ARA Canal Incheon

updated with information about two other stream bed walks I have discovered. One is near Kimpo airport, the other is near Kyunghee University, my old stomping ground. That one is one of the longest biking trail in Seoul stretching from Euijongbu to the Han River parks.

ARA Canal Incheon provides 18 km of great walking/biking trail – great place for a walk/bike near Incheon Airport

google link

official ARA page

ARA skywalk

ARA Canal Incheon Great biking/walking trail near the Airport

Gyeansan Mountain is a Great Hike
Visit to Poet Hill in Seoul

One of the things that amazes me about Korea is that no one in Korea seems to realize how great their bike and hiking paths are and they are not promoted at all. Very hard to find out anything about them.

They have sprouted all over the country and are great. One of the nicer ones is the ARA walking path that winds along both sides of the ARA ship canal from the Han River to the Incheon harbor, about ten miles in length.

I had driven by their many times admiring the waterfall and vowing that someday I would take a walk along the ARA.

For this trip, I started off at Gyeyan station on the Railroad express (also line two Incheon Subway). From there we walked down country roads through the edges of mountain. One could easily go up into the mountain from there if one wanted to although that is not the major route to the mountain top, for that you need to go to Gyeansan station on the number two Incheon subway.

After a three mile walk through the country roads, we came to the ARA waterway. It took a while to find an access road down to the trail along the waterway. But once we did it was a very nice walk. A bit windy but nice. When we got to Geoman station – nearest station to the ARA – we had walked 7 miles. We had lunch at a Café Le Mer which overlooks the waterway. It was too windy though to picnic.

There are river cruise ships that go up and down the river way as well. But again, not promoted very much.

I have three complaints about the ARA. First of course is the lack of promotion alluded above. This includes lack of signage from Geoman station which is the only train station that is walking distance to the ARA.

Second, there is very limited access points to the walkway. There should be steps down to the walk way every half mile in my opinion. Most of the steps have been disabled as they are too dangerous to use. They should be maintained! And used.

There are access points here and there – and they are wheel chair accessible which is a big plus. But not enough and too far apart.

Third, there are only a few places to rent bikes – one by the Geoman station and the other two are at the ends of the trail.

Fourth there are no maps available anywhere. The trail connects to the Han River walk so one could ride a bike all the way into Seoul and beyond. Why that is not promoted to a wider audience is beyond me.

Fifth and this is beyond their control, it is windy as hell. Why they don’t line it with wind turbines is beyond me. They should. They have a couple of old wind turbines that are just for display.
All in all, I’d give this an B – the lack of promotion and access is a serious flaw in my opinion.

for more info see the following blog excerpts

Gyeongin Ara Waterway (경인 아라뱃길)

Wiki Article on ARA Canal
• •
The Ara Canal or Gyeongin Ara Waterway (Hangul: 경인 아라뱃길) is a canal in South Korea, linking the Han River to the Yellow Sea. It extends from Incheon district Seo-gu to Seoul Gangseo-gu. It was built in 2012. The purpose of the canal is to provide flood control and to facilitate leisure pursuits.

• 1History
• 2Outline of the Ara Canal project
• 3Controversy
• 4Contents
o 4.1Scenic views of Suhyang
o 4.2Sport
 4.2.1Bicycle
 4.2.2Ara Marina
o 4.3Cultural life
 4.3.1Gyeongin Ara Culture Festival
 4.3.2Hyundai premium outlet
• 5Notes
Choe I, son of Choe Chung-heon, attempted to construct a canal in the Goryeo period. It failed as it was technologically unfeasible. One of the Joseon kings also tried and failed.
The Gulpocheon river “waterproof road” project was started in 1992. Gulpocheon’s limitation was lack of water flow. In particular, there was a flood in the summer of 1987, resulting in six thousand flood victims in the Incheon area. To solve this problem, Gulpocheon waterproofing[clarification needed] was undertaken, starting with a five-year survey. In 1995, the Gyeongin canal project was planned, and controversies followed over the next 20 years.
The project was started in 2009 and completed in 2012.[1]
Outline of the Ara Canal project[edit]
Division Contents
Project Section Incheon Seo-gu Sicheon-dong – Seoul Gangseo-gu Gaehwa-dong
Facilities Plan main Canal: total length 18 km (width: 80 m, depth of water: 6.3m)
Incheon terminal: 244 million(㎡), door of lock: 2
Gimpo terminal: 187 million(㎡), door of lock: 2
Back complex: Incheon terminal back complex, Gimpo terminal back complex[2]

