Klang Valley, the heart of Malaysia, is lined with concrete, steel and glass skyscrapers piercing the sky. Despite it all, it still has emerald gems hidden where you least expect to find it.
If you have not had the opportunity to take a walk in a recreational park or go for a morning hike in a forest reserve, it is never too late to start.
For an enjoyable hike, all you need is to wear proper hiking shoes (with grip), socks and comfortable clothing. Bring a bottle of water, insect repellent and sunblock. For those with weak knees or not-too-good balance, bring a hiking pole.
Here are ten places where you can go for a nature walk or a more challenging hike, depending on your preference and your fitness level. For first timers, it is best to go with friends who are familiar with the area, so you will not get lost.
1. Bukit Gasing
Probably a favourite place for a morning hike among nearby residents, this trail offers a few routes.
There is an easy 20-minute hike towards a watch tower for beginners. If you have more time, you can take a longer hike up to the lookout point at the Telekom Towers. For adventurous folks with good fitness levels, they can take a steep uphill challenge for a good workout.
You can see a map of the hiking trails here.
2. Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve
A small patch of rainforest, a green lung, is hidden right at the base of the iconic KL Tower. Known as the KL Forest Eco-Park, it is somewhat degraded but still has old rainforest trees and singing cicadas.
The official entrance is near Jalan Raja Chulan, and there are a few trails running through the place. To see a map of the trails, click here. You can get there by taking the LRT to the Dang Wangi station.
3. Saga Hill
This hiking haunt, also known as Apek Hill, is located behind a residential area. It has three well-maintained trails and two entrances; one in Ampang, while the other in Cheras.
For an easy hike, the Hilltop Trail is the one to go. It’s between 4 to 5 km long and will take you three to four hours to complete. The Waterfall Trail is a 5 km challenging hike, slippery and steep. Want a longer hike? Take the Ampang-Cheras Trail, a 10 km journey and takes six good hours of hiking.
4. Bukit Kiara Forest Reserve
The Bukit Kiara trail is a moderate 5.5 km hike, which offers many wildflowers and is very popular among the locals and bikers. If you would like some exercise but not keen on a dirt trail, take the tarred road that goes around the park in a circle instead.
Unfortunately, this lovely park is scheduled to be taken over by development but is receiving a lot of resentment and disagreement from the local community. Hopefully, it will be safeguarded for our future generations.
5. Kota Damansara Community Forest (KDCF)
Located at Taman Rimba Riang, Kota Damansara, this forest reserve has easy and well-marked trails with signages and maps that you can refer to.
The gentle Harmoni Trail takes about 20 minutes, suitable for beginners. For a more challenging hike, go up the hill on the Unity Peak or Denai Tiga Puteri trail, which is 3.5 km long. It’ll take you past streams and up to a nice view. You can see a view of Petaling Jaya at Denai Tiga Puteri, and a view of Bandar Sri Damansara at Unity Peak.
According to Joanne Leong, who hikes there twice a week, as with most forests, KDCF has monkeys, squirrels, snakes, scorpions and lizards, and a wide variety of fungi.
Hikers can rest at benches and huts along the trails.
6. Broga Hill
A wonderful place to enjoy the sunrise! Wake up extra early, drive all the way to Semenyih, and start your hike at five in the morning, just in time to catch the first rays of the sun.
Remember to bring a torchlight or a headlamp along; you will essentially be hiking in the dark. If you are blessed with good weather and clear skies, you might be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise with a majestic orange orb.
Most hikers regard Broga Hill as an easy hike. You will go up a gradual incline, but be careful on the way down as it can get slippery.
7. Wawasan Trail
This is not a popular trail, but your hiking friends staying in the town in Puchong should be able to bring you there. The area is located in Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve and is jointly managed by UPM and the Forestry Department.
There is a stretch with a steep climb going all the way uphill. So, if you want to get your heart rate up but do not want a flat-out hardcore hike, this might be the trail for you. Don’t go after a heavy downpour though, the trail will be muddy and slippery.
This trail is considered private property. You’ll need a special permit to enter the trail from the peak to the waterfall. Apply for it at the Official UPM Ranger Office (Jalan SP 10/13, Taman Saujana Puchong).
8. Templer Park
Well-maintained and include facilities such as toilets, huts and playground at the entrance just before you enter the trail. Allocate 3 to 4 hours to complete your journey. There is the main trail going around the hill, which leads to Kanching Waterfall halfway through it.
9. Setia Alam Community Forest
This community forest has two entrances with 15km of intersecting trails. Entrance A leads to a gentler trail, with slight elevation; Entrance B leads to steeper trails. These trails will meet at the peak.
Easy hike for beginners and suitable for children. Route A offers a direct hike to the lookout point; Route B is a longer 12km hike that requires more stamina.
10. Heritage-Thunbergia trail
An easy 30-min hike at the Urban Community Forest, Federal Hill (also known as Bukit Persekutuan), this gem offers a diverse range of plants and animals; sightings of endangered species have been documented here.
The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) moved to the area in 1999 and saw the need to save the hill from the then massive KL Sentral development. So, the nature trail was put in place for urban environmental education. The UCF resource centre is open on weekdays and Saturday morning, except on public holidays.