Natural Parks


Natural ParksNatural parks-Songnisan: Yeomyeong natural parks are designated by the government among the beautiful natural sceneries that might represent a natural ecosystem, natural or cultural landscape of Korea. The parks can be classified into National Parks, Provincial Parks, and County Parks. The natural parks of Korea consist of a total of 79 places including 22 natural parks, 30 provincial parks, and 27 county parks. Anyone can use the parks. However, the management authorities implement the park facility plans for preservation of the parks; and particular acts are restricted or prohibited and violation penalties are prescribed.

It is recently required to turn the natural parks into the tourism resources through the active development for providing the maximum use and convenience rather than the passive way of simply protecting and preserving the parks.

What is the Natural Park?

  • Natural ecosystems: Preservation status of natural ecosystems is good or endangered wild animals/plants, natural monuments, and protected wild animals/plants should live there
  • Natural landscapes: The natural landscapes should be good in preservation status with little damage or contamination and the landscapes should be beautiful.
  • Cultural landscapes Cultural properties or historic relics should be present and be in harmony with the natural landscapes to possess the values of preservation.
  • Preservation of terrains: There should be no concerns about potential destruction of landscapes due to the various industrial developments
  • Place and use convenience: The balanced arrangement of the natural parks should be possible in terms of the land preservation, use, and management.

Designation status of national parks

The national parks shall be designated by the Minister of Environment among the areas having the natural ecosystems representing Korea or the graceful natural landscapes. With the designation of the Jiri National Park as the first national park in December 29, 1967, 4 places including JIrisan, Kyeongju and 2 others were designated in 1960s. 9 places including Seoraksan, Songnisan and 7 others were designated in 1970s. 7 places including Dadohaehaesang and 6 others were designated in 1980s. A total of 22 places with 6,726㎢ in area have been designated as the national parks as of January 2017.

For the features of the parks, Hallyeohaesang/ Dadohaehaesang national parks are the marine park representing the sea, islands and mainland; Taeanhaean/ Byunsanbando national parks are the seaside park representing the beautiful coastal sceneries and lands; Kyeongju national park is a historic park. The remaining national parks excluding these 5 parks are composed of the mountain & land parks focusing on the famous mountains representing Korea.

Designation status of provincial parks

The provincial parks are the graceful natural landscapes which might represent the natural landscapes of the Seoul metropolitan city, other metropolitan cities, and provinces. With the designation of Geumosan of Gyeongsangbukdo as a provincial park first in June 1, 1970, 12 places were designated in 1970s. 7 places were designated in 1980s. 2 places were designated in 1998. 6 places were designated in 2005 including 1 change from the Jeju county park to the Jeju provincial park. 2 places were designated in 2008 and 1 place was designated in 2009. A total of 30 places with 1,124㎢ in area have been designated as the provincial parks as of January 2017.

The provincial parks are composed of the historic park such as Namhansansung, the seaside park such as Gyeonpo & Naksan provincial parks, and the mountain & land parks focusing on the other famous mountains.

Designation status of county Parks

The county parks are the graceful natural landscapes which might represent cities and counties. With the first designation of Gangcheonsan of Sunchanggun, Jeonrabukdo in January 7, 1981, a total of 27 places with 237㎢ in area have been designated as the county parks as of January 2017. The Sangjokam County Park of Gyeongsangnamdo belongs to the parks containing the surfaces of the sea among these.

Most of others are the mountain-type parks using the temples, historic sites, valleys, famous mountains, etc. as the park resources. Gobok reservoir belongs to the reservoir parks, not to the mountain parks.