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The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges Hot

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Listing created by VacantAffair on September 23, 2012    

Enjoy the great outdoor experience the Southern Ridges has to offer! The Southern Ridges comprises 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. Steeped in history and home to some of nature's greatest gifts of flora and fauna, the Southern Ridges is certainly worthy of repeat visits. It is also one of the best spots in Singapore to catch panoramic views of the city, harbour and the Southern Islands.

Henderson Waves, a structure not to be missed, connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. Standing at 36m above Henderson Road, it is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, andfrequently visited for its artistic, distinctive wave-like structure consisting of a series of undulating curved 'ribs'. The other highlights of the Southern Ridges are the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk - bridges cutting through the Adinandra Belukar, a distinct type of secondary forest. Here, you can see a rich variety of flora and fauna and observe birds in their natural habitats. Walk on the Ridges and take beautiful photos of wild flowers and birds. Explore Berlayer Creek at the newly launched Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk as well. Home to a myriad of flora and fauna, it is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Southern Ridges is ideal for walking enthusiasts, history lovers, photography buffs, nature lovers, bird watchers, families and friends.

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A walk down to Southern Ridges will not fail to make your day or even to help you forget your troubles. On weekday afternoons it is usually quiet and the trail has nobody except one or two others. Living in a concrete jungle here in Singapore, the Southern Ridges provides a link with nature.

The trail is long enough to get you perspiring halfway. It is more enjoyable to take a walk down the trail with a friend and a good camera. Also, an umbrella is of utmost importance the rain may make the walk rather inconvenient without one.

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(Updated: April 02, 2013)

Faber to Kent, lovely

Up the tree! One of my favourite walks in Singapore is from Mount Faber to Kent Ridge Park. Total distance is about 5.5 kilometres.

Mount Faber? Somehow Faber Hill does not have the same ring to it, but in a city state where the buildings are taller than the highest mountain (err, hill), who really worries about slight exaggerations?
You can access Mount Faber by climbing the several hundred steps from Marang Street at Harbourfront to the top of Mount Faber. Climb steps? It is only 105 meters to the top. Several paths lead to it, including two lots of daunting steps up from Telok Blangah Rise on the east, a more gentle path from the corner of Lower Delta and Kampung Bahru roads to the south, up Mount Faber Road itself, and Morse Road from the north west. Public Transport? Forget it. One thing I cannot understand in Singapore is why public parks such as Mount Faber and the recreation parks, even the magnificent East Coast Park, are so poorly served. Public buses run only on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Anyway, if you are a walker, that is not a problem. You can spend a couple of hours wandering around Mount Faber itself, if you want exercise. There are several paths winding around the eastern slopes and a few on the western slopes leading to nowhere but down (but not out – you have to climb back up).
But if you want to keep going, follow the signs across the top of the mountain, or chicken out and follow the more gentle, stepless ring road, to the Henderson Waves, an unusually designed bridge linking Mount Faber to Telok Blangah Park.

The tree top walk from Telok Blangah Hill park, through to Hort Park (another place worth lingering) is a delight. Hort Park is a bit of a yawn, but interesting as is a centre for school visits, with schools maintaining garden plots there. Very educational, for schools.

At tree top level, it's not ideal in the mid day sun. Thoughts of mad dogs and Englishmen dominate as you wind along the steel structure well above the massive trees. Shade does not fall upwards!
Regardless of whether you do the hike at noon, dusk or early in the early morning, it is a lovely walk. There are no great views per se, but the experience of being up where the birds nest is a delight. 

I often look down to the original walking path along the floor of the forest. The old stairs leading to the path on the ground have long been closed off at both ends of the walk. In the heat of the noonday sun, that is a pity, as down there, the shade goes for ever.

Climbing to Kent Ridge park is via a zigzag path half way up to where you can choose from either gentle steps or another tree top walk. Both are nice, but of course, the tree top walk has the advantage of views across the rolling hills and quaint bungalows of Canterbury Road and Royal Road, York Road, Cornwall Road etc. Is there a whiff of colonial history here? You bet.

Kent Ridge Park has several lookout points offering views of the off-shore islands to the west. 
The National Parks people really maintain this place well. The trees, the shrubs, the flowers, orchids, birds, wildlife, the resting areas, the public toilet facilities, the water taps, the winding paths: all are neat and add up to a pleasant walk or, at an hour or so distance from Mount Faber, nice for a rest.

If you are a fitness fanatic, Kent Ridge Park has an abundance of fitness stations. Just past where Vigilante Drive (the access road) reaches the first car park, are a number of mountain bike tracks. Thoughtfully, these are also walkable, mostly on dual paths, and most un-Singaporean. Natural, winding paths, with no concrete!

Singapore has some wonderful walks. This is one of the best. It is just a pity that there is no choice: up with the birds or along the ground in the shade.

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Don't drive there

The first time I went to the southern ridges, I drove and parked my car at the hort park. Then from there, we started our journey on the southern ridges. I thought it would be a short walk so we will walk to the end point and then walk back to collect our car.

I was so wrong. From hort park to the Henderson waves, it took us close to two hours because I had to tow my three children along. The view was nice and the air was good and we enjoyed the walk.

