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Brisk Busan routes argue seasonal changes

▲ This fall, carnelian-hued foliage inside Busan's unfettered natural ecosystem is accessible by ambling along one of Galmaet-gil Trail's nine trekking courses.  (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)

 Not all seasons around the planet are created equal because the Earth's tilt as it orbits changes the area of the planet facing the sun. The Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun during spring and summer and away in fall and winter. Seasons change as the earth spins and revolves around the sun; the closer a place is to the equator, the more the seasons blur together.

 People often feel autumn in Korea is shorter than any other season, this year is no different. Suddenly, the middle of the autumn has come with clear skies, changing greenery and pumpkin spice lattes. Dynamic Busan would like to introduce you to some Galmaet-gil Trail courses to embrace the final days of the season.

▲ Breathtaking views await those who traverse the trails to Godangbong Peak, on Geumjeong Mountain. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)

[Galmaet-gil 7-2] A beautiful path to Geumjeongsan Mountain.

◎ Route: Geumjeongsanseong Fortress East Gate → North Gate → Godangbong Peak → Beomeosa Temple → Nopo-dong Express Bus Terminal → Spo 1 Park → Busan Tollgate → Sanghyeon Village 

◎ Length: approximately 13 kilometers

◎ Duration: about five hours (East Gate   Beomeosa Temple takes about two hours)

 The entrance to Galmaet-gil course seven section two is easy to find by riding bus 203 from exit 4 of Oncheonjang Station (metro line 1). The route begins at the East Gate of Geumjeongsanseong Fortress, the largest fort in Korea. 

 This landmark is located on Geumjeongsan Mountain, the tallest mountain in Busan, at 802 meters above sea level. Famous for its dense forest, strange-looking rocks and clear spring water, this centrally located hotspot is easy to discover and therefore beloved by sightseers and climbers alike.

 After, following the route from the beginning across the rocky mountain path, is the fortress's next gate, the North Gate. Three of the four entrances, East Gate, West Gate and South Gate, were previously damaged during the Japanese occupation and later restored in the 1970s.

 Due to this locale's resilience, scenic views and changing greenery, it is a sought-after photo destination. In particular, near the Fourth Watchtower, the primo view is perfect for capturing the moment with some photographs or well deserved rest. At this the most durable gate, there is a fork in the trail. One way leads to Godangbong Peak and the other to Beomeosa Temple. Not to fret, whichever direction you choose, you can reach the other destination through the final stretch of this course.


▲ The cascading stone staircase provides comfort and elegance.

Godangbong Peak and Beomeosa Temple- for views and virtues

 The road from the North Gate to Godangbong is only one kilometer, but it's quite steep. At the peak, visitors can find a rock and flora-filled panoramic view. En route to the summit, lies a three-meter-wide naturally occurring stream, Geumsaem Spring.

 Multi-colored leaves harmoniously paint the way to the city's most famous temple, built during the Silla Dynasty. Even though it is small, the encompassing peaceful ambiance ensures it's beloved and visited by many. 

 The course ends at Sanghyeon Village, just past the Nopo-dong Bus Terminal. For the famished adventurer, street vendors often set up shop nearby Oshige Market. The market, located in front of the depot and only open every fifth day, might entice you to buy some flowers, accessories or new clothes. 

※ Certification Spots: next to East Gate, Beomeosa Temple gate and in front of the Sanghyeon Village Hoedong Reservoir

▲ The course's wooden deck is perfect for strolling or cycling.


▲ Swaying reeds and wild flowers line the serene waterbank. 

[Galmaet-gil 6-1] A perfect trail for beginners along Nakdonggang riverside

◎ Route: Nakdonggang Estuary Embankment → Nakdonggangsa Culture Garden → Samnak Eco Park → Samnak IC → Gupo Station

◎ Length: approximately 13.2 kilometers

◎ Duration: about four hours

 This course provides a path along the Nakdonggang, the longest river in Korea situated in western Busan. The path itself is relatively flat, so even beginners can walk comfortably. Approximately 500 meters away from exit 1 of Hadan Station (metro line 1), at the Nakdonggang Estuary Embankment you can receive a certificate of achievement. Traveling to Gupo Station, along the riverside, venturers can appreciate calm waters and cool autumn breeze. In the late afternoon, the sun sets against the preserved waterside wilderness.

※ Certification Spots: Nakdonggang Estuary Embankment, Nakdonggangsa Culture Garden and Gupo Station (metro line 1) exit 3

▲ The lounge, right next to the station, is easy to spot.

Galmaet-gil Trail information and amenities available online and on-site

 The Galmaet-gil trail embodies the characteristics of Busan. The city's history and premier locals are expressed and accentuated with the help of the ocean, rivers and mountains. Currently, the 280-kilometer-long trail has nine courses, but the city plans to add 15 more by 2026. 

 For more information, check out the website ( or for on-site help or monthly recommended courses  visit the "Galmaet-gil Tour Lounge." After completing all nine courses, you can also receive a completion certificate at the lounge.

◎ Hours:10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and national holidays
◎ Phone:051-464-2030
◎ How to get there: Busan Station (metro line 1), exit 6. It's located at 202, Busan Eurasia Platform in front of Busan Station.