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Exploring Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest: Complete guide

Fun forest and hill walks easily accessible from Jeju City.

Active | Hiking | Nature

Jeju has a ton of places for hiking. But while most people first think of its coastal Olle Trails, Oreum Hills and Hallasan Mountain, the inland is covered in forest trails, which make for fun walks. One such forest is Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest.

This article will tell you all you need to know about visiting this forest, so you can make the most of your trip.

Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest guide

Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest is a great place for walking. It’s home to Jeolmul Oreum, a volcanic hill that is covered in the forest.

The forest has a large car park at the entrance and affordable pricing of between KRW 1,500 and 5,000 depending on the size of your car. I’ve been plenty of times and while it can get busy, I’ve never had trouble finding a space.

When you enter the forest, you walk through this path lined with tall trees. There’s a barefoot walking path so you can truly get a feeling of nature, although if you aren’t used to walking on pebbles the feeling can be more painful than pleasing.

At the end of this path you’re brought out to a clear view of Jeolmul Oreum with a pond and a few places to sit and relax.

At this point, you’ll also notice several signs pointing to the different trails in the area. This means that now’s the time to choose your walk!

Jeolmul Forest has 6 trails

There are six walking paths in the area that total around 30km in total distance. The paths also connect up with other trails in the area and it’s possible to walk all the way to Seogwipo from the forest.

Many of the paths offer quite different experiences, so be sure to choose the one that meets your needs. I’d recommend the Jangsaeng-gil forest trail for a relatively flat and long forest walk. The oreum is steep and short but well-worth it for the views of the island.

Finally, the Accessible trail is both a great way for people with wheelchairs or prams to explore the forest, as well as a fun trail in it’s own right and is a good option if you’re pushed for time and want something shorter than the Jangsaeng-gil trail.

Jangseang-gil Forest Trail

The Jaegsang-gil path is 11.1 kilometers and it travels through the forest around the oreum. It’s a relatively wild path but clearly defined throughout. Of course, being in the forest you won’t get much of a view, but you’ll plenty of wildlife and its a good place to go for a walk when the heat is too much during summer.

Jeju Jeolmul Oreum summit walking path

The path that goes to the Oreum’s summit is one of the most popular. The summit is 697.7 meters above sea level which sounds like a tough climb, but it’s only around 50 meters above the surrounding area which means it’s not quite as intimidating.

The path is well-defined and while steep in places (you’ll definitely need solid footwear), it’s still a manageable hike.

When I climbed the peak last, we were up and down in well under an hour. The path starts with a climb to the top of the hill, and then there’s a loop around the crator at the top. Here there are two view points which let you climb well above the trees for views out over the island.

From the top of the oreum you get views out over the island. While you can see down to the sea and the city, the best views are of all the oreum in the surrounding area, of which there are many. And you can see Hallasan Mountain on clear days.

When I went for this article, it was super cloudy and wet as you can see in the pictures. But I’ve been before and on a clear day the views are much better if you go on the right day.

Jeolmul Oreum Accessible Trail

In an effort to make the island’s nature accessible to all, Jeju’s building accessible walking paths that are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. On my most recent visit to the area, we walked along this path with my twin babies in a pushchair.

It was honestly a fantastic experience that vastly surpassed my expectations due it offering a really deep experience of the forest and the oreum. The path was 3km long and wound in, around, up and down the oreum and surrounding forest.

The path itself is on a slightly raised platform above ground level. It’s incredibly well maintained and we never had any problems with obstacles. You can see an example of how it looks in the image below.

To be clear, it certainly wasn’t an easy path and you’ll need to be prepared to push at points. But that added to the fun and made it feel like a true forest experience.

Sootmoroo Trail

This is a trail that connects to the back end of the Jangseang-gil Forest Trail. It’s 8km long and is a good way to extend your walk if you want some more time walking. I personally haven’t done this trail, so can’t comment on what it’s like.

The final two paths are Sangi Sori-gil Trail and the Samul-gil Trail, which are both short (under 1km) walks around the forest near the park’s entrance.

Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest location

Screenshot from Kakao Maps showing location of Jeolmul Forest

Jeolmul Recreational Forest’s location is in the perfect place for people staying in the city. It’s around 18km from City Hall in Gu Jeju, meaning you can drive there in around half an hour. And parking is easy thanks to the large car park.

What’s more, there are buses that travel from the city direct to the forest making it accessible even if you don’t have a car. The direct bus from the Terminal is the 43-1 which takes around 56 minutes without the need for a transfer.

Address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Myeongrim-ro 584 (Search Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest on Kakao Maps)

Jeju Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest: Further details

Admission fee: Entrance costs KRW 1,000 per person with discounts for children and seniors. There is also a parking fee of between KRW 1,500 and 5,000 depending on the size of your car.

Opening hours: The park is open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Myeonrim-ro 584 (Naver Maps)

Next steps

Jeolmul Forest’s location in the middle of the mountain means there isn’t tons to do right nearby. But there are plenty of things a short drive away. Here are some recommendations for the area.

Climb another Oreum

This area of Jeju is packed full of oreum: It’s easy to drive from Jeolmul Forest to one of these oreum to do a couple in an morning, afternoon, or even a day. The easiest to get to from Jeolmul Forest is Geochin Oreum, which is part of a small deer sanctuary, thanks to it being located just a few hundred meters from the entrance to Jeolmul Forest.

Jeju Roe Deer Observation Center address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Myeongrim-ro, 520

Website

Visit Ecoland

Ecoland is a family-friendly park with several themed gardens, a forest walking path, and a lake. Perhaps the park’s highlight is the mini train that takes visitors from the entrance to each of the different parks. I recently visited Ecoland with my twin babies and it was a fun and easy way to enjoy a nice day in Spring.

Ecoland address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Jocheon-eup, Beonyeong-ro 1278-169

Website

Continue to Seogwipo or Jeju’s east coast

Jeolmul Forest is located in the center of Jeju and it’s pretty close to some of the main roads that connect the main points of the island to Jeju City. It’s easy to continue on to Seogwipo City or the east coast from Jeju City (or vice versa) after visiting the forest.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan first came to Jeju in 2011. The plan was to stay for six months. 11 years later, he's still here and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island on Inside Jeju.