The Southern Ridges as its name suggests, is a 9-kilometre nature walk through hilly and low-lying park-terrain on the southern ridges of Singapore. Beginning at Mount Faber, the Southern Ridges track continues through futuristic-looking bridges such as Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch which connects tranquil and restful parks such as Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park before ending in West Coast Park. There are some nice views of the city skyline along the way.
Planning Your Trip
The complete Southern Ridges Walking Tour takes approximately 5-6 hours. However, only the section between Mount Faber and the Canopy Walk is interesting, and this shortened walk takes about 3 hours. Thus only the more adventurous should continue into Kent Ridge Park proper and attempt the complete walk.
Certain parts are physically challenging and therefore, not suitable for the elderly or physically challenged. Toilets, water fountains, and vending machines are located in most parks so you will not have to worry about that. Eateries are located only in certain parks, including Mount Faber, Hort Park, and West Coast Park, so consider packing a picnic. Wear light clothes, comfortable walking shoes and do carry an umbrella just in case.
The Start: Mount Faber
Our The Southern Ridges Walking Tour begins where our Mount Faber Walking Tour ends. If you are energized and still wanting more after a climb around Mount Faber, from Mount Faber Park, head left in the direction towards Mount Faber Road. Within 5 minutes, you will arrive at Henderson Waves Bridge which comes up on your left. Turn left and enter on the bridge. Cross the bridge and you will come to the Hilltop Walk of the Telok Blangah Hill Park. Follow the signs posted along the way and make your way through the park. You might want to make a short detour to the top of the hill along the way where there is a small pavilion that offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
From Telok Blangah to Hort Park
At the end of the Hilltop Walk, you will come to a metal walkway. This is the start of the Forest Walk of the Telok Blangah Hill Park. Traverse along the metal walkway and if you are afraid of heights, try not to look down as the walkway rises up to 18 metres above ground level at some points. Midway through the walk, the path parallels Preston Road which is home to a number of uniquely black-and-white bungalows. At the end of the metal walkway, you will come to Alexandra Arch and the end of the Forest Walk. This short little bridge connects Hort Park to the metal walkway leading to Telok Blangah Hill Park. In the evenings, the bridge is beautifully lit up.
From Alexandra Arch, continue walking forward. In a minute or two, the main entrance from Hyderabad Road into Hort Park will come into view. Head in and walk diagonally towards your right. You should be able to see Hort Park’s main building housing the visitor’s centre in front of you. A tranquil Water Garden greets you at the entrance which you might want to check out before heading up the stairs to the visitor’s centre. You can get a map of Hort Park at the visitor’s centre and in the central pavilion on your right is the modern and chic Kha restaurant.
Head out of the main building and walk along Hort Mart. Walk straight and you will pass through a number of themed gardens including the Silver Garden, Garden of Seasons, and the Herb and Spice Garden. There are home gardening ideas displayed alongside the trail and you may stop to take a look at them if you are interested. Continue on this path till you arrive at Hyderabad Road which will take you to another feature of Hort Park, the Prototype Glasshouses where plants from different regions grow in controlled climatic conditions. Walk along these glasshouses to admire the different plants and flowers growing within.
From Hort Park to the Canopy Walk
The end of Hyderabad Road is also the end of Hort Park. On your right is the enclosed Pasir Panjang Nursery. At this crossroad, continue walking straight up to enter into a little hidden trail. It is quite a lengthy walk through a quiet, and meandering trail before you hit a steep flight of concrete stairs leading you all the way up into Kent Ridge Park. At the top of these stairs, turn left and walk down. On your right is an entrance to Reflections on Bukit Chandu and diagonally opposite, on your left is an entrance to the Canopy Walk.
Head into Reflections at Bukit Chandu particularly if you are a history buff to commemorate the heroic sacrifices of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Malay Regiment soldiers who when faced with the onslaught of more than 12,000 Japanese soldiers sacrificed themselves for the defence of Singapore at the bloody Battle of Pasir Panjang during World War Two in February 1942. The small museum is housed in a whitewashed refurbished colonial bungalow.
