You have hiked up Bukit Timah and through Mount Faber Park; you’ve walked along the Southern Ridges, you’ve been to Dairy Farm. And of course you’ve trekked around MacRitchie.
Before you think you’ve seen it all, consider these off-the-beaten-track adventurous hikes!
Note: By off-the-beaten-track I mean they are typically not labelled, nor have an obvious entrance or exit ;).
Tampines quarry hike
This hike around the quarry is about 3km nearby the Bedok reservoir. Try finding entrance near Tampines Industrial Ave 2. This hike requires you to bash through tall Lalang leaves, so I recommend wearing long sleeves and pants and hats to minimize cuts.
Choo Choo trek
This is the most difficult trek on the list. This trek is a walk along the unused Jurong railway track which connects to defunct Bukit Timah railway track, now known as the Green Corridor. However, only a small portion of this trek is actually on the Green Corridor. This trek starts from the West Coast Food Centre area and ends in the old Bukit Timah railway station. Only embark on this trek if you don’t mind dark tunnels, swampy areas, ankle deep mud and tall grass. If you are unsure, better join a local adventure group such as SAC . They hike this trek once a year.
I have hiked this trek many times over the years, and I see it change every single time, as Singapore evolves as a city. I normally start the hike from West Coast Food Centre. It is hard for me to describe the route.
To get an idea of the trek, check out my rough guide. (Note: Google doesn’t let me enter the tunnels, so the tunnels aren’t shown on this route).
Off-the-beaten hikes – Pipeline trek
This hike leads along the pipeline that transports water from Malaysia to Singapore. You can start your hike near Woodlands Street 41. You then keep heading towards Mandai road and then towards Zhenghua Park. You can end there, or continue your journey towards Bukit Timah nature reserve.
To the best of my knowledge, you may walk on the pipeline ;). If that’s too much of a thrill, then you can always walk along the pipeline. This hike is not as difficult as Choo Choo trek, however, I would still suggest going with a group, the trek is over 10km so is good to have a team to support each other to keep going. You can join SAC too, they hike it once a year.
Lower Peirce Reservoir
This is an easy hike. I have included it because the Lower Peirce reservoir is still lesser known than McRitchie and because of its nice views. Our trail runs through a mature secondary forest and along the edge of this reservoir. There is an easy and charming 1km wooden boardwalk where you’ll be greeted with captivating views of regenerating forests that line the lake as well as a variety of flora and fauna. There are also sightings of native animals and occasional glimpses of native birds. If you prefer to go with us, we are organizing this hike with our 3PlayGrounds group and you can join us here .
Lorong Halus trek
This is an uncharted-territory hike that we explored with 3PlayGrounds a while back. Unlike other hikes, some sections of the trail don’t have a path, you’ll have to find your way through the jungle on your own! Start from a trail right after the Punggol bridge and walk into the swamps. If wild boars dashing out from nowhere is your kind of adventure, gather some friends and explore the Lorong Halus marshes.
This stream runs one of the last few freshwater streams in Singapore. Unfortunately, the area has been marked for residential development and the area has been blocked off from public access end of 2016.
Soon disappearing hikes – Tengah forest hike
Hike this forest before it becomes another residential area. Tengah forest is planned to be a car free forest residential town, fully developed by 2018. Get in from Jurong track road 22 and exit via Jin Lam Sam road. If you loose your way and don’t mind some adventure, try bashing through the forest and you should get to main roads of Bukit Batok Road, Brickland Road or even Kranji Expressway. I have run this hike in July 2017 before cranes and forklift started to change the landscape.
Pulau Punggol Timor and Pulau Punggol Barat
This will be an easy hike, unlike the rest, exploring 2 reclaimed islands. Especially the pristine untouched landscape of Pulau Punggol Barat. You can start from Punggol LRT Nibong station and end your hike at the west camp road. The more adventurous ones might want to continue and try your luck visiting Jenal jetty, just before the Yishun dam. There have been talks with the owners that the jetty needs to go, so quickly take a look before it is gone. Read here to find out what is happening to the jetty.
If any of this sounds interesting but you don’t want to go alone, leave a comment below, and I’ll try to organize a small group to go together.