Southern Ridges is a semi-urban walk near the centre of Singapore, that connects multiple parks: Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.
With a free afternoon in Singapore before my flight home, I decide to do the Southern Ridges walk, which connects a number of parks near the centre of Singapore (and it’s also conveniently located near my hotel at Sentosa). I find the start without too much difficulty: being a weekday afternoon there’s not many people on the “trail”.
The Marang Trail climbs fairly steeply up the ridge. Despite being so close to the middle of the city, the trail features some huge trees, including Rubber Trees, Angsanas and a Saga Tree.
At the top of the Marang Trail, the Faber Walk follows the road, with views of the city through the trees.
It doesn’t take long to reach Faber Peak, the terminus of the cable car from Sentosa and home of a few upmarket restaurants.
The path continues along the road to Faber Point, one of Singapore’s oldest parks. A lookout provides views of Keppel Harbour, the southern part of Singapore and the Southern Islands.
In the opposite direction is a view of Singapore’s dense urban landscape: in 2019, Singapore was the third most densely populated country in the world (after Monaco and Macau).
There’s a pavilion at Faber Point featuring a series of murals that provide a visual summary of Singapore’s history. (Also located here, which I completely miss, is one of four Merlions approved by the Singapore Tourism Board. The official mascot of Singapore, a Merlion is depicted as a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish.)
From here the path re-enters the forest and descends to the next attraction: Henderson Waves.
Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. It has been described as an “undulating caterpillar sculpted from wood and steel”.
Rising 36 metres above Henderson Road and 274m in length, it was built with a wave-form using seven curved steel ribs.
The next section is the Forest Walk and Earth Trail from Telok Blangah Hill Park to Hort Park. I make a short side-trip up to a small pavilion and picnic area – there’s no view and not much to see here.
The path initially follows the road, and is the least interesting part of the route. Another brief detour up a flight of stairs takes me to the picturesque Terrace Garden, which consists of a series of semi-circular terraces.
After a few hundred metres further along the road is the start of the elevated Forest Walk. Raised up to 18m off the ground, the steel walkway goes through secondary forest canopy.
Before reaching Alexandra Road there’s an option to continue along the steel Forest Walk, or descend to the Earth Walk. Running almost parallel and below the elevated Forest Walk, the Earth Walk provide a ground level view of the forest.
There’s a last section of steelway across Lock Road which then spans Alexandra Road via the 80m-long Alexandra Arch bridge.
On the other side of Alexandra Road is HortPark, a unique 23-hectare horticultural park which features multiple themed garden displays, vertical gardens and glass houses. A paved walkeay runs the length of HortPark, past many of the displays.
At the end of HortPark is the Canopy Trail, a 280m elevated walkway through the upper levels of the jungle which links HortPark to Kent Ridge Park.
There are a few trails through Kent Ridge Park and not a lot of signage, but I manage to find Kent Ridge Pond. It’s a natural pool with fishes and turtles, surrounded by greenery.
This is also pretty much the end of my walk, with the path continuing a bit further to where it abruptly ends behind a Science Park. A walkway between the buildings takes me to Science Park Drive, where there’s a bus stop (or you could walk to the Kent Ridge MRT station).
0.0km Harbourfront (Marang Trail) 0.7km Start of Faber Walk 1.0km Faber Peak - cablecar terminus (via Faber Walk) 1.4km Faber Point - muruls and baby Merlion 2.0km Henderson Waves (Telok Blangah Hill Park) 3.3km Terrace Garden 4.9km Alexandra Arch bridge over Alexandra Road 5.4km HortPark 6.5km Canopy Walk 7.8km Kent Ridge Pond 8.6km Science Park Road
|Location||Start/end at Harbourfront MRT or Kent Ridge Park (bus stop on Scient Park Drive)|
|Distance||Approx 9km one-way|
|Grade||Easy. Sealed path. Approx 220m ascent.|
|Season/s||All year round|
|Maps||Download Southern Ridges Map [PNG]|
|PlotaRoute map with option to download GPX / KML files|