Total cost ₩1.6 trillion (about US$1.4 billion at May 2012 exchange rates)
Project period 2009–2012
Controversy over the construction of the Ara canal can be traced back to 1995. The Gulpocheon waterproof project was examined according to several scenarios. One scenario was to dig the waterway in such a way as to discharge water into the Yellow Sea. Another was that the utility Gimpo develop the region for a reservoir. Though the latter is more economical, the government selected the former way in order to boost Korea’s economy.
The waterway extended in the direction of the Yellow Sea (width: 40~80m, length: 14.2 km). They also constructed a 3.8 km length of waterway to the Hangang river. After long discussion, the government carried forward to private sector investment and Hyudai Engineering & Construction was selected as the main business operator in 1995.
With no economic benefit[citation needed] and a negative effect on the ecosystem, public opinion turned against the project. Business operator and Ministry of Construction and Transportation submitted an ‘economic analysis’ and demand prediction report to demonstrate the project’s validity. As a result, eight reports were made for Gyeongin Ara canal. The cost-benefit report about Gyeongin Ara canal submitted by Korea water resources corporation gained 2.08 and 2.2 scores in 1996. However, when the IMFcrisis occurred, the project was cut.
After the IMF crisis passed, the ministry of construction and transportation requested a KDI report of demand prediction and cost analysis in 2002. This time the score was 0.8166 and on reanalysis the score remained below 1. They rejected the report and delayed service cost to adjust report. The KDI resubmitted report by eight scenario including method of main traffic road and whether road charging or not. The result is 0.9223 to 1.2807. However, in 2003, the board of audit and inspection of Korea confirmed inflated result. So they stopped this project and requested disciplinary action.

In August 2004, the ministry of construction and transportation assigned project’s report service to Netherlands company and got a 1.76 score in March 2007. In 2008, KDI investigated this report again and submitted score result 1.065. Also predicted the quantity of goods transported in 2011 was 290 thousand 4000 TEU related to container, 6.3 million ton related to sea sand, 5 million ton related to steel, 6 million related to passenger. At this point, 80 percent of container and 53 percent of sea sand are included the quantity of goods transported in yellow sea. Also the tailrace[clarification needed] which discharged water to hanyang river was completed in width 80 m. It was decision to consider Ara canal. The member of the national assembly of opposition party said that if government don’t consider the Ara canal, the width is enough to 40 m.[3]

This controversy reappeared during the project period. In the summer of 2010, there was damage in the nearby Ara canal region, due to heavy rain. Environment groups insisted that this project has no effect to prevent disaster, like flood or heavy rain. Also they said that the Ara canal has no plan to build ‘rain water pump station’, ‘rain water pipe’ and so on. So they demanded that this project be reexamined. But Korea Water Resource Corporation insisted that if the Ara canal has not existed, this had great damage. This damage was due to lack of capacity in pipe conduit. The Ara canal help to prevent a great damage to flow rainwater. Also the Ara canal’s role is to flow rainwater to Yellow sea by preventing flood. So installing ‘rain water pump station’ and ‘rain water pipe’ and others are not related to this project.[4]

One of the parks on Ara Canal
Scenic views of Suhyang[edit]

There are eight scenic views of suhyang. First is “The Yellow Sea” , “Ara Incheon passenger terminal”, “Sicheon Riverside”, “Ara Waterfall”, “Suhyangwon”, “Duri Eco Park”, “Ara Gimpo Passenger Terminal” and “Ara Hangang Waterside”.[5][6]

Suhyang 2 Ara light island
Suhyang 3 Sicheon park resting place
Suhyang 4 Ara maru / Ara waterfall
Suhyang 5 Traditional palace
Suhyang 6 Auto camping place
Suhyang 7 The water’s edge square

In “Ara Waterway”, there is a 41.3 km bicycle path[7]
There are five bicycle rental shops in Ara Waterway.

