Hiking in Singapore – Kampong, Durian and Chestnut

Hiking in Singapore, fellow trekkers walking along Belukar Track this morning. Our total trail covers a few parks, lasted 4 hours, around 10km, 20k steps.
img_0051

The interesting invite from Meetup SANL group 🙂
The Kampong, Durian, Chestnut trails were all new to me, and I never knew hiking in Singapore could be so much FUN!
singapore-adventures-nature-lovers-invite-to-chestnut

This is the rough direction, Springdale (along Upper Bukit Timah Road)-> Kampong Trail (near to BukitTimah Hill’s slope) along Serapong Link -> Rifle Range Road -> Murnane Reservoir -> Belukar Track (mountain bikes and huge water pipes) -> Dairy Farm for toilet break -> ZhengHua via Hillview Park Connector -> Chestnut Avenue (walk under Bukit Timah expressway) -> Chestnut Nature Park (South) -> Bukit Panjang lunch
hiking-singapore

Kampong Trail map (GPS 1.346183, 103.775870) entrance is very near to Bukit Timah Hill (slope).
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut

Map below, follow the Red Line for the first Kampong trail ->, Pandan, Rifle Range, Nangka, finally Durian loop.
kampong-trail-map

Old kampong, we can see remnants of the old inhabitants. Steps, wall, ceramic floors etc. It sort of remind me of Bukit Brown trail.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut1

Enjoying the greens, we are still walking on tarmac. Hard to find one nature spot in Singapore which is unexplored yet.
durian-loop-hiking

I still prefer tramping on mud paths and trails over hard tarmac any day 🙂
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut4

We encountered some fallen trees, walking inside rainforest carpeted by dead leaves. You will also come across a lot of trail runners, some with dogs.
img_9973

Hard to lose yourself, as there are always signs and direction clues.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut6
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut5

Proceed parallel along Rifle Range road, which is very popular with trail runners and cyclists. Atas Temasek club spotted.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut3

In case you are wondering, Durians trees are real but you have to wait for the season. We heard regulars would have already “chope” book their favourite harvesting spots.
img_9975

We exit Durian Loop next to Murnane Service Reservoir (I have never heard of this reservoir before).

We were informed about Rambutan season, might not be a bad idea to pluck some to enjoy along the hike.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut7

The water pipes and mountain bike trails are along Belukar Track (Nparks Mountain Biking map, refer point 17 and 18).
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut8

Have seen the pipes in Instagram, could not resist a selfie. Mountain bikers were happily chasing the contours and trenches.
water-pipes-bukit-timah-nature-reserve
img_0072

.. but PUB and Nparks (signage) always emphasized safety-first hee hee.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut10

Along the trail, we walked under expressways, short bridges and along narrow slopes. It was a wonderful feeling to feel LOST in Singapore 🙂
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut17

We pop by Dairy Farm Nature Park for toilet and water break. This park is ideal for family and it is less congested than Bukit Timah Hill.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut13

For once, it was pure bliss to enjoy the serene surroundings. I did not have to worry about navigating for family or finding the next water point.

Just enjoy the Greens, fresh air and scenery.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut14
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut12

Hey, hiking in Singapore can be happening too!
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut11

We are never far from the main roads and motor sounds, that is how small Singapore is :p
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut15

We linked up with Zhenghua Park.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut16

Part of the hiking or treking fun is to explore our surroundings, observe the flora and fauna. We do not get to see this plants or flowers everyday. I am not sure whether they are edible, just follow the birds, monkeys and squirrels.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut9

Follow Chestnut Avenue (slopes warning) to reach Chestnut Nature Park (South). Many Mountain Bikes use Chestnut Nature Park as a pitstop.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut18

Chestnut Nature Park (North) is still under construction, we can look forward to more hiking and cycling trails.
20161016-trail-durian-chestnut19

Chestnut Nature Park sights. I only know roasted chestnuts (Gao3 Luc4) are delicious, have not seen the real chestnut yet.
chestnut-nature-park-photos

Interesting is an understatement for our trail this morning. Have you counted how many parks and trails we walk across 🙂

There is a sense of satisfaction, perhaps to pander to my craving for hikes. Although the adrenaline is not as high as Gunungs, but you still feel good.
My boys (girl maybe) would definitely be keen to follow me down this trail again.

