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I occasionally go bushwalking (hiking), and would like to do so in South Korea if possible.

The main concern I have is safety. I'm concerned about going bushwalking solo, because I have it ingrained in me that I shouldn't do so for safety reasons, such as snake bites. (I don't want to scare anyone off from bushwalking in Australia - so long as you take sensible precautions, it's reasonably safe) Wikivoyage's guide to safety in South Korea doesn't mention snakes, but it does mention hornets inter alia.

What options do I have for bushwalking in South Korea? For example, are there places that are so busy that another bushwalker would pass you every five minutes? Or are there companies/youth hostels that can organise non-overnight bushwalks? Or can I hire a tour guide inexpensively?

I'm not as fit as some people, so I suspect that if I join an existing group uninvited I might slow it down.

I don't know if coffee ladies (Bacchus Ladies but within bushwalking tracks) still exist, but if they are, they're not a concern, as they're not a threat to my safety.

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Hiking is sort of a national sport in South Korea and on a weekend with decent weather in the average national park/hiking spot you will most likely not encounter 5 minutes without encountering lots of fellow hikers.
A good starter would be Korea4Expats

Every weekend, Seoulites of all ages head out to the hills and mountains that surround the city. Autumn is a particularly popular time for hiking. While Seoul is not as well served with parks as cities in some other countries, the city and its immediate vicinity have a wealth of hiking trails. Sundays are especially crowded as that is the one day almost everyone has off work/school.

and they also point to some of the obvious choices should you wish to go with a group: Hiking Groups aimed at the English-speaking (unfortunately the article is as of 2013 and the links listed are down, they list emails you could try in case).
Instead I found a list of very active groups on Meetup.

  • Just as an example, the Seoul Hiking Nature Group has ca. ten events planned over the next three weeks and I assume it would be easy to join:

    New comers are more than welcome, definitely! for novices, beginners, moderate, and advanced hikers.Please, don't hesitate because you're alone. Most of us come alone and all get along together.It is a social club made up of various kinds of people.

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