Hiking up MudeungSan – the Rabbit’s Back Trail

If you love hiking, then Mudeungsan (무등산) is a must-climb when visiting Gwangju. It hosts countless trails, is beautiful in autumn, and has great views of the city all year round. I even met someone who’s bucket list was to complete all the trails! In this article I will talk about hiking up MudeungSan along the Rabbit’s Back Trail (토끼등), Platform midway the mountain (중머리재), and the Saeinbong peak (새인봉).

Getting there

Get off the bus at Jeungsimsa terminal – it is the last station and terminal for many city buses – 2, 49, 54 if you’re coming from Chonnam National University.

As you get off the bus, you see many cafes and waiting areas as it is the meeting point for many hikers and groups.

There are no convenience stores here, but there is a small supermarket within the alley of shops where you can buy bottled water. You will need it, as there are no vending machines along the trail!

The alley also hosts outlets of sporting gear and hiking gear.

Start your hike here at this rock

Right past the Angelinus Cafe you will see the rock that says 무등산 – MudeongSan Mountain.

Then pass the car toll gate, and walk past the stone bridge.

Before you start your climb uphill, have a look at MudeungSan National Park entrance on your left, with toilets! and a Hanok House on your right.

Once you’re all set, you pass 무빈사 Mubinsa Temple, which you can visit for some quick photos, on your left.

You will see arrows along the way showing you the directions of the trails. Veering off to your left is 증심사 – Jeungsim Sa temple, but for a hike trail you keep walking up.

The warm-up to the hike is already a steep climb, albeit with wooden staircases with railings for safety and comfort.

Rabbit’s Back Trail

The first platform for a break is what is called the rabbit’s back – 토끼등. There you can take a rest, use the exercise machines, and orientate yourself on the map. The next arrows to follow is 중머리재 Jung meori jae.

Platform midway the mountain

The midway stop where you can take 360 degree panoramic photos is called 중머리재. It is a great spot for lunch if not too crowded. For social distancing purposes, we decided to eat elsewhere, as it was quite crowded on a Sunday. Good to know: This spot also has toilets. But nowhere can you find a trash can or a vending machine for drinks. Be sure to take your shot with the rock!

Saeinbong peak

Feeling fully re-energised, re-hydrated and lungs full of fresh air, it is time to continue up the trail. Follow the arrows to 새인봉 Saeinbong. There are 3 peeks you can take pictures from, so once you start going downhill, do not be surprised to take stairs upwards for 2 other peaks!

The views, combined with the satisfaction of your exercise and hike are well worth it. If you peak your head out you can see a temple on a different plain of the mountain – and hope to visit it on another hike.

Once you have taken in the scenery and eaten another energy bar, it is time to make the climb down. Downhill sounds easy, but be aware of the loose pebbles and rocks. Also, fatigue can set in and your toes get caught in the tree roots that stick out from the ground. So watch your step!

Arriving at the other side of the parking lot, in the middle of the sports outlet alley-way, you will be happy to find a facility to rinse off your hiking shoes, and then find the nearest supermarket to buy yourself a cool drink! Walk along the shopping alley to find yourself back at the bus-stop.

Well done, hikers!! Hope you enjoyed Hiking up MudeungSan along the Rabbit’s Back Trail and up to Saeinbong Peak!

For more hiking maps on Mudeungsan, visit Korea National Park Service

🇧🇪 Aline Verduyn

Belgian third-culture kid living in my favorite country, South Korea. Currently mastering in Korean, excited to explore and share Korea's beauty with you. Greetings from Gwangju!