Tips for Nparks Coast to Coast Trail

Nparks Coast to Coast Trail is popular on the island. I have uploaded more photos on Facebook album.

Two things are common during Covid19 measures, folks cannot clear leave and families are exercising more!

So we (me and colleagues Daniel, Francis and son) did a 2-in-1 by walking the 36km Coast to Coast trail (C2C).

And we realised it was 42km instead of 36km :p

Startpoint at Lakeside MRT (7.15am)

We started at Lakeside MRT, and I had to take the earliest train from Sengkang.

Rough estimation of distance between checkpoints.

This might help in planning for your rest points.
~Lakeside (Start) to Hindhede (CP3) – 8km
~Hindhede (CP3) to Adam (CP4) – 6km
~Adam(CP4) to Bishan(CP5) – 8km
~Bishan(CP5) to Sengkang Swim(CP7) – 8km
~Sengkang Swim (CP7) to Coney (CP9) -7km

Total= 37 to 38km (real walk will be longer)

Singapore coast to coast trail map (credit Nparks)

If add Rower’s Bay (CP10) from Sengkang Swim (CP7), add another 7km +

Coast to Coast trail Singapore
Coast to Coast trail Singapore

Back to our trail…

There are a lot of constructions and detour around Jurong Lake Garden, walk under MRT viaduct, along PCN markers next to Boon Lay Way.

Park Connector Network (PCN) and Coast to Coast Trail signboard.
Image below indicates Bukit Batok Park (CP2) is 6.5km away.

Checkpoint 1 Chinese Garden(7:38am)

As we begin our walk, no worries about toilets and water points. There are MRT stations, coffee shops and 7-11 for pit stops.

Checkpoint 1 Chinese Garden

If you are first time attempting c2c, I would recommend Npark app to pinpoint your checkpoints. But take note keeping this app running in the background will suck your mobile phone battery!

Another useful webpage would be NEA’s rain area. Although not real time, you can get a pretty good idea of whether it will be a passing drizzle or island-wide thunderstorm (NEA website recommended, as the app is not responsive).

Rain clouds and forecast

The viaduct and PCN provides much needed shade.

After CP1 (checkpoint), cross overhead bridge and walk towards Block 115. If you are cycling, head to the junction of Jurong Town Hall Road and Boon Lay Way.

You will be heading North East under MRT viaduct, between Jurong East and Bukit Batok stations.

This is part of Ulu Pandan PCN.

**Detour** Do take note of ongoing work down the “slope” (at GPS 1.34294, 103.74523). Keep left at this junction.

Refer image below, you will have to walk along Bukit Batok Ave 1, pass by swimming complex (on your right), and turn right along Bukit Batok Ave 6.

Ulu Pandan Park Connector
Ulu Pandan Park Connector

Just follow “Bukit Batok” direction,  and not “Toh Guan”.

Image credit Google Map

Walk another kilometre from Swimming complex and you will reach the stone zodiacs at Block 280 (BB East Ave 4).

Checkpoint 2 Bukit Batok (8.55am)

I would say the first 3 checkpoints are relative near to each other, and offer a lot of shade.

Checkpoint 2 Bukit Batok

We love the awesome amount of greens as we skirt around Bukit Batok hill. Beyond the shades, the pathway beckons you to explore inland.

Continue along the shared path and you will pass behind Autobacs.

We passed by Liveband pub, which used to be a Firestation.

Bukit Timah fire station

Checkpoint 3 Hindhede Drive (9.28am)

This is very near to CP2. And if time permits, you can sprint up SG’s highest hill Bukit Timah. We noticed a crowd, even on a weekday.

On second thoughts, stick to the Coast to Coast trail, unless you do not mind completing in 15 hours :p

Coast to Coast Hindhede Drive
Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre might be a good pit stop for some snacks. Most folks will actually eat at Adam Food Centre (CP4), but price and queue might be higher.

15 min break, nice Bak chang.

5km more to reach Adam Road Food Centre.

Many sights and memories along Bukit Timah road. King Albert McDonald, Railway line, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

More slopes, kerbs and junctions along 4km stretch of Bukit Timah. The road-work around here makes driving tough, and biking harder.

If you are cycling, the narrow paths and pedestrians add to the congestion!

