Singapore with a total land area of 687 sq km and highest point at Bukit Timah of 166m, has a pretty decent trail with some climbing… of stairs.
This walk takes you through stairs, mud and more mud, rocks and a stretch of paved road. Living in Singapore and wishing that not everything is boarded up or paved, try this for a off-the-beaten track hike. This is one of our usual routes for a weekend hike.
You will need about 3 hours to 3.5 hours to complete. Or even less. The last time I went, it was 13.5KM within 2 hr and 45 minutes with two bathroom breaks. I would rate this as an easy hike overall. But do bring plenty of water and hydrate well as the weather is hot and humid in Singapore. I finished a 3-litre bag of water during the hike.
Take a cab or drive to Dairy Farm Carpark A, if you wish to explore Wallace Trail or just head straight to Carpark B. The Dairy Farm Summit Loop is just right up the track. There’ll be a sign with ‘Dairy Farm Summit Loop’ pointing towards some stairs.
I went on a Saturday afternoon at about 1:30pm and there was hardly anyone on this route at Dairy Farm. I saw a couple, a couple of other runners and then I was at Bukit Timah Summit. Before that, you’ll come across stairs…. and more stairs…
You will get to a North View Hut, without much of a view, sans napping man, midway. You will continue on the route.
The route will be flat for a while before coming to another flight of stairs which will take you to the path leading to Bukit Timah Summit.
If you are heading towards Macritchie Reservoir, take the other side down, on the right of the Summit Hut and not the same you came up from. Follow the path down towards the Visitor Centre and I urge you to use the bathrooms on the left before starting out on the trail to Macritchie. You won’t see another bathroom for at least the next 5 to 6km.
Now, onto Macritchie. Go straight until you see a grassy path lined with some logs and a map. Follow the muddy path into the greens.
You’ll see this and seeing the two small bridges here among the trees and the sound of water always make me think how beautiful this small little spot is.
Continue on the path. I wonder about the history of this place. I see some fragments of tiles which look like they came from a house along the way. Some random stairs in the woods. I imagine some stories of an old kampong and a huge house when I walk through the woods.
Some interesting bridges along the way…
Follow the sign towards MacRitchie Reservoir here and watch out for cyclists along this path.
Follow the pink marker to MacRitchie.
This is after you’ve crossed the road from where you would have emerged. Continue through this trail.
This part of the trail can be rather muddy. So do be prepared to get some mud on your shoes and legs. You’ll get on Nangka trail and then onto Durian Loop. I’m presuming that this place used to be where some durian trees were found in Singapore?
I like going across these bridges…
Nicely paved steps here.
We’ve tried both paths here. You can skip the Durian Loop path on the right of the picture here and head towards the left. There are more muddy spots down the path on the right.
This is showcase my trusty Salomons. Still slippery on some muddy rocks, but grips well on most other terrains and light! Unfortunately, they won’t be good for my hike in Canada later this year. They don’t provide sufficient support for the soles and the ankles for longer hikes with a heavy backpack.
9km more to Macritchie Park. You’ll come to a road soon after this. Head left when you emerge and follow the road until you get to a trail among some construction.
You will come to a road. Walk uphill and follow the road for about 2km, I think. You’ll pass the Rifle Range Camp along the way and then another entrance/exit to a trail which is part of Macritchie. I saw these pheasants of sorts along the way.
Follow the yellow dirt road!
Not far now! However, at this point, I do usually feel like it’s so near yet so far… 0_0
There are lots of monkeys along the way, next to the road mostly. I didn’t get any photos of them but I did get a photo of this millipede hurrying a long the path towards TreeTop…
You may head up TreeTop or just follow the signs to Macritchie Reservoir Park, either through the Golf Link or the other way. If you continue to TreeTop, there’s a bathroom there you may use before continuing towards either TreeTop or towards Macritchie Park.
Depending on which route you end up taking at Macritchie, the hike is between 13.5KM and 16.6KM, to Macritchie Park’s main carpark.
Have fun and don’t forget to hydrate! Bring a waterproof bag for your electronics and valuables in case it rains. We were caught in the rain a few times on our hike. It can be fun to wade through the mini floods at Macritchie, but do keep your electronics and phones in a waterproof bag.