Though not filled with landmarks, the Ocheon Path offers a procession of rural mountain vistas and grass adorned waterways.
City-to-City Path Breakdown
Bike Path Overview
Ocheon Bike Path follows streams, it twists and turns more than river paths, like the Han or Nakdonggang.
Starting in the east, the path shoots off from the Saejae Bike Path at the trough of it’s two highest peaks. Because of this, the elevation starts around 236 meters above seat level. As the path heads west, you’ll plateau before hitting another 231 peak, then descend to sea level as you meet up with the Geumgang Bike Path.
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The Nakdonggang Bicycle Path crosses two provinces, two metropolitan cities, and 14 cities and counties. Check out these short profiles of each.
- North Gyeongsang Province (경상북도) is one half of the old Gyeongsang Province. It’s most tourist-soaked city is Gyeongju. Known as Korea’s open-air museum, the old Silla capital claims countless ancient relics and museums. The largest province by area, the conservative region birthed several famous leaders and scholars, like Yi Hwang (이황; ₩1,000 bill).
- Andong City (안동시) is the capital and largest city in North Gyeongsang Province. Loaded with heritage, the city sports a hanok village, and hosts a traditional Korean mask dance museum and performances.
- Yecheon County (예천군) is a farming county that experienced a two-thirds population decline. Recent commercial and residential developments increased its population.
- Sangju City (상주시) was once a key settlement and transit hub during the Three Kingdoms period. Today, after losing some of its folk and fame, the city makes a living farming rice, persimmons, and silk.
- Gumi City (구미시), though small, concentrates some of Korea’s most advanced manufacturing and R&D facilities in its borders. Both Samsung and LG run factories in the city.
- Chilgok County (칠곡군) holds battle scars from different centuries. On the front lines of the Busan Perimeter, the county resurrected and memorialized a bridge destroyed during the Korean War.
- Daegu Metropolitan City (대구광역시), Korea’s fourth largest and once North Gyeongsang Province’s capital, serves as a money engine for the region. Other than Seoul, Daegu claims to be one of Korea’s fashion and tech hubs.
- Dalseong County (달성군) is a district within Daegu. Cut in two by the metro city’s downtown, the county accounts for half Daegu’s total area. Many residents own pocket-sized farms or serve in the military.
- Goryeong County (고령군) was the seat of one of the ancient Gaya Confederacy’s six city-states. Today, the county is one of Korea’s least populated.
- South Gyeongsang Province (경상남도) forms the lower half of the old Gyeongsang Province. It once contained the now self-governing Busan and Ulsan Metropolitan cities, which extract and refine much of the country’s oil. Today, the province’s cities and many islands fish, farm, and build ships on the southeast coast.
- Hapcheon County (합천군) boasts a mountainous west that slopes downwards along eastern streams. Its Gaya Mountain National Park keeps the Haeinsa Temple, one of Korea’s Three Jewels Buddhist Temples.
- Uiryeong County (의령군), with less than 30,000 folks, is one of the nation’s least populated. However, it birthed two famous Koreans, including Gwak Jae-u, who fought Japan during the Imjin Wars, and Lee Byung-chul, founder of Samsung.
- Changnyeong County (창녕군) was an ancient city-state of the Gaya Confederacy. Its flat, arable land led to its early development. The county’s Upo Wetlands are the nation’s largest.
- Haman County (함안군) was a Gaya Confederacy city-state. Mountains in the south. Fertile fields in the north near the Nakdong River. The county relies on its crops, plopping out famed watermelons, for which they hold an annual festival.
- Changwon City (창원시) is the country’s ninth largest and capital of South Gyeongsang Province. A “planned city” with accessible parks and separated manufacturing and residential zones, Changwon’s income comes from an industrial complex that focuses on heavy industry.
- Miryang City (밀양시), because of its location along the Nakdong River, served as a stop along the Joseon Dynasty’s (1392 ~ 1897) Great Yeongnam Road. Today’s high-speed KTX running from Seoul to Busan also pauses in the city.
