Welcome to Incheon, a vibrant city on the western coast of South Korea, where history and natural beauty intertwine. Amidst the urban landscape lies a hidden gem waiting to be explored – Gyeyang Mountain, also known as Gyeyangsan.
This majestic mountain, steeped in history and enveloped by lush greenery, invites visitors to embark on a captivating journey through time and nature.
Gyeyang Mountain has stood as a guardian of Incheon for centuries, bearing witness to the city's rich heritage and enduring resilience. Rising proudly to an elevation of 395 meters, it offers panoramic views that stretch across the cityscape, the shimmering Yellow Sea, and the distant mountains beyond.
As you ascend the mountain's trails, a sense of tranquility washes over you, and the frenetic pace of city life fades away, replaced by the serenity of nature's embrace.
The mountain's historical significance dates back to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo, when it served as a strategic military outpost and a fortress protecting the kingdom's borders.
Over the centuries, Gyeyang Mountain witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties, the ebb and flow of conquests, and the resilience of the Korean people. Its slopes hold the echoes of countless stories, battles, and moments of contemplation by monks and scholars seeking enlightenment.
Today, Gyeyang Mountain stands as a haven for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Its well-maintained trails offer a variety of hiking routes catering to different skill levels, making it accessible to all who seek its allure.
As you traverse the winding paths, you'll encounter lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque rock formations. The crisp mountain air invigorates your senses, and the melodic sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves create a symphony of serenity.
At the mountain's summit, a rewarding panorama awaits, showcasing the evolving tapestry of Incheon's urban landscape against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. From here, you can gaze upon the vast expanse of the Yellow Sea, witness the interplay of light and shadow on the city's high-rise buildings, and appreciate the harmony between the man-made and the natural.
But Gyeyang Mountain is more than just a scenic retreat. It is a testament to the spirit of Incheon and its people, embodying their resilience, courage, and determination. The mountain's historical relics, such as ancient fortifications and stone pagodas, serve as reminders of the past, offering glimpses into the city's storied past and the cultures that have shaped it.
As you explore Gyeyang Mountain, you'll find yourself immersed in a journey that transcends time and space. The mountain's beauty, steeped in history and embraced by nature, invites you to reflect on the enduring spirit of Incheon and the profound connections between human civilization and the natural world.
So lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the invigorating mountain air, and let Gyeyang Mountain in Incheon unveil its tales of triumph, tranquility, and timeless wonder.
Gyeyangsan Mountain is a beautiful and famous mountain peak in Incheon City, South Korea. It represents Incheon’s mountain peaks due to its height and popularity among locals.
Gyeyangsan has an elevation of 395 meters (1,296 feet). It is the second highest mountain in the Incheon area and second to Manisan which is located on Ganghwa Island.
When you are on the summit of Gyeyangsan, you can see Gimpo Airport and the sight of Seoul on the east, the islands of Ganghwa and Yeongjong on the West, Goyang on the north, Songdo Island, Incheon Bridge, and a full view of Incheon on the south.
Reaching Gyeyangsan Mountain is easy as it is very accessible by public transports.
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Gyeyangsan Mountain changed its names in various periods. It issued to be called Mount Annam during the Goryeo Dynasty period. At other periods, it is called Anamsan and as Gyeongmyungsan Mountain.
The sides of Gyeyangsan Mountain is believed to be home of many cedar trees and hwayang trees. However, during the Joseon Period and the Japanese occupation, many trees got destroyed during the war.
After the Second World War and peacetime period in the Peninsula, the government ordered that the reforestation in many places including the once forested mountains destroyed by fires, heavy artillery, and weapons of destruction.
As the reforestation activities were successful, most mountains destroyed during the Korean War turned green and alive again! Gyeyangsan Mountain is one of those that recovered its verdant environment.
Gyeyangsan became the first urban natural park (Gyeyang Park) on January 8, 1988. It is also the first park designated by the city of Incheon.
One of the advantages of going to Gyeyangsan Mountain is its accessibility to people of various ages and groups. A family with little children and a group of friends or colleagues can enjoy a relaxing time without doing any strenuous activity in the mountain.
You can bring a basket of food and beverages to any point at the lower level of the mountain after ascending a 30-meter climb from its main entrance.
The steps from the foot of the mountain up to the level ground makes it easier for any member of your little family members or friends who are not mountain hikers.
You can bring as well mats and necessary facilities for your day’s outing. Even at that level, you can already see lovely views of Gyeyanggu District and other panoramic vistas.
Gyeyangsan Mountain has many trails. It is recommended to hike from your point of departure up towards the summit and then return to your original point of departure. That will take more or less 3 hours to complete.
