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mountain biking trail, chestnut nature park
Photograph: Facebook/NParks

The best mountain biking trails in Singapore

Helmet, knee pads and gloves on – head for the hills and put your riding skills to the test at the great outdoors

By Cam Khalid
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Beyond the modern skyscrapers, old shophouses, and iconic tourist traps are beautiful nature parks filled with an abundance of flora and fauna. While the green spaces are great for a much-needed scenic escape from the busy city, it's also ace for mountain biking enthusiasts to work on their speed, strength, and stamina while overcoming challenging obstacles – think lung-busting climbs, sharp corners, muddy paths, and rocky roads. From novice to extremely difficult courses, here are the best mountain biking trails for some thigh-burning adventure.

RECOMMENDED: The best hiking trails in Singapore and the best cycling trails in Singapore

Mandai Track 15

Attractions Parks and gardens Raffles Place

Located in the Northern region of Singapore, Mandai is home to Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and River Safari. And right next door is where you can start your two-wheeled adventure. Also known as T15 to mountain bike enthusiasts, the 12-kilometre-long route goes through the lush forest and open clearings. While the slopes and tracks are relatively smooth, expect to work those leg muscles at a number of hilly runs, making it a great for beginner and intermediate-level riders. Look out for rare bird species such as the bulbul and munia making rounds above too.

Jelutong campsite, Pulau Ubin
Photograph: Donn Tan

Ketam Mountain Bike Park

Things to do Palau Ubin

Take a ride on the wild side at the southwest end of Pulau Ubin. The area boasts lush greenery and abundant wildlife, drawing nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the many wonders of the granite island. The challenging trails are designed based on the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Trail Difficulty System, so don't expect a walk – or rather, a cycle – in the park. Expect obstacles such as boulders, logs, steep climbs, drop-offs, sharp corners and narrow routes in the ten-kilometre track.

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Bukit Timah Nature Reserve hiking trails
Photograph: NParks

Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail

Things to do Bukit Panjang

Affectionately known as BT, this 1.64-square-kilometre nature reserve is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. But gear up for its biking trail – it's extremely rugged. Exert more pedal power as you manoeuver through the 6.5-kilometre route which is covered with rocky terrain, sharp descents, long climbs, muddy corners, and knotty roots. It definitely tests the rider's stamina and endurance – great for intermediate-level riders and pros. As Bukit Timah is also home to wildlife, expect to encounter long-tailed macaques, Malayan pangolins, among others.

Chestnut Nature Park
Photograph: NParks

Chestnut Nature Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Central Water Catchment

Split into North and South regions, Chestnut Nature Park covers 81-hectares, making it Singapore’s largest nature park. Clearly marked out here, the mountain biking trail features winding slopes and a pump track where bikers can practise their stunts. Keep it rolling at the circuit which comes with rollers and berms. It's split into four zones that range from easy to hard. Challenge yourself further at the Double Black Diamond route that features tricky rock gardens and terrain. The nature park also has hidden streams and lakes along the trek, as well as squirrels and endangered bird species such as the straw-headed bulbul, the banded woodpecker, and the orange-bellied flowerpecker.

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Kent Ridge Park
Photograph: NParks

Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trail

Attractions Parks and gardens Raffles Place

Got a need for speed? Go full throttle at the Kent Ridge MTB Trail where there's a short two-kilometre but technical single-track mountain biking trail that's relatively quiet on most days. Despite the smooth-flowing layout, the downhill course starts with a steep climb before encountering sharp, winding corners, drop-offs, and berms of various sizes. It makes an ace spot to practise your grip, balance and control. After, take a breather and check out the Reflections Bukit Chandu museum, located at one end of the Canopy Walk for some interesting nuggets about World War II.

Coney Island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Coney Island

Things to do Punggol

Good thing you don't even need a ferry to get to the island, just a bike – and good walking shoes – will do. This ecologically sustainable park uses timber from fallen trees for all the signages, benches and boardwalk over the mangrove swamp, while sand, stones and gravel make up most of its bumpy terrain. Suitable for rookies, the tracks aren't as challenging for you to attempt your first jumps. Its free-to-roam tracks also make a good practice ground to work on your riding and freestyle skills. Everything on the island is kept rustic and as it is, so expect hidden beaches and some wildlife out and about too.

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