Unlikely to many foreigners who used to plan their trips to the island for its stunning sandy beaches, amazing array of hawker delights and excellent shopping opportunities – all of which that are immensely compelling reasons to visit – the abundant hiking trails available are yet a lesser-advertised Penang attraction.
There are some trails that are easily accessible from various locations throughout the island; each is unique in its distinctive way and some however are more challenging than the others.
- BUKIT JAMBUL
This rather straightforward trail is yet an excellent starting point especially for beginners or for those who’d actually like to ease back your way into hiking. It should take amateur hikers approximately 30 minutes for them to reach the summit and half that time for moderately fit hikers.
- YOUTH PARK
Penang’s Youth Park is strategically located at Jalan Utama, just before the junction to Jalan Kebun Bunga. Parking spaces provided here are rather plenty at the front entrance of the park. Oddly-shaped rocks that may found in every shade of brown imaginable, thickets of green foliage and a clear, azure sky are enough to be the perfect combination for peace and calm after a quite hectic week at work.
- PENANG HILL
For those who are still in the dark about this, the recently renovated railway train isn’t just the only way for you to scale Penang Hill; you can actually try to walk your way to the top of Penang’s iconic landmark. The trail winds its way through the jungle and you can arrive at the top of the hill through various routes.
- TELUK BAHANG
The route that will get you up to the National Park at Teluk Bahang is definitely one for thrill seekers. The trail is nearly a good 10-11 kilometers for a full loop, and is not very much recommended for beginners. Located just beyond the Butterfly Farm right on the way to Balik Pulau, Taman Rimba was established by the Penang State Forestry Department in 1974. Within its gigantic 32 hectares, there are actually natural bathing pools, picnic tables which are set up for use, a camp site, a small forestry museum and also hawker stalls near the entrance.
- GERTAK SANGGUL
If a crisscross trail scattered with huts and a overabundance of orchards seems like the kind of hiking adventure that you’d like to experience, this is the type of track that you should have look out for. The hiking route is rather remarkably straightforward.