One of my absolute favorite things about South Korea is just how absolutely outdoor friendly things are. Yes, the architecture and cities here are fabulous, but the outdoor places and spaces? Next level. South Korea takes the definition of a park and levels it up times ten, making it into a veritable attraction in and of itself. That’s how we found ourselves at Taehaksan Natural Recreation Forest in Cheonan last weekend. And, spoiler alert…it did not disappoint!
Taehaksan Natural Recreation Forest in Cheonan
태학산자연휴양림 – or Taehaksan Recreational Forest – is a family-friendly area located on the border of Ansan and Cheonan, hailed by locals for its triple rock-carved standing Buddha. For visitors, however, Taehaksan Natural Recreation Forest features more than just the temple area. Guests enjoy everything from a forest house to hiking trails, performance fields, kids’ activity areas, forts, and more.
Taehakson is also extremely popular in the summer because families can camp here, renting cabins for use in the warm months, or even bringing your own tents and renting a plot for the night. Cabin rentals are reasonably priced at about W70,000 for double occupancy from what I can see, but that number varied from source to source. We visited because we were looking for an outdoor area that would be fun for the kids but didn’t involve a hike since Ryan had to work for the weekend.
Family Fun at Taehaksan Mountain
We didn’t really have our lay of the land when we got out to Taehaksan Recreational Forest, but there’s a small parking lot just before you enter the main trails and road to camping facilities. We parked and ventured up, quickly stumbling on the kids’ outdoor play areas. The biggest hits were the life-size wooden building blocks, the plank walk, the fort, and the multiple tree ladders.
There is also a sand play area, a rope net, a climbing wall, and multiple other areas to play. Taehaksan Natural Recreational Forest is somewhat tiered, and one tier above the natural play areas is a dedicated playground and splash area for the summer months. Mieke was a big fan of this place, and I think all the kids would’ve loved it even more had there been water…but, alas, despite what I said in my last post, spring has not yet sprung.
Cafes Near Taehaksan in Cheonan
Perhaps the best part (for the adults, that is!) of visiting Taehaksan Natural Recreation Forest is that after three hours of hard play, we could venture about a quarter of a mile back down just past the parking lot to Pino Cafe. While everything is in Hangeul, our server spoke some English and was so gracious with our limited Korean! The kids ordered tasty treats, and we ate in the warm, heated outdoor seating area with one of their little local kitties, which the kids loved.
It’s also has the most gorgeous photo-worthy flower wall, picture-perfect lattes, oversized scones, and a fun, relaxing atmosphere after a long day of play. This one was a hit for all of us!
Tips for Visiting Taehaksan Natural Recreation Forest
Cost: It’s free to visit for the day, but the use of certain facilities does have a fee; contact the travel hotlines for more information here: +82-2-1330
Address: In Waze – 105-2, Hyeonhwarim-gil, Pungse-myeon, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si; in Naver or Kakao: 태학산자연휴양림
Tips: If you want to hike the trails, wear hiking shoes and bring bug spray! There is good tree cover here. If using the play areas, bring your own hand sanitizer. Also, bring small bills to enjoy a treat at Pino Cafe!