Living in an urban jungle, the pockets of nature dotted around the city are our form of escape. Apart from the popular spots like MacRitchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah Hill, there is a lesser-known gem on the fringe of the Central Catchment Reserve – Chestnut Nature Park.
With a size of 81 hectares, it is larger than 110 soccer fields, making it Singapore’s largest nature park. Whether you want a scenic trek or an adrenaline rush, Chestnut Nature Park has dedicated hiking and biking trails to offer. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:
Singapore is a densely-packed city – filled with both people and skyscrapers. At the spacious Chestnut Nature Park, you’d get unobstructed views of nature with no buildings in sight. The park is split into 2 parts, North and South – the former is a relatively chill, breezy trek whereas the latter lets you get more Vitamin D and a detoxing sweat sesh.
For a cooling hike amidst tall trees that provide you shade from the scorching sun, try the Northern Hiking Loop (3.5KM), which consists of mainly flat, gentle terrains.
Image credit: Zula
For a more challenging hike, head to the Southern hiking trail (2.1KM), which has steeper, rockier terrains and more sun. There is also a lalang field along this trail where you can snap IG-worthy shots to show off your wholesome weekend.
At the end of this trail, you’ll find the main entrance where the bike rental shop is located. Rates start from $15/hour on weekdays and $18/hour on weekends, and helmets are included. There are also water coolers and washrooms there for you to freshen up and hydrate after a good sweat.
For adrenaline junkies and cycling enthusiasts, there is a separate mountain biking trail (8.2KM) away from the hiking paths. Apart from jungle trails and winding slopes, you can also challenge yourself to different features such as rocky and twisty turny paths. The mountain biking trail is classified into 4 levels of difficulty, from easy, moderately difficult, very difficult to extremely difficult.
Image credit: NParks
The park also features Singapore’s first pump track, Chestnut Pump Track, an open, undulating course that will let you build momentum through its roller coaster-like dips and turns. The pump track is designed with 4 sub-sections to cater to riders of all skill levels – with 1 easy area, 2 intermediate areas, and a fast bowl.
Do note that as long as you’re on a bike, you need appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, in order to use the pump track. Do consider knee and elbow guards too if you’re still learning!
Next to the Chestnut Pump Track is the Chestnut Bike Park, which is designed for more advanced bikers. Consisting of 4 progressive skill lines, you can practise advanced techniques like drop offs and jumps, as it simulates the conditions you’d face on mountain tracks.
The bike park is best enjoyed with a full suspension mountain bike. Like the rest of the courses, helmets are compulsory, but you should consider donning additional safety gear for extra precaution – better to be safe than sorry!
*According to NParks, the Chestnut Pump Track is currently under maintenance until further notice.
Image credit: Nparks
Nature lovers can also catch a glimpse of a variety of birds, many of which are endangered species, such as the Straw-headed Bulbul and Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher.
Image credit: Nparks
Also look out for the attractive Banded woodpecker and Little Spiderhunter, which would be hard to miss thanks to their bright colours and distinct calls.
If you’re seeking a respite for the city, look no further than Chestnut Nature Park. Whether you’re a photographer, nature lover or adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everyone. Head there to enjoy rustic nature, undisturbed by urbanisation.
Getting there: Take bus 700 or 966 and alight at Block 202 on Petir Road, walk 15 minutes along Chestnut Avenue.
Address: Chestnut Avenue, Singapore 679514
Opening hours: 7AM-7PM, Daily
For more nature parks to visit, check out:
Cover image adapted from: NParks, Zula
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