We are amused by all the atas MRT stations. Remember to have fun along the way, it makes the journey so much more relaxing.

Laughter does help to delay fatigue.

Rochor river runs along Bukit Timah road.

Checkpoint 4 Adam road Food Centre (11.15am)

Took a well deserved 40 min lunch break. The longer you rest, the harder it is to resume your pace :p

Order any food, but do pamper yourself with some cold beverages.

Adam Road Food Centre good food

After cp4 Adam lunch, compose ourselves and march on, this time under the merciless sun. From CP4 onwards, it is easier to navigate but distances between checkpoints are longer too.

Head towards Kheam Hock Park and go through the underpass (GPS 1.33043, 103.81966).

You will pass some tombstones, this area was part of Bukit Brown cemetery. Do not be spooked, especially when you are walking in the night.

Cross the overhead bridge and land on the new Lornie Road PCN.

Lornie Park Connector
Lornie Park Connector

Head towards Macritchie Reservoir carpark direction. Toilet or water break, or take a small detour and enjoy the scenic water view.

Take the underpass (in the direction of St Theresa’s Home, GPS 1.346073, 103.838151) and exit to Marymount Road.

This stretch towards Bishan Park is exposed to elements, and dust from constructions.

Checkpoint 5 at Bishan (1.52pm)

You need to detour left and walk 500m in.

Checkpoint 5 Bishan Park
Checkpoint 5 Bishan Park

We took a small detour, crossing the overhead bridge to catch some merlions (infront Block 218).

Ang Mo Kio merlion

Decided to treat ourselves to some cool ice cream, celebrate 25km completion, about 2/3 of trail 🙂

Pass by AMK Town Garden West, this used to be my childhood playground. There were some hidden “forts” at the top.

Turn right towards Ang Mo Kio 5, Buangkok and Sengkang direction.
Looking at the sidewalk flora distracts us from the long trek.

If you follow this trek between 10am to 12pm, you might see some happy butterflies.

Checkpoint 6 Lexus Hills Park (3.25pm)

The rain clouds were threatening us from Punggol and Sengkang.

We decided to have a sweet pitstop at Esso Yio Chu Kang.

Checkpoint 6 Lexus Hills

Pocari and Eclair boosted our energy and spirits.
9km to Coney island end point, but only 2km from home!

Just follow PCN and river to Punggol.

Buangkok Kampong is just behind us.

3 more checkpoints to go, 7, 8 and 9.
We will not attempt Checkpoint 10 at Rower’s Bay, which is out of the way.

On another trip, I had cycled to Rower’s Bay to catch the beautiful sunset.

Sunset at Rower’s Bay Seletar

Checkpoint 7 Sengkang Floating Wetland (4.10pm)

The park connectors in Sengkang and Punggol has one of the most scenic routes, mixture of nature and man-made.

One loop (Sengkang Punggol Hougang Buangkok) is 25km, checkout my running route. Imagine exercising along the riverway.

 

Iconic Jewel Bridge (GPS 1.409512, 103.89587).

Punggol Robot wall
Punggol Robot wall

The robots mural, next to Block 308C (S822308).

Checkpoint 8 Punggol Waterway PArk (5:02pm)

Can smell the ending already! Quicken our pace. The whole C2C trail has taken us longer to complete (both distance and time).

Oasis Terraces, plenty of F&B options here. I thought it is less crowded than Waterway Point.

Oasis Terraces Punggol
Oasis Terraces Punggol

Checkpoint 9 coney Island (5.40pm)

One feeling: Relive!

One picture for memories.  Had estimated to cover route under 8 or 9 hours, but we took 10 hours (including breaks).

Nparks Coast to Coast Trail
Nparks Coast to Coast Trail

Relive Video. (Use Strava to clock your journey, then just run Relive app to get the animation)

After the trail, some will choose to have dinner at Punggol Settlement. We chose to Grab home 🙂

More Nparks Coast to Coast Trail photos are in my Facebook album.

Coast to Coast Trail photos
Coast to Coast Trail photos

I have friends asking whether we need to be super fit to attempt the Coast to Coast trail. Long distance walking should not be new to those who have done NS (National Service 24km).

