Friday, November 11, 2016

An Easy Hike on One of Apsan’s Temple Trails

An Easy Hike on One of Apsan’s Temple Trails

With autumn in full swing, now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy Daegu’s natural beauty with an easy hike in Apsan Park.  This quick temple trail is a great way to enjoy fall foliage while discovering a piece of Daegu’s past. 

1.  Sudeok Temple (수덕사)
Starting at the Gosangol Valley entrance, walk along the Metasequoia path, passing the dinosaur footprints and the new dinosaur theme park.  The first temple on this trail is Sudeok Temple, which sits on a hill on the right-hand side overlooking a stream.  Cross the bridge and walk up a flight of stairs to enter the small courtyard that showcases a tall stone pagoda adorned with colorful figurines.  Once you have finished exploring Sudeoksa, return to the trail the same way you came, stopping to take in a view from the bridge overlook.

2.  Seongbul Temple (성불사)

Continue walking the short distance to Seongbul, the next temple on the trail.  While crossing the stream, pause for a moment to look at the fish-shaped stone water spout on the left side of the bridge.  From any direction, this bridge provides a beautiful spot to take fall foliage photos.  Once you have crossed the bridge, you’ll find a large stone buddha presiding serenely over a natural landscape.  From here you can continue on to Gulam Temple or make a short detour to Togulum Hermitage for a more challenging hike.

3.  Gulam Temple (굴암사)

The third temple on the trail is Gulam Temple, easily recognizable by the standing golden buddha statue hidden behind a bright green gate.  The temple complex consists of several smaller buildings that house altars and intimate rooms filled with even more golden buddha statues.  On your way to the next temple, cross over the first bridge on the left, and you’ll discover a huge wooden swing set suitable for children and adults alike.

4.  Beopjang Temple (법장사)

The hike from Gulam to Beopjang Temple is probably the most difficult - yet still easy - segment of the trail due to its slight incline.  After passing a large, moss covered stone wall, you’ll notice the bright and colorful gates that lead to one of Daegu’s cultural heritage spots: the three-story stone pagoda of Beopjang Temple.  Built during the Silla period and formerly known as Gosan Temple, legend has it that a king built the original temple so that he could pray 100 days for the birth of a son.  After his period of prayer, the king finally had his son, who was followed the next year by a second son.  The king erected the stone pagoda to commemorate the births of the two princes. While Gosan Temple was destroyed, rebuilt, and eventually renamed to Beopjang Temple, the original stone pagoda still remains.

This easy temple hike ends at Beopjang Temple.  From this point you can choose to backtrack to the beginning of the trail, continue on to summit Mt. Sanseong, or explore one of Apsan Park’s many other trails!

The entrance to the temple trail can be reached via the Gosangol Valley entrance (고산골). Parking can be found either on the street or at the Gosangol parking lot.  The approximately 2KM round trip trail is easy, relatively flat, and mostly paved.

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