Jangtaesan Recreational Forest in Daejeon is a Spectacular Metasequoia Dream | 7 Things to See & Do
In a country packed with truly spectacular fall foliage sights, Jangtaesan Recreational Forest is unique. I can safely say I’ve never encountered any other place quite like it – not just in Korea, but in the world.
Located in Daejeon, about 3 hours south of Seoul by car or KTX, Jangtaesan Forest is the unforgettable autumn day tour in Korea you won’t regret taking. I, for one, cannot wait to go back to bask in all that burnt orange glory once again.
In this guide
- 1 Jangtaesan Recreational Forest | 장태산자연휴양림
- 2 Best Time to Visit Jangtaesan Recreational Forest
- 3 How to Go to Jangtaesan from Seoul
- 4 Things to See and Do at Jangtaesan
- 5 Limited Edition Autumn Tours in Korea
- 6 Daejeon Hotels | Where to Stay
- 7 Staying at Jangtaesan Recreational Forest
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest | 장태산자연휴양림
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest is home to Korea’s largest metasequoia forest. It’s a really special experience to be in the midst of over 6,300 densely packed metasequoia trees, majestically towering 38-metres high around you, Whether you see it from below, within, or high above, Jangtaesan is beyond stunning.
And while all those tightly bunched metasequoia trees are truly unforgettable, you’ll also see forests full of golden ginkgo and bald cypress, lush valleys, a botanical garden, reflexology foot paths, and an ecological pond.
Jangtaesan spans nearly 816,000 square metres, and there’s a ton to do inside the forest, including a sky tower and suspension bridge, hiking, educational programs, and much, much more. You can even stay overnight inside the park if you wish!
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Best Time to Visit Jangtaesan Recreational Forest
With the right mindset and gear, a visit to Jangtaesan will never disappoint. While true that winter in Korea can be devastatingly cold, it can also be a wonderland of fluffy snowflakes and sparkling ice crystals dangling from branches.
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest is particularly magnificent during autumn in Korea, when a breathtaking kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows paint the entire park in a wondrous celebration of colour.
Time your visit for late autumn (that means early to mid November), if you’ve got your heart set on seeing that incredible forest of burnt orange metasequoia trees. You might even get caught in a thrilling metasequoia needle shower. I did!
JANGTAESAN + JEONJU HANOK VILLAGE DAY TOUR | Don’t miss Jangtaesan if you’re visiting Korea in autumn. It’s literally one of the best, most unique fall foliage spots I’ve seen in the country. Check tour details here.
How to Go to Jangtaesan from Seoul
Address: 461, Jangan-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon | 대전광역시 서구 장안로 461
Jangtaesan Forest is located on the outskirts of Daejeon – a small city a few hours south of Seoul.
Using public transit
There are both intercity buses and KTX high speed trains that travel between Seoul and Daejeon, but it’s best to take the train. The cost is pretty much the same, but it’s a whole lot faster than the bus. Once in Daejeon, take a local bus or taxi to Jangtaesan Recreational Forest.
If you’ve rented a car, or have your own vehicle, there are several different ways to reach Daejeon from Seoul, with or without toll fees. These take between 3 to 4 hours, in perfect traffic conditions. Search on Naver Maps to get driving directions, and choose from all the different routes available to you.
On a day tour
Jangtaesan’s explosion in popularity led to the creation of new day tours from Seoul to the metasequoia field of dreams.
If you want to avoid all the hassle of DIY, and maximize your time in Korea by also seeing Jeonju Hanok Village at the same time, joining a day tour is an option to consider – especially since it doesn’t cost much more than if you were to travel to both places yourself.
Things to See and Do at Jangtaesan
Though it’s certainly enough to simply stroll through the breathtaking beauty of the forest, there’s a few other worthy things to do inside Jangtaesan Recreational Forest.
Get a Feed-worthy Photo
A few years back, Jangtaesan Recreational Forest exploded onto Instagram feeds with a fear of heights defying image of vivid cone-shaped trees, and a levitating boulder.
Relatively unknown to travelers before that, it’s now a required stop if you’re visiting Korea in autumn. Understandably.
To get to this photo spot – cross the suspension bridge, then hike up a steep, but not overly long trail to a wooden observation platform.
During peak autumn season, you’ll likely see a line of people waiting to take THAT pic. It can take a couple hours to get to the front of the line (no exaggeration), so prepare with water and maybe a hat. The sun can be very strong, even in November.
The boulder is very stable and surprisingly, it wasn’t overly scary standing on top of it (despite my fear of heights), but do exercise EXTREME caution.
An accident could definitely happen if you’re not being careful, and trust me, it’s a long way down, with nothing to stop your fall. Injuries (maybe death) are pretty much guaranteed.
Limited Edition Autumn Tours in Korea
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest isn’t the only gorgeous autumn spot in Korea! Check out these tours to the best autumn hotspots in Korea, which only take place for a few months each year.