(Ara Incheon passenger terminal, southern Sicheon bridge, northern Gyeyang bridge, southern Gyeyang bridge, Ara Gimpo passenger terminal)[8]

Marina port
Ara Marina[edit]

There are three facilities in the Ara Marina region.

The yacht mooring facility accommodates 199 ships (water: 136, land: 58). The marina support facility has a “ship gas station”, “ship repair shop”, “crane”, “inclined plane”, “washing room”, “sewage disposal”. Also in the Ara marine center, there is a convention center, wedding hall and restaurant.[9] In late May, the Gimpo mayor yacht contest is held.
Cultural life[edit]
Gyeongin Ara Culture Festival[edit]

‘Gyeongin Ara Culture Festival’ was first held in October 2013. It is a nine-day festival.[10] The program has changed every year. The programs are divided by region, Incheon jeongseojin.
Hyundai premium outlet[edit]

The shopping mall opened in February 2015.[11] It is the largest shopping mall in the Ara canal region.

41 Jeongseojin 1-ro, Seo-gu, Incheon
경기도 김포시 고촌읍 아라육로270번길 74
Amusement Parks/ Tourist Resorts
• 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
• For more info: +82-1899-3650,
(Korean only)
(Korean only)
Go to map
• Information

Ara Waterway flows downstream of the Hangang River to the West Sea.
In the 13th century, King Gojong, the twenty-sixth king of the Korean Joseon dynasty started the waterway construction for the first time, but it was discontinued due to technical obstacles and the difficult state of the country.

In 2011, Ara Wateway was finally completed. Along the main waterway are ports and water bridges. and people can enjoy the parkways and Ara-rium.

+82-1899-3650, +82-31-999-7832

Activity Information
[Aramarina Yacht School]
ㆍDinghy yacht class: 40,000 won – 300,000 won (varies by level)
ㆍCruiser yacht class: 250,000 won for certificate training course / 170,000 won for long distance sailing
* Inquiries regarding Yacht school: +82-70-4247-6730 (Gyeonggi-do Yachting Association)

[Water Leisure Experience]
ㆍCanoe, kayak, water bike – 7,000 won (30 minutes) per person
ㆍBumper boat – 7,000 won (20 minutes) / per person
ㆍYacht – 15,000 won (50 minutes) / per person
ㆍPontoon boat – 15,000 won (30 minutes) / per person
* Waterway + (plus): Inquiry +82-31-999-7895

[Gyeongin Ara Waterway Cruise]
ㆍIncheon pier ↔ Ara Waterway: 16,000 won for adults
* Departure and arrival points are subject to change according to dinner
ㆍYeouido Island ↔ Ara Waterway ↔ Deokjeokdo Island: 57,700 won for adults
* Departure and arrival points are subject to change according to dinner
* Inquiry to Hyundai Cruise: +82-32-882-5555

[Amphibious Bus]
ㆍAdults 30,000 won / Teenagers 25,000 won / Children 20,000 won
* People with disabilities & Seniors: 20% discount
* Early-morning discount: 20% discount
* Inquiries to Aqua Tour Korea: +82-1670-3355, +82-32-747-3355

[Bike rental]
ㆍ4,000 won for 1 hour * Inquiry to Waterway + (plus): +82-31-999-7834

Operating Hours
[Ara Waterway Incheon Terminal]
Ararium Culture Hall 09:00-18:00
Ara Tower Observatory 09:00-22:00

[Ara Maru]
Round-observatory 09:00-22:00

[Aramarina Yacht School & Yacht Activity]
March-November 10:00-18:00
* Reservation must be made in advance via website or phone.

