[Updated: 10 June 2021]
Once you've conquered the hiking trails at the Green Corridor or the Southern Ridges, it's time to tackle Singapore's largest nature park - Chestnut Nature Park! This 81-hectare park stretches from Bukit Panjang to Bukit Timah and has both hiking and mountain biking trails along with plenty of opportunities for bird-watching or just soaking in the beauty of nature ? Though Chestnut Nature Park opened in 2016 and 2017, it's definitely still a hidden gem amongst local hiking trails.
As it's located just at the edge of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the park is full of a variety of native flora and fauna so keep your eyes peeled for a furry (or scaly!) friend while you stroll through the thick foliage. ? We recommend being careful if you're planning to bring food along. Though local animals are not necessarily aggressive, do keep your food tightly sealed in a bag, and don't leave any scraps or litter behind! Check out our guide to hiking during Phase 2 Heightened Alert for more info.
Hiking trails in Chestnut Nature Park
There are 3 dedicated hiking trails in Chestnut Nature Park, sometimes referred to as 'loops' although do note that only the Nature and Southern Trails have a proper loop that will bring you back to where it started!
Nature Trail (1.5km)
The Nature Trail starts at Chestnut Ave and takes roughly 30 minutes to complete. This trail has a slightly uneven terrain with some small hills and unpaved dirt sections that may be a bit of a challenge for younger kids - but not impossible! Designed to bring you closer to the rustic side of nature, there are some abandoned kampong-style houses and buildings scattered along the path as well as a trickling stream. Take a break for a moment and sit next to the stream whenever you pass it - the rush of the water can be surprisingly comforting!
Northern Trail (2km)
The Northern Trail starts at Chestnut Ave and is a roughly 40-50 minute hike northwards towards Zhenghua Nature Park. The entire path is marked out so you won't have any trouble navigating, although some parts are smooth pavement and others are cobblestones or a dirt path. Look out for the Chestnut Tower observation deck that will give you a view of the scenery from up above!
If you manage to get the top, you'll be able to get some stunning photos for sure! ?
Southern Trail (2.1km)
The Southern Trail takes around 45-50 minutes to complete is a little rougher than the other trails, though still beginner-friendly. Starting at Chestnut Drive, follow it through the southern half of the park if you like a bit of a challenge. This trail is known as the 'rocky' trail as you'll encounter several granite boulders and hills along the way. Eventually you'll emerge in a wide-open field that's great for photos - if you can be seen above the chest-high wild lalang grass growing there!
Mountain biking in Chestnut Nature Park
Chestnut Nature Park is one of the few parks in Singapore that have designated mountain biking trails so this is something biking enthusiasts can look forward to! ? The trails cover a range of difficulty levels so do exercise caution and pick the one that's suitable for you. Remember to bring your own safety equipment and helmet, and to have it on at all times while riding!
Beginners can try out the TenderFoot trail, and more experienced novices might enjoy the Grasshopper or Slider trails instead. There's also the Chestnut Bike Park where seasoned bikers can enjoy drop-offs and jumps to flex their advanced techniques. You can check out this trail map to get a better idea of what the biking trails are like. Do remember to stick to the designated routes and look out for curious wildlife that might lurk nearby.
Amenities in Chestnut Nature Park
The only washroom available is at Chestnut Point located next to the carpark at Chestnut Drive. As there are no toilets within the park itself, plan ahead so you won't find yourself in an undesirable situation!
If rainy weather hits halfway through your hike, don't panic! ? There are several shelter 'huts' along each trail that are visible on the official maps of the park. Trail markers have also been placed along the paths, spaced roughly 100m apart so you can keep track of the distance you've travelled and how much more you have to go.
Halal food near Chestnut Nature Park
No matter where you end your day in Chestnut Nature Park, you'll have lots of halal choices for your post-trek refuelling session. ? Here are some options you can look forward to:
- Ichikokudo (Hillion Mall #01-01/02)
- Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles (Hillion Mall #01-07)
- The Soup Spoon Union (Hillion Mall #01-05/06)
- For even more halal options in the North-West of Singapore, check out these top 12 halal eateries in Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, and Bukit Batok!
- Time for Thai (15 Cheong Chin Nam Rd)
- Al-Azhar (11/12 Cheong Chin Nam Rd)
- Springleaf Prata Place (396 Uppr Bkt Timah Rd)
- Here are 12 must-try halal eateries in Bukit Timah, Tanglin, and Novena so you can plan ahead for your next day out!
How to get to Chestnut Nature Park
Chestnut Avenue in the Bukit Panjang neighbourhood roughly divides the northern and southern halves of Chestnut Nature Park. Here's where you'll find the entrance to the park so make sure to enter 'Chestnut Ave' or 'Chestnut Drive' into your GPS! There's a small carpark along Chestnut Drive nearby but it gets filled up pretty fast especially on peak periods like weekends or school holidays. If you're up for a little more walking to get to your destination, here's how you can to Chestnut Nature Park via public transport:
- Travel to Bukit Panjang MRT station on the Downtown line
- Take bus 171 from 'Bt Panjang Stn Exit A/LRT' to 'Blk 270' (4 stops)
- Walk 15-20 minutes from the bus stop to the entrance of Chestnut Nature Park
Opening hours: Open daily; 7AM - 7PM