Bukit Timah Loop

There is more to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve than just scaling the summit of Bukit Timah Hill. After having climbed the highest peak of Singapore many times via its various approaches, we thought it was timely to explore the nature reserve by skirting around the hill.

Dairy Farm Nature Park, located within Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, was where we decided to start our Bukit Timah Loop expedition.

There at the crack of dawn, we met up with our good ol’ friends, the Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis), who were engaged in a heated tussle when we popped in for a visit.

From the trails at Dairy Farm Nature Park, we found our way to Dairy Farm Pass, which would connect us to the Pipeline Trail.

The Dairy Farm Pass, located near Wallace Trail, started off as a hiking trail…

…and later merged with the biking trail for a short distance.

We haven’t yet attempted these biking trails, but they do have rather interesting names, like Stairway to Heaven, Heart of Darkness, Comfortably Numb, and Paku Waku. I can totally imagine having a comfortably numbing butt massage while biking along these rocky trails.

The hiking trails, on the other hand, have uninspiring names like Pipeline Trail – so named because it traces the passage of the water pipelines laid beneath the ground.

And so, the Pipeline Trail we followed…

…surrounded on both sides by lush greenery…

…and entertained by the melodious chirping of the resident birds.

At the grass field along the trail, we stumbled upon an open-air art exhibition, where the spiders’ most creative masterpieces were on display.

We were duly impressed by these spiders, who clearly have invested much time and effort into creating these intricate works of art.

The tranquil environment and rustic scenery are the perfect recipe for attracting crowds of hikers and bikers to this trail.

The pipelines that run along the trail are mostly buried beneath the ground, except for a few exposed sections.

We obediently followed the hiking trail…

…scrambled up a small slope…

…and reached a high point where we could marvel at the view of the trail below.

We arrived at an intersection, where we could either continue along Pipeline Trail and eventually hit Rifle Range Road, or take the turn-off for Catchment Path that would lead us deep into Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

We proceeded along Catchment Path…

…which gave us a good thigh blasting workout with its continuous stretch of stairs.

Catchment Path soon connected us to Cave Path…

…which led us on a downward spiral.

As we tumbled down the stairs, we literally ran into a pair of Greater Racket-tailed Drongos (Dicrurus paradiseus), and couldn’t help eavesdropping on the two lovebirds singing sweet nothings to each other.

A short while later, we passed the mysterious caves of Cave Path. Whatever lies inside these caves can only be pure speculation.

Very soon, Cave Path joins up to South View Path…

…where we stopped to gawk at the mighty the Kayu Pontianak tree. Standing under this heritage tree, it would be hard not to gape at its gigantic girth.

We eventually made it out to the main entrance and visitor centre of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Stationed there in a Tembusu tree was a flock of Pied Imperial Pigeons (Ducula bicolor), feasting greedily on the ripe red berries.

Also savouring these juicy berries in the same tree were a party of other birds, including the Javan Mynas, Asian Glossy Starlings, Pink-necked Green Pigeons, and the Straw-headed Bulbuls.

As the Greenway linking Bukit Timah to Dairy Farm Nature Park was under construction (until 2020), we had to take the alternative route along the Bukit Timah Park Connector, bringing our total distance to 7 km.