But walking 42 km (sorry not 36km) still exerts a fair bit of energy. We know we can complete, but we often add undue pressures for ourselves. Go easy.

As a guide, if you wish to complete in 9 or 10 hours,  you should be comfortable walking 10km around 2 hours 10 minutes. Go practice first or even try Coast to Coast in installments.

Factor in rain and sun (humidity) elements. First timers might even miss a junction or two :p

Photo below, my Crius Master at Bukit Batok. I jogged and cycled the trail to identify the checkpoints beforehand.

Cycling Coast to Coast Trail
Cycling Coast to Coast Trail

Additional tips for Nparks Coast to Coast Trail

1.Nparks link and detours
Brochure  (and side visits)
*Latest updates (detours and Mobileapp)

2.There are plenty of walking groups in Meetup groups! Long queues too.
Do search for “Trailblazers coast to coast” or “Deep breathing coast to coast“. You can identify your own pace and join a group, someone more experience will help you hunt for the checkpoints.

3. Packing. Besides hydration, powerbank and waterproofing would be most important. You might wish to use Strava to track your journey too.

-I brought along a 500m bottle, but we can always find 7-11, provision shops and coffeeshops nearby.
-Umbrella or rain coat, slippers for heavy downpour
*Suntan lotion, muscle rub
-Sunglass, towel, cap
-(optional) Spare tshirt/short to change after walk
-Cash for taxi and food

4. Start/end at Coney Drive or Lakeside?
Lakeside has MRT, but one-hour journey from Sengkang.

Coney Island entrance has no public transport. Nearest LRT is Punggol Point, followed by 1km walk. (Punggol Coast MRT is still under construction). You can grab bus 84 to Punggol end, but service is only available weekends.

Punggol Point LRT to Coney Island

5. I will recommend weekday walk as many folks will be tramping this route over the weekends. For first timers, choose daytime over night time especially if you need to “pose” at the milestones.

Once you have completed Nparks Coast to Coast trail, there are other Round-Island trails (up to 150km) waiting for you!

6. Wear a pair of shoes instead of sandals or slippers. Your sole and calves will be sore after the walk.

*Follow our families’ hiking adventures here. We hope to climb Malaysia Gunungs soon. Happy Walking!

 

ps Updated 2021 Jan 22, we walk Coney Island(CP9) to Adam Food Centre (CP4), Relive video

 

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.
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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!
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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
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Kampong Trail map (GPS 1.346183, 103.775870) entrance is very near to Bukit Timah Hill (slope).
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Map below, follow the Red Line for the first Kampong trail ->, Pandan, Rifle Range, Nangka, finally Durian loop.
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Old kampong, we can see remnants of the old inhabitants. Steps, wall, ceramic floors etc. It sort of remind me of Bukit Brown trail.
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Enjoying the greens, we are still walking on tarmac. Hard to find one nature spot in Singapore which is unexplored yet.
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I still prefer tramping on mud paths and trails over hard tarmac any day 🙂
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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.
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Hard to lose yourself, as there are always signs and direction clues.
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Proceed parallel along Rifle Range road, which is very popular with trail runners and cyclists. Atas Temasek club spotted.
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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.
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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.
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The water pipes and mountain bike trails are along Belukar Track (Nparks Mountain Biking map, refer point 17 and 18).
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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

 

GPS for pipes estimation 1.352517, 103.784233
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.. but PUB and Nparks (signage) always emphasized safety-first hee hee.
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Along the trail, we walked under expressways, short bridges and along narrow slopes. It was a wonderful feeling to feel LOST in Singapore 🙂
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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.
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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.
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Hey, hiking in Singapore can be happening too!
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We are never far from the main roads and motor sounds, that is how small Singapore is :p
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We linked up with Zhenghua Park.
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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.
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Follow Chestnut Avenue (slopes warning) to reach Chestnut Nature Park (South). Many Mountain Bikes use Chestnut Nature Park as a pitstop.
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Chestnut Nature Park (North) is still under construction, we can look forward to more hiking and cycling trails.
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Chestnut Nature Park sights. I only know roasted chestnuts (Gao3 Luc4) are delicious, have not seen the real chestnut yet.
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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 –> https://sengkangbabies.com/tag/hiking

*note, photos above might not be in order