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[Eye Plus] City meets nature at Songpa Trail

A trail spanning 21 kilometers surrounds Seoul’s eastern district of Songpa-gu, packed with nature, adventure and culture. 

The Songpa Trail, which opened to the public in 2019, has been serving both locals and visitors alike as a favorite spot to enjoy jogging or a leisurely walk. 

In recent years, the trail has managed to build its own unique ecosystem, as it is built alongside three freshwater streams that feed into the larger Han River. It is easy to spot animals enjoying a short bath in the streams or scurrying around lush woods in late spring.

An otter, an endangered animal here, was spotted in one of the streams just last year by the Songpa-gu office. 

Visitors are able to enjoy outdoor picnics with a full view of Seoul’s city line across bodies of water. 

Adjacent to the trails are some of Seoulites’ favorite dining and shopping spots, such as Lotte World Mall and the up-and-coming Songridan-gil. Cafes and restaurants with artsy themes fill the streets of Songridan-gil, attracting visitors seeking a break from their long walks. 

The 7.4 kilometers of the trail, which has remained closed off to the public, is slated to open this summer.

Photos by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Jung Min-kyung