Uljin is located in Gyeongsangbuk-do or North Gyeongsang Province. Part of Uljin is on the coast and the other part is heavily forested. We took a day trip from Wonju in early November 2019. It is possible to reach Geumgang Pine Trail by public transportation, but a car will definitely make it easier as the public transportation very sparse. Also when we went the roads were being repaved as a lot of the roads were washed out by a recent typhoon. It was difficult for my car as my car is a coupe. We were able to park in a small parking lot and a kind worker drove us to the main parking lot and our guide drove us the way back.
Entrance and tour guide are free! However there is a limit to how many people can enter. You must be able to read Korean or speak Korean to make an advance reservation. The tour guide speaks only Korean and is a volunteer but is very knowledgeable. The tour group was probably about 30 people, and my wife and I stayed in the back most of the time. When we were near the front, she would tell me the important things. However I did understand parts of the guide said. If your Korean is not good, I would recommend going with someone whose Korean is sufficient.
http://www.komount.kr/forest_trail/ggs.jsp On the internet you need about 3 days in advance, however I called the day before.
I made the reservation for the 가족탐방로, which means the Family Trail. Round trip is about 5.3km and it was fairly easy and it was a newly opened trail from April 2019. There are longer trails but each trail needs a guide and an advance reservation.
If you want lunch, which I highly recommend, that will cost 7,000won. It was entirely vegetarian made with local produce.
The trees in this area are old and heavy which make them special to Korea. We saw a pine tree that was 600 years old. These trees are known as diamond trees, as it is difficult to cut them down as they are so dense and sturdy. The trees would have to be transported down a river.
One of the older trees circa 500 years
Bridge made from pines
Double pine tree perfect for photos.
Overall, I would rate this 9/10. Transportation was difficult even with a car. However I wouldn’t recommend going by yourself, as this type of trip would be better with family or friends. I do think this is a top 100 in Korea especially if you like the true wilderness where the number of tourists are limited per day. I would definitely loved to go again but in a different season as we got to see the fall foliage already.