It is a known fact that exercising is beneficial to everyone, especially to young people like myself who are still physically growing. This is especially true for teens who have much more “screen time” than exercise time and could not have been more evident than during past few the no-school months, when we had to take online classes at home. Perhaps the easiest form of exercise is walking.
In Seocho-gu, a district of Seoul where I live, there is a popular hiking course known as Seoripul Park (a.k.a. Soecho Olle Trail) that runs for almost four kilometers from behind the Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital all the way to the resting place near Cheongwonsa Temple. This trail is almost four kilometers long and takes about an hour and a half to reach the end. My family found out about this course about three years ago and it has become our favorite weekend activity, especially during the no-school period. From what we have seen and experienced for three years, it is easy to see why this is such a popular hiking course in Seoul.
|[Montmartre Park / Photo Credit: Sewon Han]|
There are steps and gradual up hills for the first ten minutes or so, which is followed by an alley of azaleas. This is a favorite photo zone for many hikers. After this “flower alley” comes the “Caterpillar Bridge” and then onto the famous Montmartre Park. There is even a home for rabbits and almost every time we go there we see rabbits and on some occasions, we see as many as six of them.There are benches and clean bathrooms which make this park another favorite spot for hikers.
|[Rabbits at Montmartre Park / Photo Credit: Sewon Han]|
During the last couple of hikes, we noticed many positive changes that have been made to the hiking route, especially on the Seoripul Park observation deck, which is still incomplete but already comprises new public bathrooms, benches, a lost-and-found box and a digital gadget that shows the temperature, humidity and air quality. This observation deck offers a great view of Seoul and this is where most people rest before either going back downhill or all the way to the Cheongwonsa resting place. If one chooses to go down the Bangbae-dong area around Bangbae Station, you can also find a good variety of restaurants.
I have to admit, I am not all that happy about hiking with my family on some days because I would rather stay home and chat with my friends or play mobile games but my parents have succeeded to persuade me by promising a big lunch and dessert after the hike. I also noticed that the hikers are usually senior citizens or families with young children. I do not remember seeing people my age. However, the big lunch that follows a family hikemakes up for the lost time with friends and have turned it in to a small but important family tradition.
[Thermometer that also shows humidity and fine dust level
|[Korean Pavilion at the Seoripul Park Observation Deck / Photo Credit: Sewon Han]|
The best season to go hiking is any season, except that in the hot summer months, bringing a mosquito repellent is a must. In fact, now is the perfect time to go hiking because the summer flowers are in full bloom and (pollen-rich) spring flowers are gone. Not only does hiking enhance our physical health, but it also brings families closer together. I wish to continue this tradition for as long as we can and am also looking forward to how Seoripul Park gets better.Maybe I will go in the fall, when it is cooler and there are fewer insects.
Shepherd International Education
Sewon Han firstname.lastname@example.org
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