Following are links to Strava rides in North Jeolla Province, and brief descriptions of each course.
Naejangsan National Park – One of the most scenic places I’ve ridden in Korea and with very little traffic. This route started and finished in Damyang, but those points can fairly easily be altered. Highly recommended route!
Muju Elevation Madness: If you’re looking to suffer, try this route. It consists of part of the Muju Gran Fondo course, but includes some other hills as well. The elevation begins immediately and doesn’t relent until the end. The starting point is impossible to get to without a personal vehicle, but ride in from another location with bus or train access, and you can make this course even more brutal.
Namwon 4 Climbs: This route leaving from Namwon is one of great climbing and empty countryside roads. The scenery is astounding the entire time, and the climbs are really nice. Highly recommended.
Seoguijae and Jirisan: This route is murder. It heads north from Namwon to the beautiful Seoguijae climb, the descent of which has some of the best views you’ll find, and then finishes with the 14km climb up Jeongryeongchi, one of the Jirisan mountain passes. It’s a miserable way to finish the ride, as the final 6km of Jeongryeongchi averages 10% with ramps of 13-16%. But it’s an awesome ride and recommended.
Seongsamjae and Odojae: Samseongjae is one of the mountain passes of Jirisan, the second tallest mountain in all of Korea. It’s 10km long at 9%, and it’s gorgeous. Plus it has an incredible descent that stretches almost 20km at shallow gradients. Later in the ride is Odojae which is a little monster. It’s about 5-6km in length, but relentlessly steep. But what makes it a good climb is that it descends to Jianchi, which is one of the most iconic cycling roads in South Korea.