Walking the Southern Ridges in Singapore
Escape the urban jungle and hike through a natural one at Southern Ridges in Singapore. This network of connected park trails is home to a wide array of wildlife that bestows impressive views of both urban and natural landscapes.
I didn’t have time to hike the full 9 km of trails and opted to do an abbreviated tour that passed through some of the Southern Ridge’s star attractions.
I started by taking a bus to the serpentine bridge, Henderson Waves, and following the trail to Hill Top Walk and continuing on the elevated Forest Walk to Alexandra Arch where I was able to walk to an MRT station an return easily to my hotel.
The length of the whole Southern Ridges network is 9 km (5.6 miles). The section I walked between Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch is approximately 2 km (1.2 miles) which takes about an hour with photo op stops.
Level of Difficulty
This is an easy, well paved trail that is popular with joggers. There is little change in elevation other than the staircases that connect the trails to the main road. The Forest Walk is comprised of 18m-high metal walkways that are level with the treetops; those with extreme fear of heights may want to avoid it.
Elevated Forest Walk
What You’ll See
- The trails offers both impressive views of Singapore’s city skyline and jungle.
- There’s plenty of flora and fauna to admire, including giant native trees, a variety of birds, and even an occasional monkey if you’re lucky.
- At 36 meters high, Henderson Waves is the country’s highest pedestrian bridge and famous for its unique undulating architecture. From 7:00 pm to 2:00 am every evening, the bridge is spectacularly illuminated with LED lighting.
- The Hill Top Walk offers glimpses of the historic Alkaff Mansion and panoramic views of the city from the Terrace Garden, the highest vantage point of Telok Blangah Hill Park.
- The elevated Forest Walk puts visitors eye-level with the dense, forest canopy.
- Alexandra Arch is another curved bridge designed by LOOK Architects that is lit with color-changing LED lights at night.
Marang Trail (start of the entire Southern Ridges network): Take the MRT to Harbourfront Station, take exit D, the trails begins just outside of the station.
Henderson Waves: Take bus 131, 145, 176 or 648 to the Aft Telok Blangah Hts bus stop on Henderson Road, cross the street, and take the staircase up to Mount Faber Park.
Alexandra Arch is about a 10-minute walk (500 m) from Labrador Park MRT station and accessible by buses 61, 963, 120, 51, 57, 93, 97E, 97, 100, 166 and 175.
The hike can be continued from the Alexandra Arch through the gardens of HortPark (which is closer to Pasir Panjang MRT station). Alternatively, head to the Labrador Park MRT from Alexandra Arch to pick up the coastal trail at Labrador Nature Reserve.
- It’s best to walk Southern Ridges in early/mid morning or later in the day. Singapore’s heat and humidity get quite high around midday and early afternoon.
- Bring water to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. Portions of the trail can be sunny.
- Sneakers or a sturdy pair of sandals, like Birkenstocks, are more than adequate for the leisurely trek between Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch.
- Visit Singapore’s National Parks website for visitor info and download a PDF of its trail map and routes here»
How to you escape the urban jungle in Singapore? Leave your comments and questions below.
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of discovering the world. She recently relocated to Seoul, South Korea, where she hopes to explore much of Asia for the next few years. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as a freelance graphic designer. In her spare time, she contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, is an ambassador for FIG Clothing, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, instructs Zumba, practices yoga, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.