Dec 26, 2020

Locating and Hiking to the Abandoned Bukit Batok Hillside Park

 You may have recently read the news about the calls to save Bukit Batok Hillside Park as well as the subsequent annoucement about the park being designated to open as a new nature park in 2024. In addition to the new Bukit Batok Central Nature Park which was also annouced, this will bring the total number of nature parks in Bukit Batok to four - the exisitng two being Bukit Batok Nature Park and Bukit Batok Town Park (or better known as Little Guilin).


There can never be too much of green spaces in Singapore but what got me intrigued was Bukit Batok Hillside Park... because did you know that it was previously already a nature park many years back but for some reason, it was later abandoned.



And the strange thing is there is hardly any information about the history of the park!



Also formerly known as Greenwood Park, Bukit Batok Hillside Park is bounded by Bukit Batok West Ave 2 and Bukit Batok West Ave 5. And that is pretty much all the information that can be found online. I tried to read up more about it but the peculiar thing is there doesn't seem to be any answers:


When was the nature park built?

How large was the orignal park?

Why was the park eventually abandoned?

Why is there little ot even no information about it?



I have to admit, I was extremely intrigued by the histroy behind the park so I did what I had to to - pack the whole family off for a jungle bashing adventure!


The most direct way to access the abandoned park is along Bukit Batok West Ave 2 - map provided at the end of the post - but I have read online that for a real hiking adventure, one can enter the forest along Bukit Batok West Ave 5 as well and make one's way to the abandoned park.


Unsurprisingly, this was what we did. 😁


We located an opening along the road and made our way into the forest.



The inital part of the trek was relatively straightforward. There is a clear path to walk and all I had to do was to navigate the map on my phone and make our way towards the abandoned park.





Well, the easy part of the trek quickly evaporated because there is a reason why there is a 'Hillside' in the name of the park.



Running through the centre of the forest is a mini hill that we had to scale... and subsequently descend in order to reach the other side of the park.


And of course it was not easy. In addtion to navigating, I had to look out for steep slopes and sharp plants and try to stay on course at the same time. The kids (and wifey) also had to keep up and continued moving so that the mosquitoes won’t have a chance to suck. 😅 Yes, insect repellent is a MUST and  and I will also recommend going in long pants and long sleeves.



Mid-way though the hike, we momentarily went off-course but eventually, we hit jackpot.



The first sign that this area used to be a nature park was these beams that used to be part of a sheltered walkway.



A reader commented on Facebook that all we had to do was to paint them in red and black and we will have our own Inari Shrine photo spot!


But indeed, you can clearly tell that this area used to be a nature park - there's a stone table right beside the skeleton of the sheltered walkway.



And a boardwalk can also still be seen - please be careful when walking on it as certain parts of the wooden boradway may have decayed - as well as lamp posts.



We made our way further downhill to locate other parts of the park.




We eached the abandoned well next, which I think it was part of the aesthetic set-up of the whole nature park.



Including these fake boulders that were built all around.



See what I mean?


From there, there is a clear walkway which led us down a flight of man-made rock steps...




... and back to the main road of Bukit Batok West Ave 2.


What an adventure! If you wish to have a jungle bashing adventure like what we experienced, that is.

Else, if you just wish to visit the abandoned park, you can forgo the bashing and enter from Bukit Batok West Ave 2. Just look out for this road sign.


See the little white marker circled? The opening to the park is just located slightly beyond that.


Once you go through it, you will immediately see the flight of artificial rock steps.


Head up and you will reach the abandoned well in no time.

If you wish to locate the boardwalk, shelter and stone table, they are located slightly further up on the hill (see map below).


All in all, the trek should not take more than 30 minutes if you enter from the main entrance at Bukit Batok West Ave 2. Although the well is extremely easy to get to, the boadwalk takes more effort to reach so it may not be suitable for young kids.


Also, I do not recommend following our route of bashing through the jungle from Bukit Batok West Ave 5 if you have not experienced trekking along unmarked trails. Definitely not for beginners, espeically with the hilly terrain.


Lastly, if you have any information regarding the abandoned Bukit Batok Hillside Park, do let me know too!



BUKIT BATOK HILLSIDE PARK MAP


If you are taking public transport, you see the mapped out directions HERE.



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7 comments :

Unknown said...

Hi Kelvin, great story there! Very well done to have your whole tribe with you for the adventure.
Friends and me keen to explore too, after reading your sharing.
Can advise how to get to Bukit abatok West Ave 2, say from mrt Station?
Thank you once again

Unknown said...

Hi Kelvin, great story there! Very well done to have your whole tribe with you for the adventure.
Friends and me keen to explore too, after reading your sharing.
Can advise how to get to Bukit abatok West Ave 2, say from mrt Station?
Thank you once again

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi,

You can take a bus from the Bt Batok Central bus interchange.
I have mapped out on Google Maps: https://www.google.com.sg/maps/dir/Bukit+Batok+MRT+Station/Opp+Blk+315/@1.3544371,103.7439805,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x31da103f1cc57ecb:0x964fd956df3bbb42!2m2!1d103.7495883!2d1.3490636!1m5!1m1!1s0x31da1036ab38ab43:0x5fb14396821b58f8!2m2!1d103.746353!2d1.359786!3e3

Anonymous said...

Hello there. I grew up at bukit batok and my parent's place is ard the area. That park existed since my primary school years. It was built ard the early 90's coz me and my neighborhood void-deck friends liked to explore the dense jungles ard our neighborhood. What we were told during that time(when we were kids) is that not a lot of people visited that park, except couples going for some hanky panky &/or outdoor exhibitionism, and also, there were rumors it was supernaturally "dirty". Also, that area is very lightning prone and sometimes, landslides. We only visited the area like 3 times or so. Ok so, another area to explore is actually the dense jungle at the now brickland road. Me and my friends used to trespass the farms there and took some fruits or whatever veggies home. But i think the area now is cordoned off as its an army training area, i think. Another area to explore is the dense jungle behind the gombak stadium. Walk thru there and you will entering Hillview. Last i went there was my late secondary years. Me and friends found that there's durian trees too. Alright, i can go on and on but i should stop. Thanks for post though. Really brings back my childhood memories.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelvin,

Thanks for the sharing.
May I know how to go to the boadway from the abandoned well?

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon, thanks for sharing your experiences! The Brickland road area you mentioned is now cordoned off as it's part of the Tengah Forest. There are annoucements that it'll be redeveopled into a proper nature park. As for the jungle behind Gombak Stadium, it used to be the legit Gombak Trail but NParks closed it after a landslide so it is officially out of bounds since then.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon, do you mean the boardwalk? If so, just have to head further downhill in the south direction. You can actually hear the vehicles from the road so just head towards the road and you should be able to find the well. There isn't a clear marked trail so I am not able to proved exact directions.

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