- Yangsan City (양산시) wedges between the second and seventh largest cities in Korea: Busan in the south and Ulsan in the north. Because of its satellite status, the city grows skyscraping apartment buildings.
- Busan Metropolitan City (부산광역시) is Korea’s second largest city. It lies on the southeastern tip of the peninsula. The city hosted the nation’s first international port in 1876. During the Korean War, because it was only one of two cities not captured, Busan became South Korea’s capital. Today, the city hosts many international conferences and events, like the annual Busan International Film Festival.
Bike Path Types
- Andong Dam — (안동댐 인증센터)
- Sangju-bo — (상주보 인증센터)
- Nakdan-bo — (낙단보 인증센터)
- Gumi-bo — (구미보 인증센터)
- Chilgok-bo — (칠곡보 인증센터)
- Gangjeong Goryeong-bo — (강정고령보 인증센터)
- Dalseong-bo — (달성보 인증센터)
- Hapcheon Changnyeong-bo — (합천창녕보 인증센터)
- Changnyeong Haman-bo — (창녕함안보 인증센터)
- Yangsan Water Culture Hall — (양산 물문화관 인증센터)
- Nakdonggang Estuary Bank — (낙동강하구둑 인증센터)
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).
The Five Streams
How To Get There
How do you get you and your two wheels to the Ocheon Bicycle Path? It’s harder than most.
Well, that’s only half true. The finish line dwells near Sejong City and its bus and train terminals. But its start line in Goesan County offers two bitter pills: hills or distance.
Here are your transportation options.
Intercity bus terminals offer cyclists and their bikes the most hop on and off points along the Ocheon Bike Path.
The settlement at the end of the cycling route provides a large, nearby terminal. However, Ocheon’s opening village lacks bus access.
Let’s learn more.
The sleepy village lists an intercity bus stop near its town hall. However, a thorough web scraping for its timetable bears no fruit. Service may be temporary or permanently suspended.
Three not-so-ideal intercity drop-offs offer the nearest access to the starting point. Each offer unique challenges to reach start line.
- Suanbo Intercity Bus Stop — over the Sojo Pass (380 m)
- Mungyeong Bus Terminal — over the Ihwa Pass (539 m)
- Goesan Intercity Bus Terminal — 27 kilometer one-way cycle
Let’s take a closer look.
Suanbo Intercity Bus Stop
Only a handful of intercity terminals feed buses into Suanbo’s bus stop.
- Five buses depart from Jeomchon Bus Terminal (점촌터미널) between 10:00 and 19:30 (timetable).
- Five buses depart from Mungyeong Bus Terminal (문경버스터미널) between 3:00 and 20:00 (timetable).
- Two buses depart from Sangju Bus Terminal (상주종합버스터미널) between 16:45 and 18:30 (timetable).
- Two buses depart from Gumi Bus Terminal (구미종합터미널) at 16:00 and 17:45 (timetable).
- Two buses depart from Busan Central Bus Terminal (부산종합버스터미널) at 13:40 and 16:35 (timetable).
- One bus departs from Gyeongju Bus Terminal (경주시외버스터미널) at 14:30 (timetable).
- One bus departs from Pohang Bus Terminal (포항시외버스터미널) at 13:40 (timetable).
But because Suanbo is 197 meters above sea level, you only need to ascend 183 meters of the high pass.
Mungyeong Bus Terminal
Mungyeong Bus Terminal (문경버스터미널) accepts buses from Seoul, Incheon, Busan, North Gyeongsang Province (timetable), much more than Suanbo. But it lies south of the mightest climb among all certification bike paths: the Ihwa Pass.
The route from the bus station to Yeonpung runs 14.4 kilometers and ascends 377 meters to a 539 meter peak (directions).
Compared to a Suanbo start, you’ll cycle two more kilometers and climb 200 more meters of switchback incline.