More tips :
– Follow Singapore Adventure Nature Lover (SANL) group (and Facebook) to book your next Fun adventure (some activities are free)
– Follow Nparks for more hiking and trails recommendations
– Be careful bike and hiking trail differences, children should not wander onto bike paths
– Leave the pokemons catching to the urban areas, pay attention to the path ahead

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album.
hiking-singapore-photos

Pop by our hiking adventures here –> http://sengkangbabies.com/tag/hiking

*note, photos above might not be in order

Macritchie Tree Top walk 01.01.2016

We started 2016 with a trail to Macritchie Tree Top Walk.
This is Boon Yee(9) and Boon Xin(7) first attempt (Read our 2011 experience)

The climb in numbers.
7am start.
3 hours, 7 km trail.
38 floors (FitBit) and 12000 steps.

Trip can be challenging but great company encouraged the kids to soldier on. Proud of them!
IMAG1571

Directional signs and maps to guide visitors. Keep to the boardwalk and track and you should not get lost.
IMAG1598
IMAG1618

New paths are being mapped across the terrain, more exploration for kids. Stop to enjoy nature, the ants, spiders, and squirrels.
tree top walk for kids
20160101 tree top walk3
20160101 tree top walk7
20160101 tree top walk1

I remembered the path was more rugged, with exposed roots last time. I would prefer mud over boardwalks anytime, for a more authentic nature experience.
20160101 tree top walk6

Parents need to control kids from dashing down slope, as they might find it hard to “brake”.
Some surfaces are rocky, exposed rocks can be sharp.
tree top walk muddt

We reached the suspension bridge after 1 hour.
Macritchie tree top walk with family

A wefie with Tan family to shout “Happy 2016!
DCIM104GOPRO

We are supposed to enjoy the moment, the serenity and the tree top expanse, but kids dashed across the bridge!
20160101 tree top walk4

Video : Tree Top walk highlight!

For first timers, there are two challenging points.
1) The steep incline after ranger station, with gradient of 40 degrees!
20160101 tree top walk10

2) … the endless steps after suspension bridge.
20160101 tree top walk8

Some fishes and pond skaters populate this pond and natural stream.
20160101 tree top walk9

* Take note of incremental weather notice.
– We had a close shave when a tree crashed 2 minutes after we walked past.
– After rain, kids might slip on wet boardwalk’s fallen leaves

Fitbit report, not shabby at all. We managed to finish the 7km Tree Top trail in under 3 hours.
20160101 tree top walk

Additional tips for families :
– Target 3 hours with 3 to 4 breaks for trail. Slow and Easy.
– Hydrate, rest every 20 to 30 minutes for water break
– Tree Top walk can be accomplished by families, recommended for kids 5 or 6 and above.
– The numerous steps are manageable, but I might recommend more stairs/steps to condition your calves and hamstrings
– Trail is not stroller friendly
– No U-turn on suspension bridge
– Ranger station (after 50 minutes) can be your first pit stop. Refill, toilet break.
– Bring Mosquito repellent
– Bring rain coat or cap, there are few shelters from rain
– No feeding of monkies. They will snatch any exposed plastic bag, which they have associate with food.
– Suspension bridge only open at 9am, but ranger allow guests to enter at 8.30am 🙂
– Wear proper shoes, not sandals

Map of our trail.
1)Start from Venus carpark, 2)Reach Ranger (after 50 minutes), 3)Suspension bridge, 4) Heading back to Venus Carpark
Macritchie Tree Top walk map

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album.
If Boon Xin can do it, your kids can do it too 🙂