Odosan MountainHealing Forest is like a period at the end of a long run-on sentence. Find your own rest in the wellness experience offered here, from forests and water to camping.
There’s nothing more satisfying than healing in nature. From the vibrant green of the forest to the cleansing purity of air and breeze, and the night under the starry sky, forests are truly the greatest places of refuge for the weary. Odosan Mountain Healing Forest in that sense is a paradise of centuries-old pine forest and its phytoncide output, clear water from the valley, the seasonal changes in the view, and the wild plants that make the forest their home. In addition, visitors also have access to forest healing programs that will work their magic to the weary.
Odosan Mountain, standing 1,133 m high, is a part of a chain of mountains originating from Gayasan Mountain. It is one of the most untouched mountains in Korea, exemplified by it being the site of the last sighting of a leopard in Korea in the 1960s. Odosan Mountain Healing Forest is located at about 700m above sea level, in the middle of a pine forest that has centuries of history. The lush pine forest is fed by the clear water flowing along the nearby valley. When one looks at the two peaksof Sukseongsan and Minyeobong standing next to the Odosan Mountain, one feels as if one is in a warm embrace with nature. The opening of the recreational forest and waterside campground in 2002 put Odosan Mountain on map for many Koreans. The opening of the Healing Forest in 2018 further established Odosan Mountain’s fame, this time as a site of wellness tourism. One can find the Healing Center just beyond the recreational forest facilities. The building’s wide decks offer an excellent view of the forest and the valley. Camping facilities can be found scattered around the valley, connected by well-maintained roads that lead to the valley itself. The floor of the valley has been flattened for the safety and the convenience of the visitors.
Programs at Odosan Mountain Healing Forest can be divided into two broad categories, namely the forest therapy programs and thermal therapy programs. The former is further classified according to the intended users, like standard, family, working people, socially marginalized groups, and pregnant women. The activities themselves lean toward unique and creative, such as walking meditation, random yoga, hammock meditation, foot washing by fathers, family treasure hunt using natural materials, and aromatherapy. Thermal therapy programs are the most popular healing programs offered at Odosan Mountain Healing Forest. Despite the state-of-the-art facilities, the rates stay surprisingly low. Thanksto the help of professionally trained staff, even first-time users can benefit from all devices without experience any inconvenience.
The thermal therapy raises the body temperature to 40–50℃ to boost immunity and blood circulation. Once participants change to a suitable attire, they undergo a health checkup, followed by meridian massage mats and half-body baths. However, in compliance with the socialdistancing requirements, indoor thermal therapy programs are suspended at the moment, replaced with simple outdoor programs. The outdoor thermal therapy programs begin with an InBody and stress index measurement to check the current state of your body. Afterwards, you dip your feet into the foot bath facility located in front of the Healing Center. Forest therapists maintain the temperature of the foot bath at optimal levels. The next program after the foot bath is the aroma oil massage. The massage also functions as a session in aromatherapy.
Accommodations at the Healing Center are integrated with the existing facilities in the Odosan Recreational Forest. There are 24 rooms in total, with 6 of them located close to the Healing Forest.
A stroll through the forest is always nice, but guided walks offer a more intimate way to understand the forest. Odosan Recreational Forest offers guided forest walk programs. You can place a reservation the day before to gain access to personalized forest walk programs. What’s more, the guided walk is offered free of charge. Forest guides take their days off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.