Panoramic vistas, exotic birds and forest adventures – the Southern Ridges is a stunning trail to trek
If you’ve been keeping up with our Live Better theme this month, you’d know that we’re all about feel-good February. One of our fave changes this month? Our rediscovered love for exploring the outdoors. There’s nothing quite like fresh air and walking amongst tall trees to take our mind away from life’s stresses. Think of it as a form of therapy.
In this new series titled Blaze The Trail, we shine the spotlight on The Southern Ridges for a hike in the city. Made up of a 10km trail that connects Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve, the trail has plenty to offer for hikers, including flora and panoramic views. It’s also perfect for beginners; the route we took was mostly made up of a straight path. Time to get those hiking shoes out!
Mount Faber Park
The hike began fairly easy at cable car and dining destination, Faber Peak. Walking downhill to Faber Walk, we took a detour down a hilly trail leading to Telok Blangah Rise. It’s here that our morning really began – a stunning, bird’s eye view of the nearby neighbourhood and cityscape greeted us amongst the lush foliage. Hit pause for a little bit to breathe in the fresh morning air, and slowly stretch before heading back up to Faber Walk and continuing your way to the next destination.
Anyone who’s ever been to Henderson Waves will agree on this: the 274m-long wood-panelled bridge is a marvel. The award-winning, wave-like structure is made up of seven curved ‘ribs’ for shelter, and is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. Come after dusk if you’re looking to catch night city views; the bridge lights up with different LED lights from 7pm to 7am.
Next on our hike was the Forest Walk (detours from Henderson Waves include Alkaff Mansion and Sembcorp Forest of Giants) above Telok Blangah Hill Park. The elevated walkway takes visitors through a 1.3km trail through secondary forest canopy. If you’d like to venture into the forest at ground level, take the steps down to beneath the steel structure and explore the Earth Trail. The terrain here is rough and may be muddy (depending on weather conditions), so word of advice: don’t come here if you’ve got brand new trainers on.
Step aside, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Hortpark is a major contender for the most beautiful park in the city. Entering the 23-hectare park, you’ll find yourself at the well-manicured Hortlawn. Walk further in and you’ll find a slew of gorgeous themed gardens – including ones filled with butterflies, edible greens and even a therapeutic one for the elderly – with a stunning variety of flora and greenery on display.
From Hortpark, you’ll find yourself at an up-slope park connector leading to Kent Ridge Park. It’s here that you’ll find the perfect end to your hike. Make your way to Canopy Walk, a 280m elevated boardwalk that allows trekkers to experience another secondary forest at eye-level, bird-watch, and relax over views of the nearby landscape.
All you need for a good hike
Comfortable, breathable threads
Though a firm favourite amongst downward-dogging yogis, Lululemon Athletica caters to far more than the mat-toting crowd. The Canadian brand also stocks a huge range of fashion-forward athletic wear, including running and gym gear. My ensemble of choice was incredibly lightweight and breathable, and made of sweat-wicking fabric to keep nasty odours or moisture at bay.
Unknown to many, the brand caters to men too. Daniel’s long-sleeved top kept him cool and dry even in the hotter hours of the morning, thanks to its clever construction for major airflow in sweat-zone areas. It’s even made with anti-stick technology, so lads, you’ve got one less worry if you’re trekking with your special lady.
And a handy smartwatch
No trek would be complete without a handy hiking watch. The Apple Watch Series 2 isn’t your average smartwatch – it measures your workout with startling accuracy. A custom sensor keeps track of your heart rate and helps gauge your calorie count. With apps like Activity and Polarsteps, you can time and measure your journey, and keep track of your progress if you’re a regular hiker. The watch is also perfectly versatile for all occasions – simply switch straps for different looks.