중앙데일리

Fall colors and fine food await in rural county

Oct 03,2015
After driving along unpaved roads in Hoengseong County, Gangwon, visitors may be treated to some rare sights, such as early fall foliage or even wild pigs along the road. Provided by Lieto
HOENGSEONG COUNTY, Gangwon - Many scenic travel destinations in Hoengseong County have been overshadowed by the region’s renowned beef, as many visitors focus on finding a good barbecue place instead of taking in the scenery.

However, the county is ready to show off what it has to offer, beyond food to hiking, as it is located in Gangwon, a province known for its magnificent mountain ranges. Its largest festival, the 11th Hoengseong Hanu Festival, will begin on Wednesday, so visitors can fill their stomachs before exploring the rest of the county.

The county’s beef, which is called hanwoo (sometimes spelled hanu), is considered to be among the highest-quality beef in Korea, for farmers there have used research over the past decade to select a superior breed of cattle that has tastier meat.

The county’s entire human population of 45,000 is about the same as its cattle population. About 8,000 cattle are butchered every year in the county to provide quality meat.

“Hoengseong hanwoo only refers to the cattle that are born and raised within Hoengseong County,” said researcher Yu Dong-min at the local livestock association.

Hoengseong hanwoo, which is among the highest-quality beef in Korea, comes from cattle born and raised in Hoengseong County, Gangwon. By Lee Sun-min
“Cows that are brought to the town after birth cannot be considered Hoengseong hanwoo, so if you want to know more about the legacy of the beef you are about to eat at a restaurant or at a retailer, you can ask to have such information provided to you.”

Such meticulous care and research have brought fame to the region, and its beef products became even more well-known after they were served at locally hosted global events, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2005 and the G-20 summit in 2010.

As the five-day festival will offer plenty of meat and space for grilling, fill your stomach first and then explore nearby travel destinations that are rarely frequented by visitors.


The road less traveled

If you want to take a little adventure in the area, drive up to the Myeongpum Subgil, which roughly translates to magnificent forest trail. The unpaved roads leading to this hiking trail give a glimpse at how some parts of the county used to be more populous than they are now.


Before Gangneung in Gangwon was connected to Seoul by the faster Yeongdong Expressway in 1975, a small town called Anheung in Hoengseong County was considered the last rest stop before going further into the mountains on the way from the capital to the east coast city. People going from Seoul to Gangneung usually stayed overnight in Anheung to rest before continuing the drive east, according to Park Sun-ub, head of Hoengseong County’s cultural center.

Hoengseong County, which is holding its 11th Hoengseong Hanu Festival from Wednesday to Sunday, is known for its beef.
Driving for about 20 to 30 minutes on the unpaved road will take you to the older Route No. 42 and the border of Hoengseong and Pyeongchang counties. If you choose to continue driving, you will end up going up and down mountains until reaching central Pyeongchang.

The green sign indicating the route name is rusty, and the writing is outdated. The English spellings of Anheung and Hoengseong are also different, for they are written in the old Romanization style.

To get to the start of this forest road, travelers should enter Seodongro Sangan 10-gil in Hoengseong County into their navigation systems.

If you have time, do park your car to the side of the road and take a walk up any of the short trails. Most of the trails can be hiked in less than 20 minutes. The trails are surrounded by larch trees, which have needles that turn yellow in the late fall before falling off. Many of the trees there are more than 70 years old.

The unpaved road has many different forks, and some of the routes, once you begin, will keep you driving up and down the mountain ranges for over an hour. Hence, it is necessary to plan ahead so you can get back down the mountain before sunset. Since the road sees few cars, it is possible to spot some wild animals, and during this reporter’s drive along the road, a couple of wild pigs crossed right in front of the car. You can also find some areas that are already decorated with full fall foliage, which usually reaches its peak later this month.

A cold noodle dish called makguksu helps cleanse the palate after eating greasier beef dishes.
Shooting games


Hoengseong Spoland, also known as the Shooting Theme Park, is a place where anyone can try out shooting real weaponry, under the supervision of instructors there. The theme park offers a program that includes shooting a pistol or an air rifle. Or one can choose to shoot flying targets with a larger gun that weighs about 3.2 kilograms (7.1 pounds). The latter is called clay target shooting, as the moving targets are made of clay.

Clay target shooting costs 30,000 won ($25), and the shooter gets 20 chances to hit the moving targets. For those who want to try shooting a handgun, the cost is 20,000 won for 10 shots. Every shooter is instructed in what to do and basic gun safety.

For those who want to have a shooting experience as a group, the place offers a paintball survival game for 30,000 won.

For more information, go to www.ispoland.net or call (033) 344-2500. The Shooting Theme Park opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.


Forest stroll

The forest is an attractive destination because it is filled with many trails that cater to hikers of all levels, even those who use wheelchairs. Considering that people who use wheelchairs don’t often get to experience what it is like to stroll along a mountain trail surrounded by living plants, Soopchewon has set up a wooden walking deck on top of the original hiking trail to make it more accessible. This trail also gives a chance to those who are not wearing hiking-friendly shoes to feel what it’s like to be in the mountains.

Visitors can try out clay target shooting at Hoengseong Spoland.
The more trained hikers can take the challenge of going to the top of Mount Cheongtae, which rises as high as 850 meters (2,790 feet) above sea level. Soopchewon also offers lodging for overnight guests.

For more information about Soopchewon, go to www.soop21.kr or call (033) 340-6300.


The best views around

Mount Taegi, which is the highest mountain in Hoeongseong County with an altitude of 1,261 meters, is the place to go for photography enthusiasts, or for those who just want to take in the view from a high vantage point. On top of the mountain, there are 20 wind-powered generators, and the white-colored structures provide a good contrast to the dappled forest and blue autumn sky.

From the Hoengseong County Office area where most visitors stay, it takes about an hour to reach the base of the mountain, and from there, it is possible to drive to the top. The best time to visit is early in the day, when the morning mist still lingers to create a spectacular scene.

By Lee sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

*The 11th Hoengseong Hanu Festival runs from Oct. 7 to 11. The venue is alongside the Seom River, which cuts through the county. For more information, go to www.hshanu.or.kr or call (033) 342-1731. To get to Hoengseong from Seoul, go to Cheongnyangni Station and get on a train to Wonju Station. To get there by bus, go to Express Bus Terminal and take a bus to Wonju Bus Terminal. Then take city bus No. 2 toward Hoengseong.






dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장