It’s Christmas Day and what better way to celebrate it but a short run on a Christmas afternoon prior to all your celebrations later in the night? I was happen to be visiting again the new extension of my favorite Alexandra park connector route, now extending all the way from River valley to Queenstown. Though spanning a short 1.39km in total length, it’s one of the most scenic and facility packed running routes through the concrete jungle, not to mention a very breezy place to run as well.
Starting off at the Tanglin road end of the park, where Crescent girls school and Tanglin Regency condominium are, you will be greeted by a long wide and usually long flat tarmac running route running parallel along the build up of adjoining HDB flats. Previously this are used to be a large monsoon canal, which you can see protruding out towards river valley and finally the joining in the Singapore river. Now, it’s all covered up completely and runs under the whole park length, therefore the unnaturally flat park terrain.
What makes this route so unique is the myriad of park facilities built along the route, with lots of benches and adequate lighting at night. This park is perfect for families with little children and the elders with lots of rather new and interesting architecture and fixtures such as resonating double pans which amplifies sounds made between them (such as clapping), other eye candies will include mini children playgrounds, elderly fitness centers and even a small lili pebble pond over looking large fields.
Flanked by the sides of the running route are large untouched open green fields which gives the place trademark cool breeze, especially in the cooler December evenings. I just hope that development will hold their horses around here as new buildings are always popping up everywhere along this area. In Singapore, large open land spaces are very hard to come by and I am glad this route has quite a few.
This extension takes a very straight forward route with a whole long flat straight and nothing else. this place is good for people learning to skate as well, given the long flat areas with the occasional slope for thrill or two, those cycling may be a bit out of luck given the short range of this park connector, not to mentioned being segmented by major roads around the area, so unless you are willing to dismount to cross the major roads each time, it would be better if the running pavements are connected with an underpass or sloped overhead bridge. The route itself may not be rather “connected” in a literal sense, more like many little segmented parks connected in a line.
Interesting, lined along the running route are few EAB posts, called Emergencies Alert Beacons. These will flash in the midst of an incoming storm and lightning risk, warning park goers to head in doors and avoid open spaces. These are almost like the CAT status indicators
You will be greeted by a mini bungee playground nearing the Queenstown end of the park, not exactly the biggest of the cable-endowed play areas (like the pasir ris spider nets for example) but they are descent for the size of the park. There is also a mini skate park near that bungee playground for those who yearns the thrill of aggressive skateboarding or inline skating.
The park from Tanglin will run about 1.2km from Tanglin road all the way till you reach an open red tiled space. Here you will be able to see the old Queenstown cinema and the Queenstown MRT station in the distance, tracing back the running route will set you back close to a 2.4km distance, though I won’t particularly recommend you to use this route for your 2.4km time trails given the mid point road crossing.
Overal this route is recommended and perfect for families which is what it’s actually popular for, but not very much recommended for serious runners and bikers who want a clear long training route. You will be better of at the Tanglin-Rivervalley segment of the Alexandra park connector.
You can view more of the park photos in it’s own photo album.