Chestnut Nature Park, Singapore's largest, fully opens

Channel NewsAsia 25 Feb 17;

SINGAPORE: The northern portion of Chestnut Nature Park was opened on Saturday (Feb 25) - marking the completion of Singapore's largest nature park.

Together with the southern portion opened last year, the park now totals 81 hectares – nearly the size of the 82-ha Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Located near the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the park is the first in Singapore to have separate hiking and mountain biking trails. With the opening of the northern portion, the park’s biking trail has been extended from 1.6km to 8.2km, while the hiking trail has been extended from 2.1km to 5.6km.

Hikers can trek directly from Chestnut Nature Park to Dairy Farm Nature Park, while mountain bikers have access to trails with different levels of difficulties, ranging from moderately difficult to extremely difficult. The park also has a pump track where cyclists can attempt stunts.

Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee officiated the opening of the park’s northern portion on Saturday morning and accompanied about 200 residents and volunteers on the hiking trail.

Mr Lee also announced that another two parks will be opened over the next two years. Windsor Nature Park, located near Upper Thomson Road, will open later this year, while Thomson Nature Park will open by end of next year.

"Nature parks are special and they play a unique role in our ‘City in a Garden’," said Mr Lee, adding that the parks provide opportunities for Singaporeans to experience biodiversity, and act as green buffers to protect the reserves from the impact of urbanisation.

- CNA/cy