[Water Leisure Activity (Ara Gimpo Terminal)]
April-October 10:00-18:00
* Permanent operation / Closed on every Monday
Pontoon boat (11:00-20:00)

[Cruise Experience]
* Schedule and course must be checked in advance as it is possible to operate irregularly depending on weather conditions and boarding numbers.
* Hyundai Cruise:, +82-32-882-5555

[Amphibious Bus]
10:00-18:00 / Intervals: every 1 hour
* Check in advance for bus operations as it may subject to changes depending on weather conditions.
* Aqua Tour Korea: +82-1670-3355, +82-32-747-3355

Parking Facilities

Available Facilities
Main facilities
Main Waterway
Terminal (Gyeongin Incheon Port Terminal, Gyeongin Gimpo Port Terminal)
Barrage (West Ara Barrage, Ara Hangang River Barrage)
Bridges (Cheongungyo Bridge, Baekseok Bridge, Geyang Bridge, Baekungyo Bridge)

Sightseeing facilities
Barrage Control Center
Ara Waterway Bridge

Information center, coffee shop, observation deck, restaurants, rest areas, toilets, etc.

Facility Utilization Fees
[Duri Ecological Camping Site]
Site A (for car): 25,000 won per night
Site B & C (for general visitors): 20,000 won per night
* Inquiries to Waterway+: +82-10-3824-0426


Korean Info. Service
* Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
* Inquiry for reservation of the service: +82-1899-3650

Interpretation Services Offered
Available in Chinese (09:00-18:00)
* Inquiries: +82-32-561-1339

Ara Waterway Canal – 경인아라뱃길 from Korean travel blog

July 15, 2018

After I moved to Line 9, I create a new objective to explore more places around this line area. This time I want to share a healing place near Incheon. The place called Ara Waterway, here is the official website.
When I searched about this place, lots of beautiful pictures posted online. Most people posted about the transparent observation deck, where you can enjoy the waterway view from top of the deck. The deck floor is made of glass. Feel it yourself

The deck named Aramaru Observation Deck (아라마루전망대)

How to Go

This is important. If you search in the naver map, the map will tell you to get off at Geomam Station, the airport railroad. Well its not wrong, but you are in trouble if your purpose is too visit the deck.
If you get off at Geomam Station, go to exit 2 or 3, and walk around 200m to arrive at the Ara Waterway cruise ticket booth. This point is the start point if you want to enjoy the cruise. As I remember, the price is 16000 KRW for 1 adult. This place called Sicheon Bridge.

You can take bus from here to the Aramaru deck, however last time I couldn’t find the bus stop and ended up walking for 1h to reach the deck ._. You can walk along the Bike Road. Once you arrived at Sicheon Bridge, you will find elevator beside a big statue. Take the elevator and cross the bridge to the opposite site. After that walk to the Gyeyang Station direction. If you walk from Geomam Station, you need to turn right and walk to that direction.

However, if possible, I suggest you to get off at Gyeyang Station and take 597 bus from there. The bus will stop exactly in front of the observation deck HAHAHA The bus stop name is 둑실동아라마루전망대
Aramaru Deck

May Update

I have discovered two other great steam bed walks in the Seoul area.

Golden Walkway

the first is out by Kimpo airport in Janggi station (Gold Line opening July, 2019)

the Golden Walkway is a five k biking/walking path along a restored stream bed.  the path leads to a central park that is pretty nice.  Above the bike path are streets lined with restaurants and cafes.  this is a newly emerging hipster neighborhood not too far from Kimpo airport.

Chungdechong Stream Bike Path (Eijongbu to Seoul Forrest)

the other trail runs to the east of Kyunghee  University, and the University of Foreign Languages..   about a five minute walk from Hoeki station.  This stream runs from Euijonbu to the Han River trails and goes by the Seoul Forrest.  It is lined with bike rental stations.  5,000 won per hour.

we went there during early Spring and it is a great place to see cherry trees.  The trail also links to Paekdusan mountain and Changonsan mountains to the west of the bikeway.  There are plenty of places to stop off to find a place to eat along the pathway which is one of the longest pathways in the city.


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