Bike Changnyeong to Busan
Namji Bridge to Changnyeong Haman Weir
Ride east along the Nakdong River along riverside parks to the Nakdong’s final weir.
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.
The weir measures 549 meters long. Retractable watergates makeup 144 meters of its length. They regulate the river’s flow, providing water for local farmers. Four small hydro plants create 50 GWh of electricity per year, enough power for 8,000 households.
Changnyeong Haman Weir to Haman City
Hop north and south along the Nakdong River as it flows east through a series of eco parks.
Carve under willow trees and by waves of white-haired autumn grass. Find toilets and camping families strewn about.
Watch out! After a 37-meter hill, the next 5 kilometers (directions) switches between the safe paths of Hakpo Eco Park (학포수변생태공원) and a road with an uncomfortable shoulder (road view). Keep your eye trained for the turn offs here, here, and here.
Is the sun still in the sky? Forge forth.
Hanam Town to Sinnakdong Steel Bridge
Pick a side. Ride the Nakdong River’s north side and view a panorama of merging rivers. Cycle the south side and travel through a tunnel, cutting kilometers off your route.
From Hanam Town along the Nakdong River, the Nakdonggang Bike Path splits in two. However, the diverging routes lead to Sinnakdong Steel Bridge not too far down the path.
- Cross the Su-san Bridge to ride the north side bike path, the “official” Nakdonggang route. It offers a peripheral-filling vista of the Miryang and Nakdong River’s merging. But it also detours around the Miryang River, adding 7.5 kilometers to your trip.
- Don’t cross the Su-san Bridge to cycle the south side bike path. Shorter than the north, it flows past villages, riverside parks, and through a converted train tunnel.
Let’s explore each.
The train tunnel, however, lost its job of 47 years when the rail company completed a new electrified double-track, which runs parallel to the old tracks.
In 2019, Gimhae City revitalized the 329-meter long, 4-meter wide Masa Tunnel. Inside, they removed tracks and added bike paths and decorative lights.
Thank Masa Tunnel as you work your way through its refrigerated insides. Before it, the cycling route ascended the Mojeong Pass (모정고개), a 70-meter-tall hill above you.
Burst into Masa Tunnel’s courtyard, rest at the Unmanned Bicycle Cafe (마사자전거카페). Or take photos of the art installations reinterpreting the Gaya Confederacy, the ancient states that occupied the area.
Why? Samrangjin Bridge opened in 1905. Its century-old trusses have only the strength to carry cyclists and family sedans across the Nakdong River. Those makeshift gates forbid fat freight trucks from buckling the bridge’s geratric supports.
Find a friend or fellow cyclist. Hand them your smartphone. Pose in front of the frame and lift your bike above your head. Say “money.”
Want to take the “official” Nakdonggang route from Hanam Town to Sinnakdong Steel Bridge?
Churn 6 more kilometers and arrive at a pavilion (road view). Climb off your bike and rest inside. Watch the Miryang River (밀양강) dump into the Nakdong behind a backdrop mountains. Leaping the currents below, find the gridded trusses of the Nakdong River Railroad Bridge (낙동강철교), which carries Korea’s flagship KTX trains on the Gyeongjeon Line.
Just before rejoining the Nakdong River, hop onto a one-lane road that passes riverside buildings clinging to low cliffs (road view).
Ripple along rocky faces and dip under trusses of the Nakdong River Railroad Bridge. It’s the first of five bridges clustered on this section of the Nakdong.
- Nakdong River Railroad Bridge (낙동강철교) — KTX railroad bridge built in 2009. It took over the Sinnakdong Bridge’s duties.
- “Old” Samrangjin Bridge (삼랑진교) — a single-lane bridge completed in 1905. Connecting the north and south side bike paths from Hanam Town, it allows bikes and small to midsize cars across.
- Sinnakdong Steel Bridge (신낙동강철교) — a train bridge transformed into a railbike park. More below.
- “New” Samrangjin Bridge (신삼랑진교) — completed in 2011. This two-lane truss bridge connects Miryang and Gimhae Cities.
- Nakdong “Big” Bridge (낙동대교) — carries the tolled New Daegu Busan Expressway (신대구부산고속도로).
In 2010, Gimhae City transformed Sinnakdong Steel Bridge into the feature attraction for the Gimhae Nakdonggang Rail Park (김해낙동강레일파크). On sunny days, dozens of families chug up and down the steel latticed bridge’s old train tracks on pedal-powered rail bikes.
Sinnakdong Steel Bridge to Yangsan Water Culture Hall
As the Nakdong River bends south, cycle along boardwalks above the river and beside the Gyeongbu Line, Korea’s most traveled railroad.
Up ahead, the rail line shoves the cycling route into the Nakdong, along the first of two long boardwalks that meander over the river’s current (road view).
Cycle 2 kilometers then land on a path of expansive river bank (road view). In its southeast, find Gayajinsa Temple (가야진사). First built in 1708, locals performed rituals for ancestors and dragon gods in its walls.
Take out your camera (smartphone)! A famed photo-zone lives just beyond Wondong Village.
- In spring, photographers flock here to fill their memory cards full of the Gyeongbu Railroad curving below cherry blossom-covered mountains.
From Seoryong Park, enter the second stretch of cycling boardwalk snaking over the river.
Land back on dry ground just in front of the Yangsan Water Culture Hall Certification Center.
