Southwestern coastal route extension: Keppel reservoir, Japanese tomb, Seah Im road Black & Whites

This short extension follows some very faint, unmaintained, partially overgrown and steep trails, and in wet conditions is certainly a real challenge. It visits two ‘forgotten’ sites (three if you your really determined) on the South-face of Mount Faber, and takes a dead-end road back up connecting to the final section of the Southwestern coastal route.

Route specs: it adds 2.5k and 150 altitude meters to the Southwestern coastal route.

The sites visited are known to most adventurous urban hikers (which is a thriving but small community), and two of them can be reached more easily than the below bushwacking itinerary.

The first is Keppel reservoir, nearby is a Japanse tomb, and lower down is a air shelter/bunker.

The extension starts off the same way as the last section of the Soutwestern coastal route, taking the Marang trail up Mount Faber, and ends two-thirds up this same Marang trail, meaning that you can directly continue with the rest of the route. While the route proper drops down the Northern side of Mount Faber, the extension stays at the South side, making for nice views across Sentosa and making for a different Mount Faber traverse. Soon after the cable car station, the extension goes to top-most viewpoint and then drops down South. You’ll reach a circular flat area (below Mount Faber Loop Rd), exit through the gate (or climb across the fence when the gate is closed, descend the crumbing stair case, and look for the faint and increasingly steep trail veering off toward the left and down. The reservoir is actually not far but hidden in the greenery.

From the reservoir a clear trail takes off toward the South but right away another one veers off and steeply up  toward the left and North. That’s the way to the Japanse tomb. Maps me indicates trails from the tomb up to Mount Faber but they are so overgrown it is not worth trying.  Retace your steps – down is more difficult then up! – and continue on the clear trail leaving the forest  You soon hit a concrete path which connects to a road (Keppel Hill/Wishart Rd). If you just cross the road and go straight into the forest on the opposite side, about 2-3 meters in you’ll see a discarded fridge lying to your left and a figment of a trail taking off toward the left. after a short but meandering overgrown bit, the trail drops steeply down and comes to the Seah Im air-raid shelter/bunker which is maybe 5 meters away from the large car park. Next to the huge kapok (heritage) tree that is impossible to miss is an opening in the fence allowing access to the car park.

If this is a bit much for you, just follow the Wishart Rd, take two lefts and get to the car park the civilized way. Look for the Kapok tree, etc. Then, follow the car park East until you hit Seah Im road (with  a bus station and a very good food centre – on the opposite side) , and follow that road North. It’s one of those no-one-ever-goes-here roads with quite stunning colonial era buildings (unlike many other Black and Whites, these have  conservation building status). The road comes to a dead end but a short steep climb (look for the blue rope – it makes it considerably easier) up the slope just before Nr. 36 brings you back to the Marang trail.

Now, should you add this extension when running the Southwestern coastal route? Cannot answer that for you. Think! and you’ll come to a decision….

 

1 thought on “Southwestern coastal route extension: Keppel reservoir, Japanese tomb, Seah Im road Black & Whites

  1. Pingback: exploring the Southwestern coast | Pedestrian Singapore

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