Nowadays the Halla Eco-Forest has received a lot of attention as a place to escape the continuous and scorching Jeju summer heat of 2013.
More than 80,000 visitors have passed through which is also in part due to a variety of programs for families, kindergartens, and schools on field trips.
Yet up until 2009 this mountainous area of the island was rather much abandoned. Efforts were then made for restoration resulting in the Halla Eco-Forest.
There are 129 families and 760 species of plant living in the area. Then there are 36 families and 60 species of mammals and birds while insects consist of 107 families and 430 species.
Constant restoration work has led to the discovery of the giant water bug which is in the second category of endangered species.
The Fairy Pitta, which is the 204th national monument in Korea, also comes here to breed.
As explained above the Halla Eco-Forest is used for educational purposes. Therefore visitor facilities and care for the rare plants and animals are always being improved.
One walking course has had 960 trees planted and around 4,800 shrubs including azaleas and daphnes.
The Hall Eco-Forest is home to the Sootmoroo Trail which has a mat along its way to keep the trail in order and help walkers on a rainy day.
If you do take a walk along it you’ll connect with the Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest, Geochin Oreum, and the Roe Deer Observatory.
This is a bizarre shaped tree.
You can find it at the entrance to the Sootmoroo Trail. It was discovered last October by a worker and is thought to be around 100 years old.
A snowbell is on the left while the painted maple is on the right.
The trunk is 60 centimeters and reaches 8 meters high. From 1.5 meters above the ground they begin to grow together.
You could compare them to two lovers, but actually the trees are not in love. They are fighting over territory. However, when we see them we think all is well. I guess only the trees themselves really know what’s going on.
Other things living here include the Prosopocoilus Astacoides which is a beetle of the Family Lucanidae.
Look out for the Paradise Fly Catcher, the Gymnopleurus Mospus, a cuckoo which is another registered national monument, and the Grey Frog Hawk.
You’ll find about 800 Calanthe discolor Lindley orchids and 200 Cymbidium goeringii Reichb orchids which grow up to 700 meters above sea level.
As every year marks the arrival of more visitors and more trees have been planted for further shade. Facilities for families, students, and school trips will be added.
Experience programs are free.
Halla Eco-Forest is also free to visit.
Address: Jeju-si, Yonggang-dong
Web Site: http://hallaecoforest.jeju.go.kr/eng_sub_1.php (English)
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