Ready for an unusual hiking experience? Try barefoot hiking.
Today’s post is about the “barefoot hiking and eco-healing trail”, a unique hiking spot for nature lovers.
It is located just between Cheonan and Asan. The Cheonan side is called Buong Park (부엉공원) and the Asan side is called Yonggok Park (용곡공원). This is a little confusing since they are both referring to the same place.
However, locals just call it Hwangttogil (황톳길), which means red clay path.
Hiking level and characteristics
The trail is a an easy hiking trail along a small mountain. It is the ideal hiking spot for beginners and for the whole family.
The path is very comfortable to walk and the terrain is not steep at all. I could even comfortably hike with my baby in the hiking carrier.
The main circuit is about 2.5 km long and it takes 40 minutes more or less. There are various routes to choose from.
It is also a suitable “untact” activity for social distancing since the paths are wide and are usually not crowded.
About barefoot hiking
Did you know that barefoot walking has various beneficial health effects and strengthens the immune system?
It will be an experience for all senses and a massage free of charge for your tired feet.
How does it feel like? Walking on the red clay is very comfortable.
Why not give it a try?
Don’t worry if barefoot hiking is not your thing. Most people wear shoes and it will be a wonderful hike regardless of your footwear preferences.
Best season to go
Whereas the barefoot experience is limited to the warmer seasons, the trail is beautiful for a hike all year round.
Spring and summer (except of the rainy season) is the best time to ditch those sturdy hiking boots and try barefoot hiking.
Moreover, it will be nice to watch the cherry blossom in spring. Autumn offers a beautiful scenery with red, brown and golden leaves and the sunlight shining through the trees. However, it is also wonderful for a winter hike when the sky is clear and the air is fresh.
Attractions for kids
There is a lot to discover for the whole family. A hidden treasure is the forest playground which is located near the Cheonan entrance of the park. The attractions are built from wood and blend in perfectly in the mountain and forest scenery.
Kids can play while the parents can take a rest in the small hut.
Nature experience and learning trail
Discover the local flora and fauna. Who is living in the forest?
Young and old can learn something about the forest and mountain inhabitants.
Do you know who is living here? If you look carefully, you may discover foot prints.
Along the trail are shelters and benches to take a rest and enjoy the view. For those who cannot get enough exercise, there is an outdoor gym located at the Asan side of the park.
How to clean your well massaged but muddy feet afterwards?
Typical for Korea, the land of convenience, they have thought of everything.
There is a feet washing station in front of the restrooms at the Asan side of the park. It is a good idea to bring soap and a towel if you want to wash your feet afterwards.
Moreover, there is a station where you can blow off dust and dirt and a tick repellent spray.
Can I take my dog?
Unfortunately this is unclear.
I saw a sign in spring/summer saying that you should refrain from taking dogs to the barefoot trail. However, this post disappeared and along the paths are signs reminding of petiquette. Hence, I assumed that dogs are not banned, at least not in winter. In my opinion, this needs to be clarified by the park management.
I took my dog in the winter but would not take the dog when the barefoot season starts. When in doubt, it would be better to avoid the barefoot trail and choose another route instead or head right next to Jisan park (지산공원) near the Cheonan Asan library, where many dog lovers meet.
The barefoot and eco-healing trail is located close to Cheonan-Asan KTX station and Moda outlet (10 minute walk).
The closest public parking space is near the Cheonan-Asan library.
From the library, just walk up to the big intersection before the tunnel and cross the street. You will see the frog wall near the entrance of the park right in front of you. Walk left towards the tunnel and turn right to enter the park. You will see a wooden entrance sign and stairs. You are there!
Have a happy hiking day!