Strap on your helmets and knee pads—our mountain biking trails offer a rugged, scenic escape from the city. Many of these routes feature twisting climbs, muddy paths and rocky roads that will put your riding skills to the test. However, Singapore’s nature parks invite you to try novice courses as well. We’ve put together six biking trails, arranged in order of difficulty.
1. Mandai Track 15
Don’t sweat it if you’re a beginner mountain biker—start your adventure at Mandai Track 15. This 12-kilometre-long route, located next to the Singapore Zoo, features gentle slopes and relatively smooth tracks. You won’t have to worry about abrupt cliff drops and hairpin corners, but there are a number of uphill climbs and downhill runs that will make you work those thigh muscles.
As you pedal through the lush jungle, keep an eye out for rare bird species, such as the straw-headed bulbul and scaly-breasted munia. Your journey doesn’t have to stop at the trail’s end—continue along the track and you’ll hit other cycling trails such as Chestnut Nature Park and the Mandai Park Connector.
Mandai Track 15. 15 Mandai Road, Singapore 739356.
Open 24 hours daily.
2. Coney Island
Sand, stones and loose gravel make up most of Coney Island’s bumpy terrain, but thankfully, there aren’t that many challenging slopes to tackle. Zip through the winding course with ease as you relish the island’s rustic beauty—the 50-hectare haven is practically untouched and is home to diverse flora and fauna. Listen out for the oriental magpie-robin’s call or get up-close with endangered plants like the native cycad, a woody shrub that looks similar to the palm tree.
Fun fact: The park is rich in history, too. Formerly known as Haw Par Island, after the Haw Par brothers (who introduced the popular muscle pain relief cream, Tiger Balm), the islet used to house the siblings’ private beach villa. Although parts of the structure were destroyed during World War II, most of the villa still stands today. Fair warning, though: The building is off-limits, but you can admire the time-worn home from a distance.
Coney Island. Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, Singapore 829325.
3. Chestnut Nature Park
Work on your whip or practise your bunny hop—Chestnut Nature Park houses Singapore’s first pump track, where you can show off all the stunts and tricks in your bag. The circuit is split into four zones that range from easy to intermediate, with rollers and berms to make each lap interesting enough for expert riders.
Want to improve on your riding techniques instead? Cycle over to the bike park nearby, which features drops from various heights and technical zones like jumps and narrow bridges.
After that, take on the 8.2-kilometre trail whose ten routes range from the dead-simple to the extremely tough. If you are practically wedded to your bike, attempt the ‘On the Rocks’ route. This Double Black Diamond route covers tricky rock gardens and terrain so rough you’ll be in for a challenge.
Chestnut Nature Park. Chestnut Avenue, Singapore 679514.
4. Ketam Mountain Bike Park
On the southwest end of Pulau Ubin, amid postcard-worthy mangroves and abandoned quarries, lies the Ketam Mountain Bike Park. The park’s trails are developed according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Difficulty System—so they’re anything but easy. With obstacles such as boulders, logs, rocky descents and a narrow route, the ten-kilometre track will challenge even the most advanced rider.
Need to catch a breath? Settle down at the German Girl Shrine, located within the trail. Story has it that the altar commemorates the daughter of a Roman Catholic German coffee plantation manager. Centuries ago, while escaping from the British military, the girl unfortunately fell to her death in a nearby quarry. Even today, you will find joss sticks, flowers and girly offerings such as makeup and dolls adorning the shrine.
Ketam Mountain Bike Park. Pulau Ubin, Singapore 508329.
Open 24 hours daily.
5. Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trail
Speed demons, this is the trail you’ve been looking for. The Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trail offers a no-nonsense route that features a snaking spine, and focuses mostly on technical abilities such as your grip, balance and control. It begins with a steep climb before you go on a full-throttle adventure, facing drop-offs, hairpin corners and slippery slopes.
After tackling the beastly trail, cool down and stroll along the 280-metre-long Canopy Walk—it takes you through a secondary rainforest, where you’re at eye-level with the forest canopy. Here’s your chance to spot the park’s feathered friends like the sunbirds and doves.
While you’re there, pop by Reflections at Bukit Chandu for a dose of history. The history-laden site presents the heroic tales of the Malay Regiment that fought in the most brutal battle on Singapore soil during World War II.
Kent Ridge Park. Vigilante Drive, Singapore 118176.
6. Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail
Less about speed and more about sheer power, this 6.5-kilometre lung-buster encounters sharp descents, uneven terrain and rock gardens. The Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail is situated in a sprawling nature reserve, which means you’ll be manoeuvring through greenery that’s home to wildlife such as long-tailed macaques and Malayan pangolins.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589318.
This article was first published on Singapore Tourism Board.