnyeong to Busan

This last leg of the Nakdonggang Bike Path forgoes hills. Its vistas sweep along the wide Nakdong River as it meanders through waterside parks.

In Busan (부산시), Korea’s second largest city, the river spills into the Korea Strait.

Municipalities

The Nakdonggang Bicycle Path crosses two provinces, two metropolitan cities, and 14 cities and counties. Check out these short profiles of each.

Elevation

The Nakdonggang Bike Path follows the Nakdong River’s notably gentle slope. But it presents a challenging collection of hills. Let’s explore the biggest ones.

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
Daramjae Pass and a handful of other inclines along the Nakdonggang Bike Path offer challenging climbs and switchback turns.

Andong City Hills

Just west of downtown Andong City (안동시), climb a pair of back-to-back hills.

The first hill leaps from the banks of the Nakdong River, 86 meters above sea level, and climbs to a 160-meter peak (directions).

  • Total Climb: a 74-meter ascent over 1.4 kilometers with a 5.3% average incline.

Three kilometers after the first hill, the route rides up a riverside mountain. From 89 meters, pedal to a 141-meter top (directions).

Total Climb: a 52-meter ascent over 843 meters with a 6.2% average incline.

A view from near Gyeongcheondae Terrace (경천대) along the Nakdong River in Sangju City, South Korea.
Gyeongcheondae Terrace in Sangju City some of the best high-angle views of the Nakdong River.

Gyeongcheondae Terrace Hill

On the west banks of the Nakdong, just before Gyeongcheondae Terrace, the bike path rises from 54 meters through razor-sharp switchbacks to a 119-meter summit. (directions).

  • Total Climb: a 65-meter ascent over 495 meters with a 13.1% average incline.

The hill is avoidable. From Sangjusangpung Certification Center, travel down the east side of the Nakdong River and ascend only a 40-meter hill (directions).

Musimsa Temple Hill

Want to catch a river vista from a color spattered temple? Hop off the “official route” and tackle a hill that features Musimsa Temple (무심사).

From 10 meters, wind up a sometimes-rugged bike path to a 135-meter summit (directions).

Total Climb: 105 meters over 2 kilometers with a 5.5% average incline.

A bird's-eye picture of Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy (도동서원) in Dalseong County, South Korea.
Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy lies at the bottom of Daramjae Pass along the Nakdong River in Dalseong County.

Daramjae Pass

Two routes lead two Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy (도동서원).

  1. The easy way: follow a tunnel through the hillside and avoid all inclines (directions).
  2. The hard way: use the “official route” and climb Daramjae Pass (다람재) below Jindeung Mountain (진등산).

While challenging, the “official route” offers an unbeatable high-angle view of the 400-year-old Confucian academy and its surroundings.

From 19 meters, ascend 124 meters to the top of Daramjae Pass. Take a rest at a pavilion with an unbeatable panorama (directions; road view).

Total Climb: a 105-meter climb over 854 meters with a 12.3% average incline.

Bakjin Pass

Bakjin Pass (박진고개). Rising deep in Changnyeong County, it’s the Nakdong River’s steepest ascent, sneaking under Jandeung Mountain (잔등산).

Starting from 15 meters, it threads switchbacks to a 173-meter peak (directions).

  • Total Climb: 157 meters over 1.6 kilometers with a 9.8% average incline.

Don’t forget to stop at the viewing deck and glance out at the winding waterway (road view).

A picture of the Bakjin Pass (박진고개) on the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
Find a lookout platform at the top Bakjin Pass. Take a breather and gaze out at the wide, winding Nakdong River.

Yeongaji & Angaesil Passes

Soon after the Bakjin Pass, the route crosses back-to-back mountain passes: Yeongaji (영아지고개) and Angaesil (안개실고개).

Just outside Namji Town, climb to a 163-meter ridge from 14 meters and ride under Docho Mountain (도초산; directions).

  • Total Climb: 149 meters over 1.6 kilometers with a 9.3% average incline.

The path along Yeongaji and Angaesil Passes consists of a rugged, pinecone scattered cycling/hiking path (road view). But they also present a sweeping view (road view).

A picture of Yeongaji and Angaesil Passes on the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) in Changnyeong County, South Korea.
The route through the Yeongaji & Angaesil Passes ride on concrete hiking and cycling paths. Catch a nice view from a midway resting deck.

