One-Day Trip Near Seoul: Cheorwon Hantangang River Road Trekking in Winter

7 min readFeb 15, 2023

Winter in South Korea is full of excitement for those who have been to the snowy mountaintops to marvel at snowflakes. Inspired by the picturesque view of snow-covered peaks, I made a promise to myself to embark on a snow mountain trek this year.

Although it’s been a while since my last hiking experience in winter, I didn’t want to push myself too hard and preferred to take in the tranquil beauty of snowflakes at a leisurely pace. For me, mountains are not a test of strength, but a place to enjoy the splendor of nature and to heal my mind.

In South Korea, there are countless mountains and trails, big and small, in and around Seoul that offer a diverse range of views. This winter, for those who seek to wander through a kingdom of ice and snow but want to walk on an easy trail as a beginner, I would like to suggest the Cheorwon Hantangang Water Road Trekking as a perfect destination for you.

𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐇𝐢𝐝𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐆𝐞𝐦: 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐨𝐧 𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐒𝐞𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲

Have you heard of the Cheorwon Hantangang, certified as a UNESCO Global Geopark in July 2020? This hidden gem boasts breathtaking and unspoiled scenery. You can stroll along the Hantangang River and marvel at the columnar joints and unique cliffs. This is a winter destination not to be missed.

Located just 2 hours away from Seoul by car, the Cheorwon Hantangang Water Road Trekking is a fantastic option for a weekend day trip. The trekking route features a pontoon bridge over the Hantangang River and a dirt road along the river. It is especially recommended to visit in winter to see the frozen Hantangang River and the stunning sight of the surrounding scenery covered in snow. Finding a travel buddy through NomadHer is a good way to enjoy travel.

𝐄𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞

After purchasing a ticket at the ticket office at the Taebong Bridge parking lot, step into the entrance and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Hantangang River surrounded by snowy mountains and cliffs. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature by listening to the sounds of your footsteps on a snowy road, and ice cracking on the river.

As you stroll along the river, you may encounter mallard ducks looking for food. It’s a charming sight to see these ducks diving into the water while gracefully splashing their feet. I can’t wait to see what other delightful encounters await on my next visit.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝

✔𝐒𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐃𝐚𝐞𝐬𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐧𝐚𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐬

Stroll along the buoy road and then you’ll come across the magnificent Songdaeso cliff. This unique geological formation was created when hot lava cooled and split vertically, resulting in a striking red wall. It is one of the magnificent views that makes this road special.

✔𝐈𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐚𝐥l

Continuing your journey, you’ll encounter a breathtaking ice waterfall. Its emerald sparkle in the sunlight is truly magnificent and can only be seen on a winter trekking trip. Don’t miss out on this stunning, unexplored landscape.

As you keep walking straight, the buoy road splits into two paths. The road on the right will take you to Goseokjeong Pavilion. The road straight ahead will bring you to a rest area crossing the Hantan River Milky Way Bridge.

Need a break? I recommend that you cross over the Milky Way bridge to recharge your energy. Use your Cheorwon love gift coupons that you receive at the ticket office to warm up with a hot cup of coffee and some fresh bread at a cozy cafe.

✔𝐈𝐜𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐒𝐞𝐮𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐥𝐠𝐲𝐨 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐠𝐞

As you approach Goseokjeong Pavilion, you’ll come across a wide-open area blanketed in snow. This spot is particularly famous for its stunning ice wall. It draws in many visitors who want to snap a picture in front of it. I was in awe of the magnificent ice wall and quickly captured the moment with my camera, eager to remember its beauty forever.

There is a snowy hill in front of the ice wall, bustling with children sledding down it. Sleds are not available for rent and must be brought from home if you want to enjoy them. It appeared many families who had visited the area for trekking previously parked their cars in a nearby lot and came to sled with their children. I quickly checked my bag and found a thick piece of paper to use as a sled, amazed at how fast I was moving. I can’t wait to come back with a proper sled and spend the day here.

Throughout the entire Hantanggang Water Road, you’ll find plenty of people ready to help tourists. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many friendly guides around. If you have any questions during your walk, feel free to ask them. I took advantage of this and asked for information on shuttle bus locations, the estimated time for the route I was taking, and more. Each time I received a kind and helpful response, making my journey much easier. So don’t forget, when you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to ask the locals first!

𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐨𝐧 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝

Photo by Cheorwon Cultural Foundation

▪️ Opening period: Late Fall ~ Early Spring every year (This year, it is opened for 5 months from October 29, 2022, to March 31, 2023)

▪️ Course: Taebongdaegyo Bridge — Songdaeso — Eunhasugyo Bridge — Seungilgyo Bridge — Goseokjeong Pavilion — Sundam Valley (8km)

▪️ Course starting point: Ticket office at Taebong Bridge parking lot (Search for ‘Korea Leisure Parking Lot’ on Naver Map)

▪️ Operating Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

▪️ Entrance fee: 10,000 won (5,000 won Cheorwon love gift coupon is provided instead)

▪️ Route for shuttle bus service (weekends and holidays only): Taebongdaegyo Bridge — Eunhasu Bridge — Goseokjeong Pavilion — Sundam — Druni Parking Lot

▪️Shuttle Bus Fee: Free for those with tickets for the Hantangang Water Road

▪️To reach the course by public transportation, get off at Dongsong Terminal and take a city bus or taxi to the Taebong Bridge parking lot ticket office.

𝐓𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫

The Hantangang Water Road Trekking Course offers a serene experience of walking along the pontoon bridge and the valley road. To make the most of your journey, here are some tips to keep in mind. These suggestions will be useful not just for light trekking but also for snow hiking!

Pack Snacks, Yakgwa, and a Thermos

Bring along snacks such as fruits, chocolate, gimbap, and a thermos filled with hot drinks like tea or coffee. The 8km course is not short, and walking in cold weather can deplete your energy quickly. Snacks will help replenish your energy and keep you fueled during the walk.

I especially recommend bringing Yakgwa which is a Korean traditional sweet cookie. It can give more energy than chocolate. You can easily buy it in any convenience store in South Korea.

✔ Charge Your Phone

Don’t forget to charge your phone 100% before departure. In cold weather, the battery drains faster than usual.

✔ Wear Sneakers

Sneakers are essential for walking on the dirt road next to the river. Some routes are dirt roads that have stones and dirt.

✔ Dress in Layers

Wearing several thin layers is better than wearing one thick jacket. It allows you to change your clothing easily according to the temperature, and it’s lighter too.

If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, the winter trek along the Hantangang River is a great option. And, if you’d like a companion, download the NomadHer app to find other female travelers and join a travel meetup!❤️

🌈 Are you planning to go to Seoul? You can find more information about Seoul travel.

Is Seoul expensive to travel for solo female travelers?

Is Seoul Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

What is it like to travel to South Korea alone?

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