After exploring Reflections at Bukit Chandu, exit by the same entrance you entered from. This marks the start of the Kent Ridge Heritage Trail.
Head diagonally opposite and enter into the Canopy Walk. The Canopy Walk takes you through a 280 metre long boardwalk at the canopy level of the secondary forest covering Kent Ridge Park hill. You will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding Alexandra area at the sheltered section of Canopy Walk. A small lookout post with a resting bench also stands along the Canopy Walk offering rest for tired feets while enjoying a breathtaking view.
The end of the Canopy Walk marks the end of the more interesting section and shortened version of the walk. Call a taxi to get back from here if you had enough. For the more adventurous, the walk continues.
Extension: Kent Ridge Park
At the end of the Canopy Walk, you have entered into Kent Ridge Park. Turn right and walk up. There is a sheltered rest hut about a 30 seconds uphill climb at the entrance for you to refuel and rest your tired feet before you embark through this 47 hectare secluded and tranquil public park. Most walkways along Kent Ridge Park are shaded and lined with greenery so it is cool and pleasant to walk through. Exercise caution when walking through this park alone in the evenings.
Follow the straight route through Kent Ridge Park. You will first arrive at an elevated Lookout Point rising above on your left and a carpark at its base. You can choose to climb up to get a good panoramic view of the entire surrounding. Continue walking further down and you will arrive at an open-air observation deck with whitewashed benches on your left. You may choose to rest there for a while and enjoy the view. From here, make your way through the park and head towards the pond in Kent Ridge Park. Maps of the park posted along the way will provide assistance.
Extension: Science Park I
At the pond, follow the path to the entrance (can also be the exit) of Kent Ridge Park and continue along the path until you see office buildings. This is Science Park I. This industrial park is home to a large number of companies. Walk along Science Park Drive until you reach South Buona Vista Road. Turn left at the junction of Science Park Drive and South Buona Vista Road and turn right after approximately 300 metres to reach Kent Ridge Road. Here you will find the Kent Ridge Commemorative Plaque. The plaque was put in place to commemorate the visit of the Duchess of Kent and her son Prince George Edward in 1952.
Continue along Kent Ridge Road till you reach the end and you will come to a small building. Walk around the building and make your way down the stairs to Kent Ridge Crescent. Turn right and walk along the road until you come to a large glass building on your right. This is the University Cultural Centre and it is home to a museum and concert halls where cultural performances are held frequently.
After this stop at the Cultural Centre, continue along Kent Ridge Crescent until you reach Clementi Road. Make a left and continue along Clementi Road for about 10 minutes and you will come across a mosque on a top of a small hill on your right. This is the Masjid Tentera Di-Raja and also the last stop on the Kent Ridge Heritage Trail.
Extension: Clementi Woods and West Coast Park
With the Kent Ridge Heritage Trail completed, enter Clementi Woods and within a 5 minutes walk down the steps, you will arrive at a small and round amphitheatre. Head down the stairs and walk along the trail which branches out to your right. Keep walking along the trail; there are sheltered rest huts around as well as open-air benches if you would like take a breather. There is a Sakura Japanese restaurant at the hilltop of Clementi Woods. Head to the entrance signage of Clementi Woods located at the base of this park along West Coast Road.
From the entrance signage of Clementi Woods, turn left and head down about 100 metres to the traffic light marking the junction of West Coast Road and West Coast Link. Cross the traffic light and walk down West Coast Link. Keep walking straight and pass West Coast Crescent. It will take you the most 10 minutes but you will arrive at another traffic light junction across West Coast highway.
Cross over to the opposite side and you will have arrived at West Coast Park. On your right is West Coast Carpark 3 and on your left about 7 minutes walk away is McDonald’s in West Coast Park. We will leave you to enjoy the rest of your time here at West Coast Park.
Call a taxi to get back from here.