Damyang Metasequoia River Trail

in photography •  7 days ago

There is more to Damyang than just bamboo. The other day I wrote about my visit to Damyang and mainly the Juknokwon, here. Actually one of the most stunning features is the river in front of the bamboo forest.

  • The river is known as Yeongsangang (영산강). It starts at the Damyang Dam which is around 20km or so north of Damyang and ends at the port city of Mokpo in the South West of the country. It passes through Naju which is a small city and Gwangju which is the largest city in the region.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this river is the trees that line it through Damyang. These trees are known as metasequoia trees. They are a type of redwood tree related to the giant sequoia trees in California.
These trees only grow to 50m and aren't huge like their redwood cousins in North America, but they are still strikingly beautiful. Sadly, I visited in June instead of in fall when the trees look their best. Also, I only went up the trail about 1km and not even in the great location to see the trees.

  • I do plan on visiting again and riding a bike along the entire route. I think it's around 150km. I'll either start in Mokpo and go to Gwangju or start in Damyang and double-back from the dam. In either case, Gwangju is the ideal place to rest for the night. I could do it in a day, but it's so far from my house, I'd rather split it up and see a little.

For those who don't want to bike the entire trail, it's possible to rent fancy 2 and 4 seater bikes and just cruise along through the nicer places in town. There are dikes on both sides of the rivers to prevent floods, they also hide the cars and ugly buildings and allow for flowers and recreation only to be on the inside.

  • There are a lot of nice shops selling many things. I decided to buy some bamboo icecream. Actually, it tasted like green tea ice cream, so I think it had some of that in there. I guess bamboo icecream on its own isn't very delicious.

The last place I visited in Damyang was the university parking lot. Actually, I only visited there because I parked there. They had a little museum, but free parking. There was a giant bamboo statue out front.

I noticed a little bird here. Maybe it fell out of a nest and is a baby or maybe it was injured. In anycase it didn't look happy.

The university's name is Jeollanamdo National University (전남도립대학교). I guess it a good one to go to if you are from around the area or want to study bamboo, trees or farming. It's surrounded by nature so that usually means you study nature or sports, oddly. They have a lot of gyms there and land. The main reason I liked it is because the campus is surrounded by beautiful parks.

  • I hope you enjoyed learning about Damyang and seeing some of my photos. I can't believe I waited so long before visiting that place. If I knew it was so lovely, I would have visited before. Oh well, there is always my fall bike trip to plan.
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