Yangsan Water Culture Hall to Daedong Hwamyeong Bridge
Ride through a sweeping riverside park into Busan Metropolitan City.
Pedal on from the Yangsan Water Culture Hall Certification Center.
(Don’t get lost! Yangsan Stream’s bike path splits from the Nakdong route here.)
Busan Subway System
Busan Metro Line 2 runs parallel to the last stretch of the Nakdonggang Bike Path in Busan. Beginning with Hopo Station (호포역) in Yangsan and ending at Busan’s Sasang Station (사상역), twelve stations lie just off the bike path.
The riverbanks expand as you glide into Hwamyeong Ecological Park (화명생태공원). This is the first of five eco parks built by the Four Rivers Project along the Nakdong Estuary. They preserve wetlands on both the east and west banks.
Hwamyeong Eco Park is the smallest (1.41 sq km), but it boasts winding boardwalks over a photogenic marsh full of migratory birds. A nearby marina hosts an eco river cruise.
Why is it important? Do I need to cross? It’s up to you.
East and west side bike paths run along the Nakdong River from Yangsan City until Eulsukdo Island, the finish line. However, Daedong Hwamyeong Bridge’s pedestrian and cycling lane (road view) provides your first access to the Nakdong River’s west side.
The “official route” runs on the east side of the Nakdong River in Busan until Eulsukdo Island. But the west side lands in the same destination and it offers fewer obstacles.
Let’s explore both.
Pedal under Daedong Hwamyeong Bridge and through the rest of Hwamyeong Eco Park.
The Arduous Embankment
Zoom up a small hill onto an arduous embankment and crawl down a tree-canopied path squashed between Gangbyeon and Nakdong (낙동대로) Roads.
The arduous embankment also passes six Gangbyeon Road offramps, each gated with time-sucking traffic lights.
While the arduous embankment has benefits — glowing trees past dusk, bathrooms, and a shady canopy — there is an alternative.
Samnak Ecological Park (삼락생태공원), the largest Nakdong Estuary park (4.72 sq km), maintains the arduous embankment. The park’s reedy marsh, willow trees, and grasslands attract both migratory birds and bird watchers.
Want to ride it? Because Gangbyeon Road cuts off access, there’s only one inlet about a fifth of the way down the arduous embankment (road view). Follow it into and across the park’s quicker paths (directions).
West Side to Eulsukdo Island
Explore two ecological parks on the Gimhae Delta, the nation’s most fertile patch of dirt. End at Eulsukdo Island at the bottom of the Nakdong River.
Though the west side route adds 2 kilometers to your trip, it subtracts a mountain of headaches as you avoid the cramped quarters of the east side’s arduous embankment.
Land on the Gimhae Delta (aerial view). This patch of accumulated sediment at the river’s end is Korea’s largest delta. It’s also the most fruitful farmland. Find an endless grid of fields and greenhouses on its shores.
Cycle down an embankment and into Daejeo Ecological Park (대저생태공원), another Nakdong Estuary park built by the Four Rivers Project. In its plot (2.66 sq km), find rec fields, walking paths, and every April, a Canola Flower Festival painting its grasslands yellow.
As you sail down the eco park, notice a parallel access road 50 meters to the east (road view). Though frequented by family SUVs, cyclists often hop on it. It doesn’t zig or zag like the bike path and runs all the way to Eulsukdo Island.
Downriver, 2 kilometers after Daejeo Eco Park narrows to a green sliver, spot a turnoff that leads to Airport Road (공항로; road view). If you navigate 2.2 inland (directions), you’ll arrive at Gimhae International Airport (김해국제공항), Korea’s fourth largest airport.
In the past, rice gushed from the park’s soil and into farmers’ bushels. However, in 2006, the Four Rivers Project razed the paddies and gave the land back to its original owners: migratory birds and water-bound wildlife.
Welcome to the end.
East Side Access
Did you travel the “official route”? Zoom down the eastern portion of the Nakdong Estuary Bank (road view). Peak below at the mini canal built for fishing boats to pass between the Nakdong River and the Korea Strait (road view).
West Side Access
Before the finish line, pass a handful of sights queue along the roadway.
- Nakjo Pavilion (낙조정) — angle adorned birdwatching building with telescopes and an inclined elevator (road view).
- Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (부산현대미술관) — museum with a moss covered façade dedicated to modern art and the natural world (road view)
- Eulsukdo Cultural Center (을숙도문화회관) — art halls and performance spaces spread between two buildings. A sculpture park sits in the middle.
Near Eulsukdo Island’s eastern edge, pass a glass-faced building, then take a left at a blue bike sign (road view). (This is where the east and west side bike paths meet.)
Roll into Eulsukdo Tower Park. Up ahead, find a gateway that reads “Welcome.” Your finish line.
The Finish Line
Glide under the “Welcome” gate in Eulsukdo Tower Park. Glance around the courtyard.
- Nakdong River Estuary Observatory (낙동강하구둑전망대) rises to the right. It offers views of the river and landscape (road view).
- Nakdong Estuary Bank Memorial Tower (낙동강하굿둑기념탑) sits before you. Built in 1987, this sculpture of a “boat sailing in the wind” commemorates the estuary bank you just crossed (road view).
- Nakdong River Culture Center (낙동강문화관) lies on your left. This glass-faced building opens Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Inside they sell and certify bike passports (road view).
Stamp your passport and bask in golden rays of glory.