Southern Ridges: Walking the Green Hills to the Henderson Waves

By Suhanah Khamis | 08, Jan, 2021
Southern Ridges: Walking the Green Hills to the Henderson Waves

Looking for a hiking trail and something to do over the weekends? Forget about MacRitchie and make the Southern Ridges your next destination to hike.

The Southern Ridges stretches from Kent Ridge all the way to Mount Faber. Its trail covers several parks like Telok Blagah Hill Park and HortPark. Located in the Southwest of Singapore, this trail doesn't only boast greeneries along its track. You can also witness the flora and fauna and marvel at the stunning architectures like the Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves.


Getting to the starting point

Marang Trail is easily reached from HarbourFront MRT Station. Take Exit D, and the trail starts the moment you exit the station. For those who are driving, the carpark is available at Seah Im Street.

The transition from a bustling city to nature is relaxing and tranquil. Enjoy the sound of the cicadas, indulge in the greeneries of the secondary forest, and witness the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo and other bird species, if luck is on your side! This 15min walking covers an elevation of 70m. As such, it may not be suitable for young kids or the elderly. Also, do take note that the Marang Trail is not lit. Therefore, do the necessary preparation if you are planning to explore at night.


What to do and see around Southern Ridges?

If you were to ask me, there are plenty of points of interest along the trail of Southern Ridges. And we are here to list it down for you along this 10km trail that would promise you a unique experience.

Do be mindful that the difficulty of the tracks ranged from moderate to challenging. It would take around 3-5 hours to complete it depending on how long you spend at each point of interest.

Faber Walk
Rainbow Staircase stairs Faber Walk Southern Ridges Singapore

Image Credit: @by.photogirl on Instagram

The end of Marang Trail will bring you to the peak of Mount Faber. Walk around the paved walkway and get awed by the spectacular views. Not only can you witness the skyscrapers of the HDB houses, but also across Sentosa.

Explore Mount Faber Park, find the mini Merlion, or perhaps, ring the bells of Poland's Bell of Happiness. Not to forget the Mural at the base of Faber Point lookout depicting the early history of Singapore. If you are looking for an insta-worthy spot to adorn your social network feeds, then head to the rainbow staircase.

As there is no known Halal food establishment at Faber Peak, you can visit the Gift Shop to get some refreshment before continuing your journey.

Henderson Waves

Henderson Waves is an award-winning bridge for its architecture, connecting Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. It is the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and a popular spot for relaxing and leisure. This wave-like wood-paneled bridge is 274m long and will only take 10min to walk. Either you are a shutterbug, nature lover, or birdwatcher, you are always in for a treat. Henderson Waves is a perfect spot to witness migratory birds, especially between September to April, where you can spot the Brahminy Kite.

The bridge is lit from 7 pm to 7 am daily, making it easy to explore even after the dark.

Before reaching Forest Walk, you will pass by the Sembcorp Forest of Giants. Marvel through the giant species of trees like Tualang and Jelutong. There are almost 600 trees planted here, educating the public on the facts and benefits of reforestation.

You will also pass by the 20th-century colonial building, Alkaff Mansion. It is now a wedding venue and houses several F&B establishments. The exterior is picturesque enough so don't forget to snap a picture or two here!

Forest Walk
Forest Walk Southern Ridges Singapore

Image Credit: visitsingapore

The elevated walkway of Forest Walk offers a bird-eye view of the forest canopy. This 1.3km walkway links Telok Blangah Hill Park to HortPark. It is also an excellent platform for you to view different species of birds. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to spot any bird species at the Singing Forest.

If you are adventurous enough, you can take the Earth Trail. The trail is marked, and it runs parallel to the walkway of Forest Walk.

Alexandra Arch

This 80m long bridge links Forest Walk to HortPark. Its design is inspired by an opened fig leave, spanning across the traffic along Alexandra Road.

Witness the changing LED lights of the Alexandra Arch from 7 pm to 12 mn daily. This colorful sight is something you don't want to miss.

From here, you can venture out to one out of the two routes to end your hiking trail. Either trail that you pick will promise you a scenic view and fun exploring time!


Route A

Silver Garden HortPark Southern Ridges Singapore

Image Credit: NParks

This 23-hectare park promises a fun and relaxing time for you and your family. Explore the theme gardens, haul some gardening items if you fancy, or just grab a snack and sprawl at the HortLawn. I am not exaggerating when I'm suggesting to spend at least 2 hours here because there are just extensive things to do and see here.

Canopy Walk

Not to be mistaken with the one in Macritchie, or even Canopy Park of Jewel, the Canopy Walk we refer to is located in Kent Ridge Park. This 0.3km walkway will only take 10min for you to explore. Apart from walking through the secondary forest at eye level, you will be able to visit the museum "Reflection of Bukit Chandu." Learn about the history of the Opium Hill and the Malay regiments that defended Pasir Panjang in World War II.


Route B

Berlayar Creek
Berlayar Creek Southern Ridges Singapore

Image Credit: NParks

After indulging in secondary forests, you can now enjoy mangrove forests. Located behind Labrador MRT station, it is one of the two remaining mangroves here in Singapore. This area is rich in biodiversity, with varieties of flora and fauna species. Witness the rarest mangrove tree at the entrance of the Berlayar Creek, the Bakau Pasir. Beside it, you can see the Nipah Palm, which seeds are used as one of the ingredients in Ice Kachang. Climb up the observatory deck to enjoy the treetop view of the mangroves.

Along the way towards Labrador Nature Reserve, you will be able to spot several points of interest.

  1. Dragon's Teeth Gate. A symbolic replica of stones that stood in the water of the Labrador Nature Reserve. The granite outcrop used to act as a navigational guide for sailors and serve as a gateway to Keppel Harbor's western entrance.
  2. Red Beacon. This 7m tall beacon is fenced with red wire and red concrete. It used to serve as a navigational guide for mariners.
  3. Fort Pasir Panjang. Witness the Old Fort entrance, which used to be guarded by a 9-foot iron gate called a portcullis. You can also see the Machine Gun Pillbox and the display of the 6-inch quick-firing cannons.

Labrador Nature Reserve

After going through the mangrove vegetation, you will now be welcomed by coastal cliffs and rocky shores. This 22-hectare Nature Reserve is homed to a wide variety of habitats. Stroll along the beach, or let your little one enjoy the playground at the sandy play area.


Tips before conquering the Southern Ridges

  • Always have a water bottle with you to stay hydrated.
  • Having said so, refrain from bringing plastic bags and hide your snacks (if any) to avoid getting snatch by the monkeys. Also, do not feed them.
  • Wear something comfortable, especially proper shoes.
  • Bring / Use insect repellent.
  • Check the weather. Most of the pathways are not sheltered, and you wouldn't want to get stuck in the rain.
  • Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.

Suhanah is always traveling to find inspiration and tranquility. She works on shift based, writes during her free time and loves art.

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