Nanji Ecological Park: Finding Solitude in Seoul

A couple summers back, Jae-oo and I headed to the Gangseo Marsh Ecological Park and enjoyed the sights in the rather quiet surroundings on the banks of the Han River. At the time, I didn’t even realize we had our own ecological park right down the street near the Nanji Hangang Park. I had ridden my bike along the Han River and passed the park numerous times but hadn’t taken a gander. Recently, we did.

It’s just far enough away from Nanji Han Park and the pool and other more popular places to picnic that there weren’t numerous people meandering around. The tall green stalks waving in the wind also made the paths seem dubious but like we were on an adventure few take.

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A few summers ago when I had ridden my bike down through this area, I noted how desolate and rather disgusting it was. While the riverside projects to clean up the banks and make the parks more desirable had started, they hadn’t seemed to have gotten to this area. The bike paths were questionable and trash was strewn here and there. All of that added up to me wanting to just ride on and NOT stop anywhere. Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, KoreaIMG_0273Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, KoreaNow, however, the paths have been cleaned up, the trash collected and the wooden planked paths that go over the water that had planks missing and looked as if it wouldn’t hold weight, are now pieced back together and look and felt strong and in place. The Nanji Ecological Park (난지생태습지원) sits on the grounds of what used to be a massive landfill. Once known as “an island of trash”, it was Seoul’s official dump site from 1978 until 1992 when the Ecological Landfill Recovery Project was started. Just like the World Cup Parks which sit on what used to be massive landfills and are now generating energy from the trash being transformed, this park has been given new life.Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, KoreaFrom the bike path, starts a dirt path that leads this way and that through the tall stalks. Eventually, the dirt path takes a step onto a wooden planked path as the water starts to come in. The wooden paths lead out all the way to overlook the river and probably one of the more picture perfect and cool things is a perfect circle path that leads around an area that shows the tall stalks, water with fish and then reaches the Han before coming back around again. It’s a cool place to get a shot, enjoy the quiet and nature and take a breath of fresh air that those numerous plants are producing.
Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, KoreaNanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, KoreaIn the summer, the green is just so lush and overwhelming but I’ve seen some photos of this park in the autumn when the stalks are tall and brown waving in the wind which look pretty appealing too. Few people seem to make it this far on the bike path and those that do don’t seem to stop so the solitude that one is able to find here is also extremely appealing. This park is NOT close to a subway station which is likely why few people visit but if you want to take a walk or rent a bike and head over, it’s a great place to take a walk around in a big circle! There’s also a nearby Ecological Park Learning Center which hosts different classes for children to learn more about these nature surroundings.

We’re always on the look-out for quiet places in the city and this is definitely one of those spots.
Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Nanji Ecological Park, Nanji, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea

Nanji Ecological Park (난지생태습지원)


Sangam-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul

서울 마포구 상암동


By Subway: World Cup Stadium Station, exit 1. Head toward Pyeonghwa Park (Peace Park) then to Sky Park and follow the path that is around the foot of the mountain there heading west. You’ll come to a walking bridge to pass over the highway after the meta-sequoia lined road at the foot of Sky Park. Head toward Nanji Hangang Park and then go west and keep going and you’ll run into the ecological park.

Admission: free

map to Nanji Ecological Park

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Nanji Ecological Park: Finding Solitude in Seoul

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17 Responses

  1. It is so nice to find little oasis in the middle of cities. This one certainly seems like a good one and one you can go to with your entire family. Thank you so much for sharing and Happy Roving

    • Hallie says:

      Yes, even a city as large and sprawling as Seoul has little areas that are perfect for finding solitude. A little oasis for sure. ^^ Thanks for the comment.

  2. That is absolutely amazing how they’re able to convert a landfill to that park! I can’t imagine how it was like before but it’s certainly a beautiful place now, one that I would consider going if ever I’m there.

    I’m very clumsy though, that wooden plank without the barrier? I’d definitely fall off it if I’m biking. Lol.

    • Hallie says:

      I can’t imagine it either. There is a HUGE space that was once a landfill there and it has been turned into about 6 different parks that I know of. It’s generating energy for the district and provides great places to get out and about now. It’s just amazing.

  3. jess says:

    What a tranquil place! what a great idea to rent a bike and explore. I love the birdhouse! It shows someone cares about making the place nice for the wildlife, too.

    • Hallie says:

      Yes, there are even signs posted to say that people CANNOT go in for certain months when it’s bird migration season because this area is popular for them to land and they want the birds to be able to migrate peacefully. It’s great so much thought went into the parks.

  4. Urban renewal projects such as this give me so much hope for the future, What a beautiful place to spend an afternoon

  5. Eva Casey says:

    How insane that that used to be a landfill!! What an amazing way to rejuvenate the earth. Thank you for sharing!

  6. It’s hard to imagine that this place used to be a landfill. So crazy how you can take a place that looks like death and make it into something so beautiful. Looks like a great place to spend time with family.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Looks like a lovely little natural area! I find it crazy how that place used to be a landfill. It’s great that they were able to convert that to a park!

  8. I love that they converted the landfill to a park. Such a great way to repurpose it. I’m a terribly clumsy biker but I think I would really enjoy just walking around. if I were to visit! It seriously looks beautiful.

  9. This park looks so beautiful, reminds of the city parks we have in Ohio. This park looks like a lovely getaway from the crowdedness of Seoul. A nice respite to sit and ponder. Also, great photos, especially loved the up close shot of the flowers.

  1. August 10, 2016

    […] and more if you don’t ride one there. There are also baseball fields, camping plots and a nearby ecological park and so much more to […]

  2. March 29, 2017

    […] used for concerts that overlooks the river, there is a lot to see here. This park also features the Nanji Ecological Park that has a wooden boardwalk that leads out over a swampy area. A camp ground where the tents and […]

  3. December 11, 2017

    […] view of the Han River. This is a great addition to the Mapo-gu riverside area which also has the Nanji Ecological Park, an infinity pool and the gorgeous World Cup Park System that includes Sky Park and a meta-sequoia […]

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