- Hwadam Botanic Garden + Namhansanseong Fortress (UNESCO) | September 3rd – October 19th, 2023
- Nari Park, Pink Muhly Grass + Dumulmeori from Seoul | September 25th – October 13th, 2023
- Jangtaesan and Jeonju Hanok Village Day Tour from Seoul | September 25th – November 25th, 2023
- Seoraksan Maple Leaves Tour (optional Cable Car) | October 2nd – 20th, 2023
- Alpaca World + Hongcheon Ginkgo Tree Forest | October 10th – 24th, 2023
- Seoraksan National Park with Cable Car Day Tour from Seoul | October 16th – November 3rd, 2023
- Seoraksan (Osaek Autumn Foliage) + Nami & Garden of Morning Calm OR Alpaca World | October 16th – November 3rd, 2023
- Seoul City Autumn Tour (Gamaksan, Eunpyeong Hanok Village, Haneul Park + Jingwansa) | October 16th – November 24th, 2023
- Classic Naejangsan National Park Tour (VIP Bus Available) | October 26th – November 15th, 2023
- Naejangsan Autumn Foliage Maples Leaves Tour | October 30th – November 5th, 2023
- Naejangsan National Park + Jeonju Hanok Village from Seoul | November 1st – 13th, 2023, Wednesdays and Fridays ONLY
Walk Across the Forest Skyway and Suspension Bridge
No visit to Jangtaesan Recreational Forest is complete without a visit to the Forest Skyway and Suspension Bridge.
The Forest Experience Skyway is one of the best ways to be completely immersed in the stunning beauty of all those fantastic metasequoia trees. It’s on a winding elevated pathway, that passes right through the tree line.
The Forest Skyway is pretty sturdy, but the same can’t be said of the spectacular suspension bridge. It’s worth the wobbles though. The views from this bridge are awe-inspiring… and well, you’ll have to cross it if you want that levitating boulder picture anyway.
Climb the Sky Tower
The Sky Tower’s design reminds me a lot of Mancheonha Skywalk in Danyang, with its winding pathway, and open sides. The climb is not long or steep, so it’s accessible to pretty much anyone. I’m almost certain strollers could even be pushed up the Sky Tower, without much effort.
From the peak of the Sky Tower, you’ll have panoramic views over Jangtaesan Recreational Forest. Take a break on the benches at the top, and drink in the view, while breathing in all that oxygen-rich air.
Take a Forest Bath
Plants and trees release phytoncides, which have antibacterial and antifungal qualities that fight disease. Wandering through a forest, while taking deep breaths has been found to boost immune systems, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.
Coniferous, needleleaf trees are known to produce phytoncides in the greatest quantities, so Jangtaesan’s huge forest of metasequoia is not only gorgeous, it’s also good for you!
Forest bathing is a super popular activity in Korea, and you’ll come across many parks with specific areas set up for doing just that – so keep a lookout on your walks through nature.
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest rightfully gets most of its attention for those magnificent metasequoia trees, but let’s not forget that it’s ACTUALLY a mountain, with many kilometres of hiking trails to conquer.
Pick up a hiking map from the park information centre, or look out for signs pointing you in the right direction. There are a number of different trails of varying difficulties, with some having stairs or safety ropes available. Generally speaking, the higher in elevation you ascend, the more difficult the hiking will become.
Playground and Traditional Games
If you’re visiting Jangtaesan Recreational Forest with kids, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a small playground to entertain them. While it’s more appropriate for younger kids, our gang of littles had no problem having fun there.
There’s food, coffee, and a seating area nearby, so you can relax with your kids in view.
You can also search out a metasequoia nestled area with traditional Korean games to play, like Squid Game.
Explore the Ecological Pond
Surrounded by magnificent trees, the wooden boardwalk that spans Jangtaesan Recreational Forest’s ecological pond is incredibly picturesque. It’s a gorgeous spot from which to observe the various aquatic plants, fish, and frogs living inside the pond.
Brave the Reflexology Paths
A reflexology path is designed to massage and activate acupressure points in our feet, as you walk atop a series of protruding stones of different shapes and sizes.
It can be a breeze to walk across, or it can be very painful – it all depends on your overall level of health, since each of the acupressure points in your feet corresponds with a different organ in your body.
If you’d like to see how you measure up, seek out one of the many reflexology paths in Jangtaesan Recreational Forest, and take a walk. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot across the stones for the best result.
Daejeon Hotels | Where to Stay
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest is on the outskirts of Daejeon, so there aren’t a ton of hotels close to the forest. However, it’s easy to get there by local public transportation or taxi from the centre. It’s better to stay centrally in the city anyway, for easier access to a bigger variety of restaurants and other amenities.
Staying at Jangtaesan Recreational Forest
If you’ve headed to Daejeon purely to gawk at the beautfy of the forest, you can actually stay INSIDE Jangtaesan. There are a few different pension style accommodations available, in a few separate areas of the park.
Reservations can be made on their website (Korean only), with prices ranging from 44,000 to 350,000 won per night, depending on the season, number of people, and size of the room. The largest accommodation can sleep up to 15 people!
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Jangtaesan Recreational Forest: Essential Info and FAQs
What do you think? Are you brave enough to stand on that levitating boulder, high above Jangtaesan’s stunning metasequoia forest?