Goesan Intercity Bus Terminal
Like Suanbo, the terminal is tiny. It accepts buses from a few cities:
- Eleven buses depart from Cheongju Bus Terminal between 6:55 and 19:50 (timetable).
- Nine buses depart from Jeungpyeong Bus Terminal between 7:40 and 20:35 (timetable).
No hills? What’s the tradeoff? Distance.
The Geosan Terminal sits a third of the way down the Ocheon Bike Path. A one-way trip to Goesan runs 26.9 kilometers (directions). Double that distance on the return, what do you get? 54.1 kilometers (directions).
But, hey. No mighty passes.
Sejong Bus Terminal (세종고속시외버스터미널) lives on the south side of the Geum River in Sejong City, only an 8.1 kilometers cycle from Hapgang Park Certification Center (합강공원 인증센터), the Ocheon Bike Path’s finish line (directions).
The terminal includes both express and intercity buses, each with different routes.
The express routes roll nonstop to Seoul, Incheon, Gwangju, and districts in Gyeonggi, and North and South Chungcheong Province (timetable).
Intercity buses drive to the same cities, plus smaller settlements in South Chungcheong and more provinces (timetable).
Between the start and finish lines, the Ocheon Bike Path passes a city and a pocket full of pocket-sized settlements, each with their own intercity terminal.
The first three downtown’s along the cycling route offer small intercity terminals.
- Goesan County
- Jeungpyeong County
- Jochiwon Town (a town in Sejong City’s borders)
West of Goesan, Jeungpyeong Intercity Bus Terminal (증평시외버스터미널) operates more routes. Express buses drive to Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, and Gwangju (timetable). Intercity buses hit the same metro cities, plus North Chungcheong and Gyeonggi and more provinces (timetable).
Sejong City absorbed Jochiwon Town upon its founding in 2012. Isolated in the city’s northeast near the end of the Ocheon Bike Path, Jochiwon Bus Terminal (조치원터미널) offers limited service to Seoul, Cheongju, Sejong, Gongju, and Buyeo along the Geumgang Bike Path.
Cheongju City is the capital of North Gyeongsang Province. The bottom third of the Ocheon Bike Path skims the northern edge of its downtown.
- Three kilometers from the bike path, Cheongju Airport (청주시외버스터미널) runs express (timetable) and intercity (timetable) buses to and from Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, and more (directions). Unmanned machines doll out bus tickets inside the airport’s terminal.
- Cheongju North Bus Terminal (청주북부터미널) lies on the north side of the Dal Stream, 4.7 kilometers from the bike path. It sends both intercity (timetable) and express (timetable) buses to Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon and North Chungcheong (directions).
- Cheongju North Bus Stop (청주북부정류장) lies near Musim Stream (무심천), which runs through downtown Cheongju, 5.8 kilometers from the bike path (directions). Next to the roadside waiting area, a ticket booth inside a building’s first floor sells intercity (timetable) and express (timetable) bus tickets.
Ocheon Bus Terminals
- Mungyeong Bus Terminal — (문경버스터미널) — Start
- Goesan Intercity Bus Terminal — (괴산시외버스공용터미널) — Start
- Jeungpyeong Intercity Bus Terminal — (증평시외버스터미널)
- Cheongju Airport Intercity & Express Bus Stop — (청주국제 공항버스정류장)
- Cheongju North Bus Terminal — (청주북부터미널)
- Jochiwon Bus Terminal — (조치원공영버스터미널)
- Cheongju Intercity Bus Terminal — (청주시외버스터미널)
- Cheongju Express Bus Terminal — (청주고속버스터미널)
- Cheongju North Bus Stop — (청주북부정류장)
- Sejong Bus Terminal — (세종고속시외버스터미널) — End
Want to ride a train with your full-size bike (MTB, road, hybrid)? You’ll need to book a ticket that includes a bike cradle.