The weather was incredible this weekend after a freezing end of the week, sunny flawless skies and just perfect for a hike.

There is a hill we noticed off of the jogging path that runs under Naebu expressway. We've been meaning to explore it, figuring that it would be a nice short hike up and offer a good view of our neighborhood. There is a steep dirt path running through through some relatively scrubby woods. It is notable because you need to cross the stream bed under the expressway to reach the bottom of the path. We thought maybe the trail was blazed by people just to get a view, it is not an official looking trail.

Here I am on the path with the lil Buddha strapped on for the ride. The path was kind of steep but didn't seem like it would be that long.

A little way up you do indeed get a decent view of our neighborhood. You can see we are relatively at the level of the hill behind our apartment building. It was only from this vantage point that we realized that this hill kept going up behind us.

It turns out that this hill was actually just the first part of a mountain that affords a great view of much of this end of Seoul. You can in fact see across the river without any problem, and over into Central Seoul too.

The path up features little exercise stations too, with the same kind of equipment that lines the Naebu Expressway jogging path. Here is a picture of one

and here are a couple of views from behind the exercise area. You can see that we are very high up. This is only about 3/4 of the way up the full mountain. The first one is facing northwesterly and the second is facing basically east by northeast.

I was continually surprised how high the hike kept getting, it was a lot of fun.

It turns out that this is Mount Muaksan, the historic site of a smoke signal post built in 1442. This was the end of the smoke signal line that ran from Ganggye in Pyeonganbuk-do to Hwanghee-do and Gyeonggi-do and Goyang to this point. It ended at Namsan, which is the most notable point in the middle of Seoul.

Here are some pictures of the top. They aren't particularly good pictures, but the fact that we ended up so highy up unexpectedly was very cool. The contrast of the buildings and the mountains is interesting. It is also fascinating that this is in the middle of the city, let alone right in our neighborhood. The hike up really makes you feel far from Seoul, nice respite in the woods.

This picture shows facing south toward the river. If you locate the tall building, and then find the hill a bit closer to your vantage point, that is Sogang.

I think that that tall building might be the tallest one in Seoul, with a height limited by some auspicious number from the military academy back in the dictatorship days, but I will reconfirm the story (though not refrain from garbling it here and now...).

One more thing to note on this hike. There are springs all over the mountain, and dippers hanging for people to take a drink. Here are a couple of them:


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