Bike Path Types

The Nakdonggang Bike Path, Korea’s longest certification path, follows every type of pavement: bike-only paths, farmer access roads, country roads, hiking paths.

Let’s break down the pavement conditions section by section.

Andong to Sangju

The first third of the Bike Andong to Sangju segment often switches between bike, farmer, and rural roadways (directions). The most perilous stretch crosses the entrance to the Andong Hahoe Folk Village (directions; road view).

Near the end of the route, the path follows a series of farm roads. Though filled with cars or tractors, rough patches and dirt clumps often clutter the roadway (directions; road view).

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in South Korea.
The route near the Andong Hahoe Folk Village follows a often busy rural road.

Sangju to Gumi

Most of the Bike Sangju to Gumi section rides on bicycle-only paths. However, when passing hilly sections, it hops onto narrow, rural roads.

Gumi to Daegu

About 95% of the Bike Gumi to Daegu follows cycling paths in riverside parks (road view). However, for 2.2 kilometers near the city of Daegu, you’ll cycle a narrow walking path up a hillside (directions; road view).

A picture of the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in Dalseong Country, South Korea.
Bit-sized hills and boardwalk path sections await riders just south of Daegu along the Nakdonggang Bike Path.

Daegu to Changnyeong

The Bike Daegu and Changnyeong path presents the most challenges, holding major hills and stretches along a high-speed roadway and rural roads.

Changnyeong to Busan

The final section, Bike Changnyeong to Busan, treads on protected bike paths, with a few exceptions.

Certification

The Nakdonggang Bicycle Path holds eleven (11) certification centers along its route.

Collect all stamps and receive the Nakdonggang Bike Path certification, which counts towards the Cross-Country, Four Rivers, and Grand Slam certifications.

A picture of the of the Nakdonggang Estuary Bank Certification Center (낙동강하구둑 인증센터), the finish line for the Nakdonggang Bike Path in Busan.
The Nakdonggang Estuary Bank Certification Center on Eulsukdo Island is the final stamp on the Cross-Country and Nakdonggang Bike Path on Eulsukdo Island in Busan.

Certification Centers

Missed Checkpoints

Trying to complete the Cross-Country Certification? You don’t need the Andong Dam Certification Center stamp. It lies in Andong City (안동시), 70.2 kilometers away from the Cross-Country Route (directions).

However, grab the Andong Dam stamp to complete the Nakdonggang Bicycle Path, Four Rivers, and Grand Slam certifications.

The Nakdong River

A picture of the Nakdong River from the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) the in South Korea.
Since time immemorial, the Nakdong River was the main artery for the people of Yeongnam, today’s southeastern North and South Gyeongsang Provinces.

The Nakdong River (낙동강) is South Korea’s longest. It stretches from the Taebaek Mountain Range in the north and flows like an accented “Ć” through the southeast Gyeongsang Provinces before spilling into the Korean Strait in Busan City (부산시).

Along with the Han, Geum, and Yeongsan, South Koreans revere the Nakdong as one of the nation’s Four Major Rivers. It continues to play an important role in Korea’s development.

Let’s map out its geography before learning some of its historical highlights.

Geography

The Nakdong River spans 510 kilometers (317 mi). That ranks first in South Korea, but third on the Korean Peninsula. The Yalu (압록강; Amrok) and Tumen (두만강) Rivers span a mightier 790 and 521 kilometers, forming the border between North Korea and China.

Most of the streams and rivers in Gyeongsang Provinces, including the Yeong (영강; 78 km), Geumho (금호강; 116 km), Miryang (밀양강; 102 km), and Nam (남강; 186 km), dump their innards into the Nakdong, creating a 23,384 km² (9,029 sq mi) basin area.

A picture of the Miryang River (밀양강) flowing into the Nakdong River (낙동강) Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) in Miryang City, South Korea.
The Miryang River flows through Miryang City and into the Nakdong River.

History

Since time immemorial, the Nakdong River was the main artery for the people of Yeongnam (영남), the former name for today’s southeastern North and South Gyeongsang Provinces.

Early states grew using the river’s fertile banks, building larger and larger settlements. But the Silla Dynasty, which seized control in 532 CE, was the first to use the Nakdong’s full potential.

Highlights

The Nakdong Bicycle Path is the longest certification path in Korea. Along its course, find natural wonders, ancient and modern highlights, and eight Four Rivers Project weirs, the most along any bike path.

