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Seomjingang
Bicycle Path

Ride a rural river through Korea's hill adorned countryside.

Nature lover? Toad river lover.

The Seomjingang Bicycle Path (섬진강자전거길) follows the Seomjin River (섬진강; Seomjingang) from rural to pastoral to bucolic county before spilling into the Korean Straight (남해).

Along the way, you’ll experience one of the country’s more natural riverways, offering mountainside sights and waterfront parks.

The Stats
Start
Imsil County
(임실군)
← 149 km →
7.5 hour
End
Gwangyang City
(광양시)
Checkpoints Logo
Stamps (8)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
Link button to Kakao Maps directions.
Directions
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.
Highlights

City-to-City Path Breakdowns

Ride the Seomjin rocky river from its source to railroad territory.

Ride under a mountaintop temple to a seaside beach filled with frolicking families.

Municipalities

The Seomjingang Bike Path snakes through two provinces, four counties, and two cities. Read these short profiles of each.

  • North Jeolla Province (전라북도) shares the southwest corner of the peninsula with South Jeolla. Koreans know the region for rich food at cheap prices and the birthplace and keeper of pansori, Korean musical storytelling. The least wealthy province in the nation, the area holds part of the Honam Plains, which has filled the country’s rice bowls since ancient times. It’s coast, before reclamation, contained extensive mudflats on the Yellow Sea. Jeonju, the largest city, boasts a famed hanok village, museums, festivals, and bibimbap restaurants.
  • South Jeolla Province (전라남도) sits on the southwest tip of Korea. Gwangju Metropolitan City, known for rebelling against the nation’s strongmen policies, once was its capital. Like North Jeolla, South Jeolla keeps the other portion of the fertile Honam Plains and cooks up some of the country’s most delectable dishes. The province’s coast produces seaweed and oysters, and wrangles thousands of mostly uninhabited islands in its borders.
    • Gokseong County (곡성군) is a rural county along the Seomjin River. Known for agriculture like strawberries and perilla leaves, the county recently developed a tourist industry. Seomjingang Train Village makes use of the old Gokseong Station, displaying retired steam engines and amusement park rides.  
    • Gurye County (구례군), South Jeolla’s least populated bucolic retreat, attracts hikers and sightseers ready to conquer Jiri Mountain, which dominates the district’s eastern edge. Hwaeomsa and Saseongam, both mountain dwelling temples, form the county’s historic core. Gurye’s farms pump out wheat, grapes, cucumbers, and a medicinal flower.
    • Gwangyang City (광양시) hangs onto the bottom of the peninsula, where the Seomjin River exits into the Korean Strait. An industrial city, Gwangyang boasts a bustling port and the world’s largest steel mill on a patch of land reclaimed from the sea. Though much of its fishing industry dried up, farmers still grow cucumbers, zucchini, and pluck cherries from the renowned Maehwa Village along the riverside bike path.

Certification

The Seomjingang Bicycle Path operates eight certification centers throughout its run.

Collect all stamps and receive the Seomjingang Bike Path certification. The route counts towards the Grand Slam certifications. It is not a part of the Four Rivers certification.

Certification Centers

Here is a complete list of certification centers on the Seomjingang Bike Path.

  1. Seomjingang Dam (섬진강댐 인증센터; map)
  2. Janggunmok (장군목 인증센터; map)
  3. Hyanga Park (향가유원지 인증센터; map)
  4. Hwoingtangjoeng (횡탄정 인증센터; map)
  5. Saseongam (사성암 인증센터; map)
  6. Namdo Bridge (남도대교 인증센터; map)
  7. Maehwa Village (매화마을 인증센터; map)
  8. Baealdo Waterfront Park (배알도 수변공원 인증센터; map)

How To Get There

The Seomjingang Bike Path is the toughest to access with your bike. Passing only two mid-to-small-sized cities, a supermarket/bus terminal marks the closest entry point and a highway rest stop forms the nearest exit.

Here are your transportation options:

Intercity Bus

The Seomjingang Bike Path lacks major intercity bus terminals near its start and finish lines. And route-choked intercity bus terminals living in people-leaking districts populate its midsection.

However, short of a personal car, intercity buses remain the best option to access the cycling path with your bike.

Trains

For an extended stretch, the Seomjingang Bike Path follows the Joella Line (전라선), which travels from Seoul (서울역) to Yeosu Expo (여수시) Stations.

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.