Walk through the lovely jungle of Chestnut Nature Park and along the little-hiked Mandai T15 trail to finish near the zoo.
There is no MRT near Chestnut Nature Park, where we started our hike. Instead, we took a bus (190/960/972) to Bus Stop Blk 223. The hike starts from this bus stop, and it’s not a bad walk from here to the entrance of Chestnut Nature Park. This hike ends at Mandai Road junction where there are several bus stops. From here we actually walked down the road to visit the nearby zoo night safari.
Tips for Chestnut Nature Park and Mandai T15 Hike
From Bus Stop Blk 223 we walked along Pang Sua Park Connector at the edge of Bukit Panjang Garden. Before the highway we turned right onto Bukit Panjang Park Connector.
After a few hundred metres, a small road appears close by on the left and, heads under the highway. We cut to this road and took it to reach the other side of the big highway. The entrance to Chestnut Nature Park is a couple hundred metres further on this small road.
Chestnut Nature Park
At the main entrance to the park we turned right to hike the southern loop, roughly 1.75 km, through the jungle. The jungle was rather nice and the path was unpaved, just a small dirt way through the trees and vines. We didn’t see any other people, the only downside being the slight noise from the nearby highway.
Several huts along the trail provide shelter in case it starts raining, and there are a few ups and downs with ok views as the path contours around the edge of a small valley. Towards the end of the Chestnut Nature Park southern loop the jungle was partly cleared in places allowing for lovely views of the cute path and majestic trees.
After 30 minutes we were back near the beginning of the loop but a bit further along the road. We took the path opposite, heading north. The path was larger but we still saw very few people, only a few wild boars.
After just over 1 km we reached an observation tower. From the top were views over to Bukit Timah and across the top of the jungle tree canopy. Back at the bottom we headed roughly straight on and onto the Mandai T15 trail, also known as Gangsa Trail or the Central Catchment Park Connector.
Hiking Shoes for Dirt Paths
Airy, low hiking shoes with good damping but with no waterproofing are ideal for Singapore’s gravel and dirt paths. We really like the fit and feel of Salomon shoes. The grip, comfort and breathability of the Salomon non Gore-Tex X Ultra series (so without GTX label) is great for this hike:
Salomon Men‘s X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes on Amazon*.
Salomon Women‘s X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes on Amazon*.
Check out the complete list of hiking gear needed for Singapore:
The Mandai T15 track was lovely and very peaceful as it was not busy at all. After about 2 km we approached a highway, and the park connector continued around a bend beneath the road, still in the jungle. Shortly afterwards, we took a small path on the right and headed into the deep jungle.
The little path was muddy in places and quite narrow. It felt slightly spooky to be so alone in the jungle. After 500 m we came out onto a straight track surrounded by vegetation. We walked down here but soon saw we were approaching a high fence and locked gate. Luckily shortly before this a path cut off to the left and back to the main trail.
We continued along the Mandai T15 track, or Central Catchment Park Connector, for another 1 km through the quiet jungle before falling out onto the large Mandai Road and the end of this hike. It’s a great hike if you want to get away from the crowds!
Around this large road junction are several bus stops, though we decided to walk along the road towards the zoo and visit the Night Safari.
FAQs for Chestnut Nature Park and Mandai T15 Hike
Chestnut Nature Park is open 7am-7pm.
The southern loop of Chestnut Nature Park is 1.75 km long and takes roughly 30 minutes to walk. The northern trail is 2 km one-way. This hike combines both of them together with the Central Catchment Park Connector to make an 8.5 km hike.
There are no MRT stations near Chestnut Nature Park so you have to take the bus. Bus Stop Blk 223 is near the Park and the walk is mainly through a smaller park. Buses to take include numbers 190/960/972.
The Mandai T15 Trail is a one-way trail, 4.5 km long with roughly 35 m of climb. However, you’ll have to walk another 1 km to get to/from the southern end of the trail since it starts in the middle of the jungle.
The Mandai T15 trail starts at the junction between Mandai Rd and Madai Lake Rd at its northern end, or at the Observation Tower in Chestnut Nature Park at its southern end.