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 Andong Hahoe Folk Village (안동하회마을) along the Nakdong River in Andong City, South Korea.
Nestled in a bend along the Nakdong River, the 600-year-old Andong Hahoe Folk Village is desiganted a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Andong Hahoe Folk Village (안동하회마을) sits 20 kilometers west of downtown Andong City. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and visited by Queen Elizabeth in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2005, the village offers glimpses of Joseon-era architecture.

A view from near Gyeongcheondae Terrace (경천대) along the Nakdong River in Sangju City, South Korea.
Gyeongcheondae Terrace once held the name “Jacheondae,” or “scenery created by the heavens.”

Gyeongcheondae Terrace (경천대) once held the name “Jacheondae,” or “scenery created by the heavens.” Crowned by a rock-faced cliff with an unparalleled high-angle view of the Nakdong, this famous park offers hiking trails through thick pine forests and by pavilions, a suspension bridge, and camping grounds.

A picture of Sangju Bicycle Museum (상주자전거박물관) along the Nakdonggang Bike Path in Sangju City, South Korea.
Families cruising on borrowed bikes and cycle-inspired sculptures occupty Sangju Bicycle Museum's courtyard.

The Sangju Bicycle Museum (상주자전거박물관) nestles along the Nakdong River just below Gyeongcheondae Terrace in Sangju City. Built in 2002, it’s the only museum in the nation dedicated to bikes.

A picture of Sangju Weir (상주보) on the Nakdong River near Sangju City, South Korea.
The rose petal design of Sangju Weir's towers symbolize fruitful harvests, from which Sangju City gained wealth and power in the past.

Sangju Weir (상주보; Sangju-bo) is the first of eight Nakdong River weirs built by the Four Rivers Restoration Project (2009~2011). It’s design represents the local legend of Obok-dong (오복동). A lumberjack, Obok followed a deer into a nearby cave and discovered a utopia.

A picture of the Nakdan Weir (낙단보) on the Nakdong River in Sangju City, South Korea.
Nakdan Weir is the second of eight weirs built along the Nakdong River by the Four Rivers Restoration Project.

Nakdan Weir (낙동보; Nakdong-bo) sits 17 kilometers south of Sangju Weir in Sangju City. The weir’s towers mimic the eaves of Gwansuru (관수루), one of three paramount pavilions built along the river during the Goryeo Dynasty (고려; 918~1392).

A picture of Gumi Weir (구미보) on the Nakdong River in Gumi City, South Korea.
Designers molded Gumi Weir's towers to resemble two dragons and a turtle, symbols of wisdom and longevity.

Gumi Weir (구미보; Gumi-bo), completed in 2011, might be the most photogenic Four Rivers Project watergate. Named after Gumi City, whose downtown buzzes 16 kilometers south, the weir’s towers resemble two dragons and a turtle, symbols of wisdom and longevity.

A picture of Chilgok Weir (칠곡보) on the Nakdong River in Chilgok County, South Korea.
Chilgok Weir saves water from the Nakdong River for farmers during droughts, and releases it downstream during floods.

Chilgok Weir (칠곡보; Chilgok-bo) is the Nakdong River’s fourth watergate. Built by the Four Rivers Project in 2011, it borrows its name from where it stays, Chilgok County (칠곡군). The weir measures 348 meters, with 200 meters of movable beams regulating the river’s flow.

A picture of Gangjeong Goryeong Weir (강정고령보) along the Nakdong River in Daegu, South Korea.
Gangjeong Goryeong Weir spans the Nakdong River in Gangjeong Amusement Park on the edge of Daegu. Near it lies a certification center, observation tower, and the ARC Cultural Center.

Gangjeong Goryeong Weir (강정고령보; Gangjeong Goryeong-bo) is the longest Four Rivers Project weir, measuring 954 meters. It sits in the Gangjeong Amusement Park (대구강정유원지) on the edge of Daegu Metropolitan City (대구시) near the ARC Cultural Center.

A picture of The ARC Cultural Center (디아크문화관) in Daegu, South Korea.
The ARC Cultural Center sits at the bottom of Gangjeong Amusement Park, overlooking the convergence of the Nakdong and Geumho Rivers in Daegu, South Korea.

The ARC Cultural Center (디아크문화관) perches on a teardrop bit of land at the bottom of Gangjeong Amusement Park. It overlooks the convergence of the Nakdong River and Geumho River (금호강), which flows along the northern border of downtown Daegu City (대구시).

