A morning walk at the newly open Rifle Range Nature Park. Nice. Relaxing.
I know I have not written a lot on hiking (or actually slow walking) in Singapore recently. This is because I was lazy and was sick and was… ba… ba… ba… Excuses many many. Anyway, I am slowly picking up the habit (after recovering from an operation) and today I want to share some photos on my morning walk at the newly open Rifle Range Nature Park. New as in it was opened on 12 November 2022.
Table of Contents
About the Rifle Range Nature Park
Situated along Rifle Range Road to the south of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the new Rifle Range Nature Park is 66 hectares and you can explore the nature park via a network of boardwalks and trails. It served as a sort of green buffer to protect Bukit Timah Nature Reserve from the many human developments at this edge.
It was said that the park has about 7km of hiking trails. For myself, I took a trek along a few connected trails and you’ll be able to clock 4km. You can also enjoy a magnificent view of the park and the quarry at the Colugo Deck, which is right at the top of the former Sin Seng quarry.
Where to Park or Take a Train
Patnotebook readers know I, the hiker (who drives to hike) always share where to park when going for a hike. The irony, I know. Oh wait, this nature park with 7km of trails is actually a short walk away from a MRT station, which makes it so special. The MRT station you can take is the rich man’s MRT line called Downtown Line, where you will alight at Beauty World station.
For this walk, I choose to park at the Chun Tin car park and take a walk to the park. This is an open air car park just opposite Beauty World Centre.
I chose to park here as I wanted to know how to take the overhead bridge that links us to directly to the Rambai entrance of the Rifle Range Nature Reserve. Once you parked at Chun Tin car park (very empty in the morning), you can cross the road (surface or through the Beauty World DT5 MRT). From the MRT, you then take Exit A and head up to Beauty World Centre Level 4.
There is an overhead bridge that links directly to the park. Amazing.
The people staying at the new condo “Linq @ Beauty World” or the upcoming “The Reserve Residences” will find this so convenient.
Another place to park is the visitor parking lots at the nature park itself. The car park, just like the park, is open from 7am – 7pm daily and has 68 lots. Looks rather empty too this morning 😉
Arriving at the park through Beauty World Centre
It was a nice view as you walk above the busy traffic of Upper Bukit Timah to arrive at the Rambai Entrance.
In fact, as you walk over the Rambai boardwalk into the park, you can see the famous Rail Corridor which I had covered here in this article.
A short walk in and you are at the first rest point, called Rambai Hut. You can check out the map here or just walk straight into the park.
Another short walk and you are at the Senparn Entrance or the visitor pavilion Level 2.
A beautiful morning at Rifle Range Nature Park.
A two level visitor plaza where on the first level, this is where the toilets are together with water cooler, shoes cleaning section (not kidding) and a small exhibition is. It is also where the car park is.
You are here 🙂
Moving on, you will come to the Gliders Broadwalk. This will lead you to two points of interest.
The first is side track called “Forest Exploration Trail”. Definitely a kid’s play area, where logs and boulders create a material connection with nature and enable children to hone their balancing skills as they climb, balance, or jump over the logs. Never mind.
We are moving ahead to the Quarry Wetland and then onto the famous Colugo Deck.
Just before we arrive at the Quarry Wetland, we will be at the Quarry Hut.
I like the short and sweet introduction to the quarry. It used to be the Sin Seng Quarry, which was actually mainland Singapore’s deepest quarry. To close it, it took the authorities more than 2 years and 2.85 million cubic meters of soil. Wow.
Transformed from the former Sin Seng Quarry, the wetland makes full use of the existing terrain and now also serves as a lush habitat for wetland animals like the Scarlet Skimmer, adorable Common Kingfisher and even migratory birds. Nature Parks said one, not me.
Looking at the freshwater wetland, it is actually quite hard to imagine it was a deep granite quarry meant as a habitat for animals (this is unlike the one at Bukit Batok).
Moving on, you will carry on to the Colugo Trail, which can look quite daunting at some point (to this old man). Nevertheless it was an easy walk la, with ropes to help you along and rope bridges everywhere.
Else it is quite a direct path. Just keep walking straight. At the top of this “staircase”, turn left and you will arrive at the Coluge Deck, a most beautiful viewing deck, full of poles 😉
Welcome to the highlight of the Rifle Range Nature Park, which is a viewing lookout deck known as the Colugo Deck, with a stunning view of the Quarry Wetland from above.
Located 31 metres above, the Colugo Deck is as tall as a 10-storey building and one of Singapore’s tallest viewing points in the nature parks.
It looks like a bird to me, with so many colugo poles guarding us from falling from the top of the quarry.
Carrying on from here, I am going to the Gaharu trail and then back by Banyan Trail.
A map will explain.
Gaharu Trail and Banyan Trail
At a few points, you might be confused where to go but basically you just need know note that the path you are going to take is the Gaharu trail until you reach its end at the Gaharu entrance.
Every time you see a signboard, just choose Gaharu trail (for now).
At this junction, you can turn right to the Banyan Link, but I am walking straight to the Gaharu entrance. In this photo, where you spot the uncle bending down, that’s the road to Banyan Link. But I am going straight all the way to the end of Gaharu trail. To Gaharu Entrance.
This is the Gaharu entrance. Apparently it opens out to a normal pavement road.
Map at the Gaharu Entrance explains it all..
I thought I have been here before during my walk along MacRitchie Reservoir Yellow Trail.
The black and white house is very nice. Must be great to stay here.
Now given a choice, I would walk down the Jalan Kampong Chantek road (I know it is a road, a proper road), to the Kampong Chantek entrance to try out the Kampong Chantek trail and see what is so “Chantek” (Malay for “pretty” or “lovely”) about it. But the “X” and the “under construction” tells me “NO” for now.
So it is backwards to the previous junction and take the Banyan Link and Banyan Trail back to the visitor centre. As it is just basically retracing your original route into the untouched forest, you should just put on your earphones and then enjoy the fauna and flora (and if you are lucky, catch sight of some wildlife or mammals) along the way. Enjoy our beautiful parks in Singapore !
This time, you need to follow the signs to Banyan Trail and then back to the Beauty World.
In a nut shell, here’s the route I took. Blue going to Gaharu Entrance. Pink Coming back to Visitor’s Pavilion 🙂
Total Distance Walked
From the rifle range nature park’s entrance to the quarry and the canopy, and then to the two trails and back, it took me about an hour and 11 minutes and the total distance is 4km.
It was a pretty simple and nice walk with lots of photo taking opportunities and also a chance to connect with the nature.
Hope you will come and take a hike at Rifle Range Nature Park soon too.
Also enjoy my other articles on hiking in Singapore.
Also more and more new launches in Singapore are close to Bukit Timah areas that allow you to easily hike at the park connectors or the Rail Corridor. Check out these condos that are close to hiking places such as the Reserve Residences and The Myst at Upper Bukit Timah.