Samil Lagoon/ Lake – Mt Kumgang

En route back to our hotel from a spectacular hike to the Kuryong Falls we made a stop for a short walk to a viewing platform over Samil Lake.  

Samil Lake is an 80 hectare freshwater lake, 9-13 metres deep, within the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, in the south-eastern part of North Korea. It sits about 2 kilometres from the coast of the East Sea of Korea ( the Sea of Japan to non-Koreans) and 9 kilometres north-west of the border with South Korea. 

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Kuryong Falls – Mt Kumgang Walk

Mount Kumgang, or the Kumgang Mountains, is a spectacular and stunningly beautiful mountain range, also referred to as the diamond or the thousand peak mountains. The mountains are located in the South East corner of North Korea, bordering with South Korea, on the other side of the infamous demilitarised zone. Between 2002 and 2008 hundreds of thousands of tourists from South Korea, in particular, visited the area. Since then it has very much reverted back the ‘the unseen North Korea’ visited by very few international tourists. While the mountains are a hikers delight and one could easily spend weeks here we were limited to an afternoon’s hiking to Kuryong Falls and a short visit to the Samilpo Lake (see seperate review) – but what a delightful afternoon it was.

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The Honyong-Cotter Track, Cotter Reserve

Having completed the Mt McDonald Summit walk by just after 11am my plan was an early lunch break by the Cotter River, down by the Dam, and then to do the slightly longer Bullen Track walk to the Cotter Caves which, due to vandalism, I had heard were no longer open to the public, but thinking that the walk would still be worthwhile.

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Mt McDonald and the Cotter Catchment Lookout Walk

On a recent walk into the former Sherwood Homestead I had views of Mt McDonald in the distance – one such view depicted below. This reminded me that while I had walked part-way up the mountain, to the Cotter Catchment Lookout, I had not yet visited the top. To-day’s early spring walk would put that right and I would make a slight deviation on the return to re-visit the dam/catchment lookout. As it turned out, this was one of the best walks with the best views for the effort required that I have done in a while – highly recommended.

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Tin Hut Dam Walk – Googong Foreshore

At around 1.5 kilometres (or just over two kilometres if take a short side trip for a look at the Queanbeyan River and the lower reaches of the Googong Reservoir as I did) the walk around Tin Hut Dam is one of the shortest and easiest walks in the Googong Foreshore reserve. While there is no defined path along the western side of the dam, rather you walk through open reserve close to the bank of the dam, you cannot get lost.

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Queanbeyan River Walk – Googong Foreshores

Do not be fooled or lulled into a false sense of security by the name of this walk (or the associated Queanbeyan River Loop Ride). This is no genteel promenade along the banks of the Queanbeyan River but rather a hard eighteen kilometres hike up and down park management trails which, apart from at two points, is not within sight of the river. Don’t let that put you off though, if you have a reasonable level of fitness this is a very worthwhile walk.

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London Bridge Walk – via London Bridge Homestead

I have done this circular walk a number of times and prefer doing it in an anti-clockwise direction, contrary to the recommended (signposted) route. Don’t worry you won’t get lost and it’s a great walk in either direction, I just prefer to walk the longer, less steep, downhill section first-up with a shorter steeper finish.

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Sherwood Homestead (Former) Walk via Mountain Creek Road (Plus)

There are three official walking tracks to the former Sherwood Homestead, about 35 kilometres drive from Canberra. I have written separate reviews on the other two – from Blue Range Hut (the most popular approach) and from East-West Road (the easiest). This review covers the walk from Mountain Creek Road but as I could not resist the temptation to take in two peaks in the vicinity of the former homestead the 8.4 kilometres official walk increased to 11 kilometres and became somewhat more difficult, on the huffing and puffing scale.

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Sherwood Homestead (Former) Walk Via East-West Road

There are three official walking tracks that end up at the very little that remains of the former Sherwood Homestead, about 45 kilometres from Canberra. The walks vary between 6.8 kms (this one) and 8.4 kms return. I have written a seperate reviews on the walk in from Mountain Creek Road and the walk in from the Blue Range Hut which, in itself, is of historical significance to the Canberra region and is now home to a camping site, making it the most popular starting point to get to Sherwood Homestead.

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Jerrabomberra Mountain Reserve – Summit Walk

As a continuation of my exploration of the New South Wales – Australian Capital Territory(ACT) border city of Queanbeyan, started the week before, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk to the summit of nearby Mount Jerrabomberra from which there are expansive views down over the city. An added treat, I read, would be the views back to the ACT summits of Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura, as well as views out towards the distant Brindabellas. The also touted views down to the Hume light industrial estate were less of a drawcard, for me. Continue reading “Jerrabomberra Mountain Reserve – Summit Walk”