To explore the summit of Hallasan Mountain, you need to make a reservation in advance and take the Gwaneumsa and Seongpanak courses. On the Yeongsil, Donneko, and Eorimok courses, you can only hike up to Witse Oreum. Hallasan is operating a program for people who want to but cannot explore the mountain due to these restrictions.
World Heritage Office of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province announced that it will launch a tour program of Hallasan National Park in March in time for the beginning of spring.
A total of 17 programs are prepared, including eco-healing to overcome COVID-19 blues, environmental education for the younger generation to conserve Hallasan, a program for the underprivileged, and a special program for promoting flagship species of Hallasan Mountain. Hallasan National Park has been operating tour programs for eight years since 2014, holding 118 sessions with 26,000 participants.
The park has added new programs for pregnant women this year, such as Todaktodak Sseudamsseudam (20 participants) and Prenatal Care at Hallasan Forest (40 participants). The idea is to invite pregnant women who are frustrated from staying at home due to COVID-19 and help them relax and heal in nature as they take a stroll in the forest. The program is offered once a month in the Eorimok area of Hallasan National Park.
General tour programs—“Story of Hallasan from the Highlands,” where a commentator accompanies hikers on a trail to Witsejogeun Oreum Observatory, and “Story of Hallasan from the Queritron Forest” taking place around Eorimok Square—offer reservations for 20 participants, 2–5 times a week.
Hallasan National Park’s flagship species field training program is also well-received. Flagship species are animals and plants that characterize the ecosystem of a region. Previously, the Hallasan National Park Management of the World Heritage Office finalized the Korean fir and sangulttuk nabi as the flagship species for 2019. The Korean fir is used to make the traditional Jeju boat called teu, and inhabit near the summit.
The sangulttuk nabi butterfly is a Class 1 endangered wildlife and inhabits the highlands and Baengnokdam of Hallasan Mountain, and is designated as Natural Monument No. 458. The Hallasan National Park Management formed a selection committee of university professors, animal and plant experts, and executives from civic groups and had three meetings before deciding the flagship species through a national preference survey.
To participate in the tour program, reservations are available on a rolling basis through the Hallasan National Park website (http://visithalla.jeju.go.kr).
“We will provide opportunities for healing and comfort to visitors who are exhausted from the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, expanding access to explore the mountain and promoting how precious it is,” said Byeon Deok-seung, director of the World Heritage Office.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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