Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Adventure Singapore: Running the Southern Ridges

Running the Henderson Waves Bridge

What is it?
The Southern Ridges are a collection of park connectors, elevated walkways and bridges that link up West Coast Park to Harbourfront. It is a distance of 9km (one way) if you do the entire trail. The total cost for the construction of the elevated walkways and bridges was SGD$25.5 million.

Click map to view large

Trail Guide

Ok… so it’s not a dirt trail and it is paved the entire way, but it still is pretty fun, and a change from the usual trail runs in Singapore. You can start at either end. If you are taking the MRT, Harbourfront is the station to get off. Make your way to Mt. Faber via the Marang trail and follow my trail guide in reverse. I normally start from the parking lot at Kent Ridge Park, run to Mt. Faber and return. It’s the most scenic part of the Southern Ridges and is about 11-12km for the return trip.

The Canopy Walk

From Kent Ridge Park, head east and take the Canopy Walk. This is a 300m long, wooden elevated walkway about 16m above the forest floor. When you reach the end, turn right and go down the stairs. Follow the signs and continue either via Hort Park or Hyderabad Road. I suggest going up one way and coming back another.

Approaching the Anderson Arch bridge

The Anderson Arch bridge is at the eastern end of Hort Park/Hyderabad Road. It links up to the 1.3km long elevated walkway called the “Forest Walk”. The height of the forest walk ranges from 3m to 18m above the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill.

The Forest Walk ends at Telok Blangah Hill Park. You can take the Hilltop Walk (I haven’t tried it), but most people follow the road and the signs leading to the Henderson Waves bridge.

The Forest Walk

The Henderson Waves bridge is 36m or 12 storeys above the road, making it the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It links Telok Blangah Hill to Mt. Faber.

Once you get to Mt. Faber, several options exist. You can complete the Southern Ridges by running the Marang Trail to Harbourfront, or run to the summit, or run the Mt. Faber Loop Road which takes you back to the Henderson Waves bridge for the return.

Bring water. I run the trail with 1.5 liters of water. You can buy drinks at McDonald’s near West Coast Park, or at the caf├ęs in Hort Park and Mt. Faber if you get desperate.

Photos: All photos taken with a Sea & Sea 1G/Ricoh GX100