August 20, 2012

Southern Ridges

This is one of the most accessible hiking route on the island. The route traverses several ridges and is intersected by Henderson Road, Alexandra Road, South Buona Vista Road and Clementi Road. These roads are well served by public buses that will take us back to MRT stations at Harbourfront and Labrador and to the city. So the hiker can choose to break his walk and yet have access to public transport.

Cable cars linking Mount Faber to Sentosa

The Southern Ridges consist of Mount Faber, Henderson Ridge and Kent Ridge. The trail will take you 9 km across varied environment. One can start from Vivocity and then cllimb Mount Faber along the Marang Trail then westward to Kent Ridge and on to West Coast Park. Alternatively start at West Coast Park and walk toward Mt Faber.

Skyline from Mount Faber
Mount Faber
Assume you want to start off from the Mount Faber end. At Vivocity (buy your water here in case you did not bring any) look for exit D across the road from where the Marang Trail begins. It will be a steep climb up the slope. Walking shoes are advisable but I have seen a lady in heels - obviously she did not plan in advance. Bring an umbrella for sun and rain.

Henderson Waves
At the top of the ridge one will be rewarded with a mesmerizing view of the skyline. You can see and identify the Pinnacles in the distance and the colourful facade of the HDB flats in the nearby housing estates. On the seaward side you can see Sentosa and the other outlying islands. The trail will follow the Mount Faber Road on the ridge past the Cable Car Station where the Jewel Box restaurant is situated.

Forest Walk
After the Jewel Box you will come to a fork. The Mount Faber Road will continue on the right. On the left is Mount Faber Loop. Both roads will eventually meet. Continue your trek on the right and you will soon come to the Henderson Waves the highest pedestrian bridge that crosses Henderson Road. It is covered with wood providing a warm feeling. Many nearby residents like to come here in the evening when it is not so hot to enjoy the breeze, do their qigong and take in the sight.

Telok Blangah Hill Park
After crossing the bridge, you will come to Telok Blangah Green and past the Alkaff Mansion a place where you can experience fine dining in a park. Move on westward and you will come to an elevated metal structure (Forest Walk) that will take you among the treetops to see the flora and fauna there. Be careful about handling small items as it will drop through the metal grating. For the more adventurous there is a trail below the steel structure called the Earth Trail. Finally you will reach the Alexandra Arch, a bridge across Alexandra Road. This bridge is lit at night with a changing colourful display.

At the other end of the bridge is HortPark a garden displaying a variety of plants and flowers with greenhouses nurturing new varieties of plant life. HortPark is where Nparks shares gardening-related activities to the public. It conducts courses and showcases industry ideas on gardening on its premises.

Kent Ridge Park
After passing HortPark you will come to a winding trail with switchback turns that will lead up to Kent Ridge Park. The highlights here are the Canopy Walk and the 'Reflections at Bukit Chandu' a museum dedicated to the Battle of Kent Ridge where our soldiers made their last stand during the Second World War. Exit Kent Ridge Park on the west at Vigilante Drive where you will turn right and follow South Buona Vista Road until you reach Kent Ridge Road.

Kent Ridge Park
National University of Singapore
Walk along Kent Ridge Road which lies on top of the ridge. This road is seldom used by students of National University of Singapore NUS as most student activities are centred on Lower Kent Ridge Road where the various Schools are located. While in the NUS, patronize the students' canteens for value-for-money food fare. At the end of this road you would have reached the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning CDTL and the Central Library.

View from West Coast Park
West Coast Park
For those still keen on walking you can proceed south along Clementi Road to the West Coast Park. Here one can see the boats of the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, the Container Port and walk along the boardwalk in a mangrove swamp. By this time you would have walked about 10km. Have an enjoyable walk!

See Also:
Mount Faber to Berlayer Creek and Bukit Chermin Boardwalk
Sentosa Jungle Trails and Beach Walks 
Tanjong Rimau and Fort Siloso at Sentosa Island


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