For those who love climbing stairs as part of their fitness regime, the Dairy Farm Loop would probably be a walk in the park. For the rest of us, this trekking route among the foothills of Bukit Timah Hill, including the “Devil’s Stairs”, is a challenging work out.
Accessible from Dairy Farm Nature Park and close to the Wallace Education Centre, the Dairy Farm Loop is a backdoor to the Bukit Timah Hill Summit.
It was closed in 2020 due to landslides and has reopened in 2023.
While most hikers make their way to the top of Bukit Timah Hill up the Main Summit Road from Hindhede Drive, the Dairy Farm Loop provides a more intense walking-only route to the top.
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Getting to Dairy Farm Loop
From Car Park B at Dairy Farm Nature Park, take the tarmac road that leads towards the Wallace Education Centre. After around 280 metres, there will be a turn off to the right.
Take the deceptively short flight of stairs and you will reach the Dairy Farm Hut.
The Dairy Farm Hut is one of two on the Dairy Farm Loop. The other hut is the North View Hut (currently closed as of April 2023).
From the Dairy Farm Hut, you will have to choose from one of two paths.
Facing the hut, one path leads to the left while the other can be found behind the Dairy Farm Hut. Both eventually meet up with each other to form a loop.
Path 1: The Straight Path (Lower Loop)
The path on the left is pretty much a straight path with a gradual ascent up the hill.
It passes by the back of the Wallace Education Centre and a trio of old-looking tanks.
As you trek along this path, you can expect to have to climb up and down some stairs as you make your way up the hilly terrain.
The 900-metre path is well marked out and there are guide ropes at some sections to help you along.
Eventually, you will arrive at the Rengas Path – a fairly steep flight of stairs that ascend upwards toward the summit of Bukit Timah Hill.
At the top of the stairs, you will have to make another choice.
If you turn left, you will eventually reach the Main Road leading to the summit of Bukit Timah Hill.
Alternatively, if you turn right, you will carry on along the Dairy Farm Loop and head back down to Dairy Farm Nature Park via the Upper Loop route.
Route 2: The Devil’s Stairs (Upper Loop)
The second route from Dairy Farm Hut to the top of the summit starts from behind the Dairy Farm Hut. This is the path that leads to the Devil’s Stairs and the Upper Loop.
Before getting to the Devil’s Stairs, you will have to cross a small valley with little bubbling stream. Along the way, there are several flights of stairs. These stairs are just a warm up for the Devil’s Stairs.
The Devil’s Stairs are a steep flight of stairs that lead straight up the hillside. Thankfully, this challenging flight of stairs comes with guide rope handrails to help the weary climber.
Our advice is to take it slow and use the rope handrails at all times.
As you climb, you will also be able to see the sections of the hill where the landslide occurred. Structures have been built into the slope to help slow down the erosion of the slope.
At the very top of the Devil’s Stairs is the North View Hut, which is currently closed for renovation as of April 2023.
You can then walk along a path that eventually leads to the Rengas Path that heads to the summit. Alternatively, you can make the return journey to Dairy Farm Hut via the Lower Loop
Loop In the Dairy Farm Loop
The Dairy Farm Loop is classified by NParks as “Difficult”. You can expect to spend about one hour to one-and-a-half hours on the Dairy Farm Loop. Take your time and be sure to enjoy this different side of Bukit Timah Hill.
This story was first published in May 2018 and updated in April 2023.