Recommended Route: Jecheon Lakes and Rollers

Jecheon is a small city in North Chungcheong Province that is famous for its scenery, especially in the areas around the lakes and reservoirs. Last month at the end of cherry blossom season I visited for a 115km ride with a couple friends and enjoyed every moment of it.

The route starts at the bus terminal and heads out of town and immediately into the two toughest climbs of the route. The first isn’t long, but it is steep, averaging 12% for a little over a kilometer. The second is about 4.2km at 9%. The descent has some rough patches so keep an eye out. After these climbs the route is mostly non-stop rollers until the end. And these rollers are big ones, so pace them smartly.

The area around the lakes is probably the most impressive of the route, especially during cherry blossom season, though I imagine it would be nice any time of year. This area is also big for visitors, so weekends are likely quite busy. The parts of the route away from the lakes are also nice, mostly typical Korean countryside views. But there is one particular spot that crosses a fancy red bridge that has an incredible view, and right after the bridge is a gift shop/convenience store/cafe. But watch out for bees here. They are plentiful and large.

I’m not entirely sure how difficult this route is, because I was in terrible condition the day I did it. It felt pretty tough to me, but it probably wasn’t all that bad, comparable to the Daejeon Lakes route maybe. There are fewer overall rollers in Jecheon, but they are bigger ones than those in Daejeon. Jeff and Kevin said they enjoyed the ride and that it wasn’t as difficult for them as it seemed to be for me. So, it probably isn’t terribly hard.

Jecheon is accessible by bus from Seoul via Express Bus Terminal and Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. The bus ride takes about two and half hours each way when traffic is light.

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