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#TaleOfTheTrail Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (Singapore)

Posted by on 18. May 2018

Bukit Timah Hill is just 163.63 meters in elevation and its Singapore’s highest hill.  Don’t underestimate the hill as it’s a steep uphill challenge even if its just a short distance.  Also, take an up and down adventure at the nearby Dairy Farm loop and finish up by visiting the Hindhede Nature Park. #TaleOfTheTrail

Tale of The Trail

I’m easy to please just give me some dirt and an awesome view of nature and I’m good to go.  Even on short business trips, I try to squeeze in some quality time in the trails.  So far, I’ve been able to visit the following trails in Singapore.

The Southern Ridges is mostly road stretches but you get to feel the rolling terrain as you navigate over the southern part of Singapore.  MacRitchie Trail and Reservoir Park is a feel-good trail that takes you to dirt tracks and a scenic view at the Tree Top Walk.  With a day to spare in Singapore before our Board meeting, I was on the lookout for a new trail, which ended up as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which includes Singapore’s Highest Hill at 163.63 meters.  It’s hills for breakfast for me this time.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a few hundred meters away from Beauty World MRT Station or you can also take a cab to the area.  Going to Bukit Timah, I took a cab just to save time though I took the MRT on my way back after the climb.  From Upper Bukit Timah Road, enter Hindhede Drive for the start of the hike.

Trekking Bukit Timah Hill

It’s an uphill climb

The hike starts at the parking area and its an immediate climb on paved roads.  It’s a short and steep climb for about 900 meters heading to the next hut.  Even though I’ve been climbing a lot, I struggle on steep climbs especially when my legs are not yet warmed up.  I took a rest on the first hut as my quads and calves felt stiff.  I just needed to rest it a bit before pursuing the climb.

The next hut was a fork, one headed to a short road with an overlooking view and the other headed to Bukit Timah Hill.  I took the short road since I had time to spare for this one.  It was just about 200 meters to the end but it was a nice stretch to run up going there and run down going back.  I also needed the short run to keep my legs warm.  When I resumed the climb to Bukit Timah Hill, I then had to choose which route to take.

Easy or Hard?

One was just 150 meters but you had to take stairs to the summit and the other one is paved roads, with moderate ascent of about 540 meters to the summit.  The short route was the tougher one since it’s stairs and it’s a lot steeper.  The other route would be more relaxing since this would have a more gradual ascent.

Harder Route it is.

I opted for the harder route which is the stairs.  I had to stop several times to catch my breath but it’s just about 150 meters this is just a short struggle.  The end of the stairs immediately led to the summit.

163.63 meters

This was a short climb compared to my other climbs but I felt the work out.  This is Singapore’s Highest Hill and it’s nice to see.  If you want to work on your distance, try Mac Ritchie but if you want to work on your altitude, Bukit Timah is the place to go.  I’d like to try doing both in a day sometime.

Dairy Farm Loop

Since this was just 1.5 kilometers, I went to the Dairy Farm loop.  It’s just a 2-2.5 kilometer loop that gives you a heavily forested trail for your to appreciate.  It’s a TRAP though as the first half of the trail leads you several stair steps and paths going down.  That means you have to climb up the second part of the trail.  The loop gets you deeper to the reserve.

Stairs unlimited

The first part is easy as its going down but the second part is stairs unlimited.  There was also an option to exit at the lower part of the trail.  I took the path leading back to the summit, which is about a kilometers worth of climbing.   I had to conserve my energy on the stairs as it’s literally “breath-taking.”  There were upward path, steel stairs and dirt tracks with the forested area as the backdrop.

Jungle Loop

Towards the upper part of the loop, there was the regular route, which most people took and there was the Jungle Loop.  I took  the Jungle Loop since it was a dirt trail that also had streams.  I was thinking the Jungle Loop would be a shorter climb since it exits to the lower part of the main road.  I was wrong though as the Jungle Loop went downward before leading to another long climb of steps.  Oh well, I asked for this one so might as well go on with it.

After hitting the main road, I went back to the foot of Bukit Timah Hill.  There was a visitor center as well as an access to Hindhede National Park.  There were historical markers as well as key information about Bukit Timah at the Visitor Center, which you get to read as you rest after the climb.  After a short rest, I decided to check out what’s inside of Hindhede National Park.


I was welcomed by Macaques upon entering. I also saw a monitor lizard run in front of me.  There were also other activities in the park such as a reflexology walk but the main part I enjoyed here was seeing the view of the Hindhede Quarry.

Hindhede Quarry

I exited to the lower part of the trail leading to the parking lot before I walk my way to the Beauty World MRT Station, which is just a few hundred meters away to end another edition of #TaleOfTheTrail

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