Gyorae Natural Recreation Forest goes through Jeju Island’s Gotjawal Forest and climbs one of the island’s 368 oreums(parasitic volcano) making it another cool place to spend the summer months here.
The Gotjawal Forest was formed through a volcanic eruption and sticky lava that became small rocks. This all accumulated becoming the Gotjawal. In old times Jeju people called the villages near the middle of the mountain ‘got’ or ‘jawal’ or ‘gotjawal’.
In the Gotjawal area the soil is not so good and the terrain is mainly made of rocks. Even though there is lots of rain it will go straight through these rocks. However, this helps make clean Jeju water. It also creates a temperature and moisture that lead to the appearance of tropical vegetation. Yet vegetation from cooler regions is present too. They co-exist in creating this unique forest within the world.
When you enter Gyorae Natural Recreation Forest there is an experience hall where you can find out more background information. Other buildings are made with a hay roof. There is also an outdoor performance area. But right next to the experience hall is a trail that will go through the forest, which is punctuated by outdoor classroom clearings and end with Jigeuri Oreum.
Just prior to climbing the oreum there is a plain area with a cattle ranch and a different type of forest filled with cedar and cypress trees. The atmosphere is different to the Gotjawal walk of the previous hour. There are two different types of forest.
Take a break at the rest area because the climb is a bit steep. This won’t be your coolest forest to visit during the summer, but the drops of sweat shed while trekking at the Gyorae Natural Recreation Forest can make one’s body and mind light and relaxed.