When we finally reached Henderson waves, I was so tired that I could not imagine myself walking all the way back to collect my car. I ended up taking a taxi back to the car park at hort park. I imagined if I had walked back to my car, by the time I reached my car, my foot may not have any strength to step on the car pedals.

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Runner's Delight

If this place is not so far away from home, I'd be one of the regular runners pounding its trail.

I first knew the southern ridges as a landscape architecture student on a field trip. Actually, we went to Hort Park, but I saw the impressive Alexandra Bridge and resolved to return someday to see where it leads. Where it leads is a route through the leafy forests of Mount Faber right up to the Henderson Waves, then onwards to Kent Ridge Park.

From a runner's perspective, the route provides a good uphill workout, with panoramic views and fresh air at the end of the run as reward for your toil.

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Great place to "get away"

This place is one of my favorite places to to clear my head. Whenever I felt the need for some space or time to think, I would drive up to Mount Faber and walk to the Henderson Wave, and on to the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk.

The Henderson Wave, particular at night, is a great place for some private reflection. The bridge is so high up from the road that you do not feel bothered by the sound of the traffic below. Instead, you will enjoy the feel of a bird's eye view down on the road and surrounding areas. I always enjoy the refreshing night air and breeze on the Henderson Wave.

During the daytime though, the place is quite hot and the lack of shade on the bridge does not help. If your are walking the trails, you may want to bring some mosquito repellent too.

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Amazing scenery from the top

I first went to The Southern Ridges a year or two ago, on a CCA outing. For a CCA that usually prides itself on being efficient, and carrying things out in a fast paced manner, we were surprisingly allowed to enjoy our stroll through The Southern Ridges, and take in the refreshing sight of the scenery that surrounded us.

I wouldn't quite recommend The Southern Ridges for people who dislike taking long walks, as the path through the place can be quite a hefty walk. In compensation for the long walk though, The Southern Ridges offers a long bridge that's situated pretty high up, so people can admire the nearby scenery from a unique point of view while taking their stroll, which definitely makes the walk more tolerable.

I am personally not the biggest fan of heights - though that sentence is a severe understatement for my fear and loathe of heights, I actually found the walk through The Southern Ridges pretty tolerable, as the bridge looked sturdy enough, and I found out that as long as I did not attempt to peep at the trees below my foot through the gaps in the metal bridge, I could actually carry on my walk without feeling queasy.

I'd recommend coming here only during the morning, or evening - anytime actually, just not during the afternoon, as taking a long unsheltered walk under the hot afternoon sun just spells sunburn.

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Don't look down if you have a problem with heights

I was dragged along on a trip to the southern ridges connector for a long walk by my friends. I am not averse to long, long walks. I love them. For the most part I was fine until I reached the part where there is a bridge over Henderson Road. I actually took a peek down and I realised how high I was standing from the road beneath the bridge and I started to feel a little sick.

Thankfully the flooring was not transparent and I was able to continue the walk till we ended at Seah Im Bus Terminal. The highlights of the walk would be the stunning view and somewhere along the way, I won't tell you where, my nose picked up the scent of durians and we bashed a little into the forest. I found the tree and in the vicinity were 4 durians that had recently dropped from the tree lying in the undergrowth. They were kampong durians but were very, very nice. And free!

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(Updated: October 17, 2012)

Great view and its worth the efforts

While training for my physical test with some colleagues, i had the opportunity to take a run through this part of the walk. I remembered that we started off from the carpark just near the waves, and then headed all the way to mt faber. It was still pretty dark when we started the first trip across the waves and I did not notice the view. What I could remember was that there were many seats hidden within the shelters on the bridge and there were couples and groups of friends hiding there as we passed by.

However all my way back, the sun was already up, and although i was really tired by then, the view offered by the waves refreshed me. I was able to take a proper look in both directions and was awed by it. At this point of time, the bridge was also getting filled with other runners and families who have come to make use of the bridge and gone were the couples and groups. Although the run was tiring, my friends chose a nice route to start and end on the waves. It refreshed me enough to make a dash across the bridge and towards the finishing point.

Thanks to my friends ;)

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Great running tracks and even better views!

I love running along this trail on weekends! This is the perfect trail to train up and improve your running while basking in natural greenery and fresh air! running along this trail, I cannot get enough of it's many sights, especially its greenery and the connecting bridges.

My favorite trail is the one along Kent Ridge Park. It's huge area and undisturbed habitat is just teeming with abundant plant life. If you were to closely observe the trees, it's possible to see many different and unique species of birds! The Kent ridge Trail is a popular venue for bird-watchers and eco-tourists alike!

Definitely a must-do for running buffs!

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beautiful scenery

Southern Ridges is one of the best running places to me and it is also a romantic place for couples at night. You can see beautiful scenery from the top as it is 36 meters tall if I am not wrong. From the bottom you looked up Southern Ridges, you can the beautiful wave-like structure which consists of the curved something that looks like ribs which provides shelter and seats for the public. You can also have a picnic at there too enjoying the beautiful scenery and enjoying the cooling air. At night, it is even more beautiful as there are LED lights to light up the place. It is also wheelchair friendly. I suggest you to bring some snacks and drinks to boost your energy as it is hard to find stalls selling it.

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