October 19, 2011

The Pipeline Trail

The Pipeline Trail
The trail is the result of the passage of several pipelines that bring in water from Johor in Malaysia to Singapore. Three pipelines can be seen on the causeway joining the two countries continuing all the way to the Dempsey Road area. Most of the pipelines are buried with the ground above kept free from trees but covered with grass. Some sections are exposed when crossing streams/drains. These exposed sections can be seen in Google Earth.

The trail begins at Marsiling in a southerly direction to Farrer Road. Our walk took us from Marsiling to Rifle Range Road where we would divert through the Durian Loop (a former durian plantation) to check for durians. The length of the walk would be 12km.

We started our walk on the trail next to Woodlands St 41. As this street turned south we could see the trail as we walked along it. To access the trail we followed the well-trodden footpath next to the fence that was opposite block 413A. About 250m away we came across the first exposed pipes. One of these allowed us to walk on it to cross over the low lying area.

Start of the trail at Woodlands St 41
We stepped around a fenced-up area protecting control valves just before walking under the SLE heading south. After this, we noticed durian trees on our left. Again there was a slight delay to search for durians. We met a guy who had been waiting and was rewarded with three fruits which he claimed tasted good. He suggested we go further south near the highway crossing where there were plenty of fruits. We left him and continued southward. We believed that this guy was just trying to get rid of us.

First set of exposed pipes
The next set of pipeline crossing was about 400m from the SLE and were about 170m long. It was exciting walking across these. There was no danger walking on these as they were about 5 feet in diameter but a fall could be nasty.

Mandai Road
The approach to Mandai Road was steep but manageable. We crossed this road at the traffic light and proceeded back to the trail, but were blocked by fences. So we skirted along the access road to the BKE and spotted a footpath in the undergrowth. At the end of the path was the trail again but the area here being low-lying was muddy. There were bamboo poles lying on the ground. These helped prevent us from getting too dirty.

Up the slope of the trail we proceeded and were rewarded with a breath-taking view at the top of the hill. This spot overlooked the army transport base and the BKE ahead of us. We took a short rest here.

About 400m further, the pipeline crossed under the BKE, resuming its southward heading on the right side of the highway, as we looked south.

Looking towards KJE
There was a dirt road immediately after this with lorries carrying soil moving along it. I accidentally stepped into a drain that was overgrown with wild grass but except for some dirt and minor scratches was okay. About 1km further south we crossed under the KJE. Immediately after this was the Segar Road Estate. We had a break at a coffee-shop that was situated in the newly-built Zhenghua Community Club at the east junction of Segar Road and Bt Panjang Ring Rd.

Zhenghua Park
After the break, we proceeded south along the Ring Rd and rejoined the trail at the fence on the north side of Greenridge Sec School. The drop to the trail was steep so we relied on the fencing to support us as we climbed down the slope. There was the Bukit Panjang Park Connector parallel to the trail so we followed it instead as it was paved. The Park Connector Network is a series of track for hikers and cyclists usually along canals/parks linking parks in different parts of the island. After about 500m we arrived at the Zhenghua Park. There was a track that went under the BKE on the left leading to the Gangsa Bike Trail. We continued southwards along the track crossing the Bt Panjang Rd. Since leaving the school, we had been following the shaded paved track that parallel the exposed pipeline trail. 300m away we crossed Chestnut Ave. This is an access road for the pumping station at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Another 300m we crossed Dairy Farm Rd using a path that went under the road.

Zhenghua Park
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The track became the Belukar Track of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, part of the bike trail that ran along the border of the reserve. After 1km the bike trail turned right. This is where we left the bike trail and rejoined the pipeline trail that headed for Rifle Range Road. After crossing Rifle Range Road the trail followed the boundary of the Murnane Reservoir and on to Kg Chantek Road. We explored the Durian Loop to check for durians but we were too late in the season as there were no more fruits on the trees. We continued on to Kg Chantek Road and took a rest at the coffee shop at Binjai Park, then to Bt Timah Road where we took the bus for home.

Near Rifle Range Road

The Route
Map data ©2017 Google

See Also:
Pipeline Trail from Bukit Panjang to Woodlands
Admiralty Park to Sembawang
Woodcutter Trail
Woodlands Town to Bukit Panjang via Ulu Sembawang Park Connector 

October 1, 2011

Kallang Park Connector

Fishing at Lower Peirce Reservoir Park
Bishan Park
For this walk, we chose to start from the direction of Bishan Park and end at Kallang. Before starting on the park connector, we paid a visit to the Lower Peirce Reservoir Park which was nearby. In this park there is a small area set aside for fishing. The Lower Peirce Reservoir is the start of the Kallang River. The river used to be a concrete lined canal all the way to the Kallang Basin. However the canal in Bishan Park is being converted into a riverine type environment with plants growing along the banks giving the river a softer more natural look. Part of this was completed as seen in the accompanying photos. McDonald's has an outlet in the park near one of the futuristic looking bridge with its gentle curves. The outlet is clean, modern and fairly large but surprisingly with a small toilet facility. This will cause congestion during weekends with many families from Bishan and Ang Mo Kio visiting with their families and baby strollers. Bishan Park stretches almost 3km from west to east with landscaped lakes, river banks and a driving range nearby. It is bordered to the north by Ang Mo Kio and on the south by Bishan.

Bishan Park
Kallang Park Connector
The Kallang Park Connector runs along the Kallang River connecting Bishan Park to the Kallang Park. The distance is about 10km from Upper Thomson Road to Kallang Station. The walk is easy and basically on level ground. It is well marked and maps strategically placed. Easy to find your way along the route but tricky near Kallang as there are several canals joining up. The river within Bishan Park is well landscaped and attractive. One can spend some time here admiring the scenery and the bridges once the park is fully redeveloped and open.

St Andrew's Bridge
Across from the eastern edge of Bishan Park is the Bishan depot of the SMRT where recently there was a break-in and a train got a free paint job on its side panels. The traditional top-down approach was evident. As we walked along the park connector we could see some photographers checking out the fences. We did not know that they were reporters from the local media until the next day when an article analyzed how the break-in was supposed to have occurred.

We crossed Braddel Road using the overhead bridge. At the Central Expressway, the Kallang Park Connector went under it. It is well lit and lined with shrubs and flowering plants along the way. It allows both cyclists and hikers to use it.

Kolam Ayer Waterfront
After Potong Pasir Avenue, we walked under a sheltered bridge that spanned the Kallang River connecting St. Andrew's Jr College to St. Andrew's Junior School. This is the only school with its own private bridge across a river.

We crossed the PIE via an overhead bridge to Moonstone Lane. At the Kolam Ayer Waterfront, there is a floating platform along which visitors can walk for a better sense of the Kallang River. There are also devices to illustrate different types of water pumping equipment used in the past such as the Archimedes screw. The newly completed 'The River Vista@Kallang' is situated right in the middle of this richly landscaped area. The bridges across the river here were designed to complement the environment with their aesthetic and modern curves.

Related Articles
Bishan Park - Kallang Park Connector
Gardens by the Bay East | Marina Barrage
Kallang Basin and Marina Reservoir Walk

The Route

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