A picture of Dalseong Weir (달성보) on the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) along the Nakdong River in Dalseong County, South Korea.
The observation decks on Dalseong Weir resemble the bow of a ship sailing down the Nakdong, symbolizing the river’s development.

Dalseong Weir (달성보; Dalseong-bo) sits 21 kilometers downriver from the Gangjeong Goryeong Weir on the edge of Daegu City. Sluice gates take up 162 meters of its 580-meter length. They prevent flooding and secure water for local farmers.

A picture of the front gate of Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy (도동서원) in Dalseong County, South Korea.
UNESCO designated Dodong Seowon and eight other Korean Confucian Academies as World Heritage Sites in 2019.

Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy (도동서원) sits at the bottom of Jindeung Mountain (진등산) 30 kilometers south of Daegu along the Nakdong River. Its name, “Dodong,” translates to “teaching” (/dō/; 도) from the “east” (/dōng/; 동). (Korea is “east” of China.)

A picture of the Hapcheon Changnyeong Weir (합천창녕보) in Hapcheon and Changnyeong Counties, South Korea.
The towers of the Hapcheon Changnyeong Weir represent the wings of ibis birds, which live 7 kilometers southeast in the Upo Wetlands.

Completed in 2011, Hapcheon Changnyeong Weir (합천창녕보; Hapcheon Changnyeong-bo) is the seventh of eight weirs built by the Four Rivers Project on the Nakdong River. Two hydro generators on the weir’s east end generate 25 GWh of electricity each year.

A picture of Changnyeong Haman Weir (창녕함안보) on the Nakdong River from the Nakdonggang Bike Path.
At night, the observation decks on the Changnyeong Haman Weir come to life with a colorful light display.

The Changnyeong Haman Weir (창녕함안보; Changnyeong Haman-bo) is the final Nakdong River weir built by the Four Rivers Project. Completed in 2012, its name comes from Changnyeong (창녕군) and Haman (함안군), the counties on its north and south ends.

A picture of the Sinnakdong Steel Bridge (신낙동강철교) crossing the Nakdong River (낙동강) on the Nakdonggang Bike Path (낙동강자전거길) between in Miryang and Gimhae Cities, in South Korea.
Completed in 1962 and decommissioned in 2009, the Sinnakdong Steel Bridge now hosts the Gimhae Nakdonggang Rail Park and its pedal-powered rail bikes.

Sinnakdong Steel Bridge (신낙동강철교) is a decommissioned, trestle railroad bridge near the intersection of the Miryang River (밀양강) and mighty Nakdong River. It touches both Miryang (밀양시) and Gimhae (김해시) Cities just above Busan (부산시).

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.

A picture of the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan on Eulsukdo Island.
On Eulsukdo Island in Busan, find the end of the Cross-Country Route and a complex of cultural facilities, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan.

Eulsukdo Island (을숙도) is a delta clinging to the end of the Nakdong River as it spills into the Korea Straight or South Sea (Namhae; 남해) in Busan Metropolitan City (부산시).

The Nakdonggang Bird Sanctuary (을숙도철새공원) claims most of the island. It spreads southward from Nakdong South Road (낙동남로).

How To Get There

The Nakdonggang Bike Path crosses several large cities and a bushel of rural counties. Each offers intercity bus terminals, train stations, and subway stops.

These four transportation methods will get you and your bike to the Nakdonggang Bike Path:

Intercity Bus

Like every other certification bike path in Korea, intercity buses provide the simplest way to get to the Nakdonggang Bike Path with your full-size bicycle (road, MTB, hybrid)

Subways

The Nakdonggang Bike Path passes two metropolitan cities, each with their own subway system.

A picture of an passenger jet landing at Gimhae International Airport from the finish line of the Nakdonggang Bike Path.
Watch passenger jets as they land at Gimhae International Airport from the finish line of the Nakdonggang Bike Path.

Trains

None of the bus timetables or routes fit your schedule. Try a train.

The Gyeongbu Line (경부선) travels from Seoul to Busan. It stops at nine stations along the Nakdonggang Bike Path.

Airplanes

Jetting in or out of Busan with your bike? Gimhae International Airport (김해국제공항), the third largest in Korea behind Incheon and Jeju, sits close to the Nakdonggang Bike Path.