That is a healthy amount of time for an exercise, and you will have already seen enough.
However, if you feel like wanting to hike more, then continue upon reaching the top (after taking a break with refreshing drink or snacks). Just start your descend towards any direction you wish to reach.
What I did last time was reaching the rose garden area of the other side of the mountain where the main road (leading towards Incheon Airport) can be found. Then I walked downward to reach Gyesan Subway Station.
(I will soon include hiking trails of this mountain in this part).
Most mountains in Korea have facilities for stretching one’s muscles. They are located at some points convenient for mountain-goers.
The exercise facilities are basic but quite useful for all non-disabled hikers. Such facilities include walkers with handles, body swingers, push-up and set-up tools, parallel bars, etc. (Honestly, I’m not so sure how they call each tool in the English language :)).
Anyhow, if you have experienced hiking some Korean mountains, you know what I am talking about, right?
Games Facilities: Indoor Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, etc.
For sure, there is a space for ball games (except for soccer) within Gyeyangsan Mountain. It is located near Imhak Subway Station. This space belongs to Imhak Park.
The concrete and painted ground is equipped with two basketball rings. There is also enough space to play other ballgames such as volleyball and soccer (for kid’s practice).
I believe that other games can be done here including badminton, skipping rope, among others. Yes, there is also an indoor facility for badminton players. It is located a few meters up the park and along the trail.
Gyeyangsan is supporting various flora and fauna. Various kinds of tree species and animal species are living in its bio-diverse ecosystem.
You can enjoy exploring the mountains to watch or observe birds, butterflies, and insects that are dependent on the mountain’s rich biology.
The mountain is public and under the management of the local government. All things, living and non-living things in the mountain are protected and prohibited from being abused or removed from the mountain.
But all visitors are free to watch and enjoy everything the moves, colorful, and relaxing to hear (rustling sound of leaves or singing birds).
However, please note that there are areas not allowed for hikers for some reasons. One would be that the area is under recovery and conservation period, among others.
Yes, doing photography, or selfie is a good activity you can do in this mountain. In fact, I have taken many photos every time I hike from the base to the summit.
One of my best shots was when I happen to witness a minor mountain fire. The helicopter was coming, and it just poured out inflammable powder toward the source of fire. I guess it was just an experience that I will never have again in my whole life.
From the Gyeyangsan Mountain’s summit, you have a fantastic view of the surrounding districts in Incheon. New facilities on the summit...
gazebo, protective railings, and telescopes are available for observing the surrounding sights in Incheon.
A museum dedicated for the mountain fortress of Gyeyangsan has been newly built (as of this writing, the building is still under construction).
The Gyeyang Sanseong Fortress Museum has been completed. The museum has been set up as a memorial to the mountain fortress that stands guard over Incheon. It features various artifacts and information about the fort's rich history, including its role in defending against invaders during the Joseon Dynasty.
Visitors can explore exhibits of weaponry, armor, photographs, and traditional clothing used by soldiers who defended Gyeyangsan. There is also an interactive display where guests can learn about the different strategies used to protect the fortress. The museum is a great place for those interested in learning more about this important historical site.
The Gyeyangsanseong Museum offers educational programs and activities geared toward helping visitors better understand the history of the fortress and its significance in protecting Incheon from invasion.
This new project is in tandem with the archaeological activity going on for the reconstruction of Gyeyang’s mountain fortress.
One can already see the beautiful changes in the mountain, such as the new trails, trimmed grass, sitting areas, markers and mountain trail descriptions.
Just like in most Korean mountains with hiking trails, Gyeyangsan Mountain is also equipped with those basic and useful facilities.
These facilities include washrooms, exercise tools, ballgame court, mountain shoes dust remover, gazebo, setting area, benches, steps, public stage, etc.
Being a popular hiking destination in Incheon, at least, Gyeyangsan Mountain is surrounded by traditional Korean restaurants.
It is very convenient among hikers to go straight into nearby restaurants to replenish their energy with delicious noodles, bulgogi (meat on fire dish), samgyeopsal, and paired with traditional drinks or beer.
Nearby the mountain and close to Gyesan Station, you can find Gyesan Library, soccer field, walking lane (around the soccer field), exercise facilities, small children’s game park, basketball court, push ball game (for elderly), and sitting areas and a gazebo.
A parking area is also available beside the Gyesan sports complex facility building.
You can easily get to the area by taking any public transport depending on your point of origin and departure.
By subway, take the Incheon Line 1 and then get off at Gyesan Subway Station or Imhak Subway Station. Between the two stations, Gyesan Station is the closest, which takes only five to ten minutes to reach the main entrance.