Monday, May 9, 2016

[Press/Article] Azaleas at Apsan: Daegu’s Hidden Azalea Trail

For those drawn to the road less traveled, the trail to the top of Mt. Sanseong in Apsan Park leads to a hidden patch of wild azaleas, a grove of blossoming trees, and a stunning view - and all without the crowds found at Bieseulsan’s Azalea Festival.

The beginning of the trail is rather flat and easy-going.  Follow the stream as you pass by several Buddhist temples, adorned with colorful lanterns in preparation of Buddha’s upcoming birthday.

Bright flowers in full bloom burst to life around every corner.

DON’T MISS: Cross the bridge just across from the golden Buddha, and you will arrive
at one of my most favorite sights along the trail: a giant swing, perfect for children and adults alike.

After passing the last Buddhist temple, the path diverges. You can either continue straight ahead on the paved trail or take a detour to a more rugged path that follows the stream. Both trails eventually lead to the same location.  However, the path along stream is much more scenic, with gentle waterfalls spilling into shallow pools of water.
At this point, the trail becomes increasingly more difficult as you’ll climb steadily until reaching the summit.

While steep, the trail to the top of Mt.Sanseong is short at only 5km or so one-way. When you reach the trail signpost, turn left towards Mt. Sanseong and continue walking down the paved trail through rows of puffy pink blossoming trees.

Eventually, you’ll see a clearing on the right, just before the helicopter pad, where old stone foundations remain.  This is a good place to stop for a while to take in the view, enjoy a snack, and perhaps make a new furry friend.

The wild azalea patch is just to the right of the grassy field.  A narrow dirt path takes you through bright pink azaleas on either side and leads to one of the most stunning views of Daegu.

In no time at all, you will find yourself surrounded by blooming wildflowers as butterflies dance gracefully around you. The best part?  You won’t have to share the view.
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Trail Description: This off-the-beaten track trail is not as popular as nearby Mt.Apsan, and during azalea season, has nowhere near the crowds that you’ll find at Mt. Biseul.  The trail is approximately 5 km (10 km roundtrip) with about a 550 meter elevation gain. The first third of the trail is flat, easy and paved, the middle third is quite steep, and the final third is moderately steep.  Once at the top you can continue on to Mt. Apsan, which is only 2 km away.  Alternatively, if you’re at the top of Mt. Sanseong, continue West along the ridge towards Mt. Sanseong.
Best Time to View Azaleas: Late April - Early May
Time: 2-3 hours roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous.  Some sections of the trail are steep, but it’s an overall short hike.
Facilities: Multiple bathrooms, picnic areas, water (both fountains and fresh spring water), and a couple of outdoor gyms.  Limited parking, as well as some street parking is available, although it tends to fill up rather quickly, especially on weekends.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring some cash!  There is often someone selling ice cream at the top of Mt. Sanseong!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful scenes you captured! I once wanted to plant a golden/yellow azalea, native to Texas and only sold at a special nursery.