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Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island


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TRAIL 7 : CIRCULAR TRAIL AROUND BOTANIC GARDENS


(c) Forest Ang

Length: 4 km 2 hours
Recreational grading : 3
Condition: natural with some heavy use
Use: light
Status: water catchment area
GPS Lily Pond: N 05 26.487' E100 17.419'

This trail starts from the main entrance to the Botanic Gardens. Take the Lower Circular Road on your right. After 7-8 minutes you will see an orchid house on your right. After the orchid house, there is a paved path leading into the jungle. It will bring you to the Lily Pond, 100 metres away.

At the Lily Pond, look for a path on the right beside the pond. You will notice a mini ridge (2-4 metres in height). Find the path that goes up the mini ridge. If there is no path, try to get to the top anyway. Once you are on top of the mini ridge you will be able to see a clear path. Follow the path then down to cross a stream that flows into the Lily Pond. Be careful here as the trail thins out. Look for markers and backtrack if you think that you have gone wrong. After that, the track should be more clearly defined and steeper. You will need to use both limbs to climb. Ropes are provided but use with care. After an arduous climb you will reach the top of the slope.

If you look carefully there are two paths here. Do not take the one on your right. It is level and leads around the contour of the hill to Mount Olivia. Instead, take the path which goes up, straight ahead. You will continue climbing higher. There is another path branching off to the right that can take you to Mount Olivia and Vale of Tempe. Continue straight ahead which will make a descend to join a well defined trail. At this junction the right-hand trail leads to Vale of Tempe. Take the left-hand trail. This main trail is well used by mountain bikes. Look out for speeding bikes coming down.

Continue on, enjoying the views of Pearl Hill and the northern part of Penang Island to your right. If you are observant, you will see several small trails leading off the main trail. Ignore them. After 25 minutes you will come to a Y-junction. Probably you will see signboards nailed on trees, pointing to Western Hill and Botanic Gardens.

From the junction take the left trail that leads down the slope. You will hear gushing waterfall on your right. Upon reaching an open space, you will see a rain gauge on your left. Twenty metres after that you will cross a small bridge over a stream. Walk up to the level path and continue with the waterfall on you left. A minute later, at a curve to the right, you will see a trail going down on your left. That trail is restricted and leads to the top of the famous Penang Waterfalls. Continue on the level path until you reach another trail that make a sudden drop into the valley below. (This is 3 minutes after the bridge.) Continue down the slope. You will join the Upper Circular Road of the Botanic Gardens, which will lead you back to the main entrance of the Gardens.

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