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Forgotten trails in DMZ fit for trekking

Just an hour’s drive from the jostling metropolis of Seoul lie trails nearly untouched by humans for six decades, tempting adventurous hikers seeking pristine landscapes and scenes from the Korean Peninsula’s unfinished war.

But up until now, the overgrown routes just south of the Demilitarized Zone — a 259 kilometer strip of rugged no-man’s land stretching from coast to coast — have eluded most trekkers, except those with local knowledge.

This weekend, the government of Gyeonggi Province, which borders the DMZ, is unveiling a total of 182.3 km of courses in the area. It plans to post a map on its Web site and has started marking trails as part of a strategy to boost eco-tourism.

Trekking Sites near Seoul Korea

“If you come and visit this area, you can get a first-hand experience of the reality on the Korean Peninsula, which has been divided for over half a century, and also see a beautifully protected natural environment,” says Han Bae-soo, who is in charge of the project.

The courses include a dozen major routes passing through the cities of Gimpo, Goyang, Paju and the county of Yeoncheon, and vary in length from 8 to 21km — three to seven hours’ walk for an adult. Read the full story

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