Opened in 2010, Ulu Sembawang Park Connector is a 1.3-kilometre-long walking and cycling track that was formerly part of Jalan Ulu Sembawang, a road that connected Mandai Road with parts of Woodlands and Sembawang. Jalan Ulu Sembawang ran past two former farming communities: Mandai Tekong Village and Mandai Catholic Village.
Mandai Tekong Village stretched from Mandai Road to parts of Woodlands South. Named after a nearby rubber estate owned by a company called Mandai Tekong, this village was home to farmers who grew vegetables and orchids, and raised edible fish such as carp and snakeheads in ponds.
Mandai Catholic Village was founded in the late 1920s by Catholic Teochew refugees who had fled civil strife in China. Landmarks in this village included Cheng Chi School, which opened in 1932 and closed in the 1980s, and the first Church of St Anthony of Padua, which was built in 1960 at Stephen Lee Road (a lane which was named after a Catholic priest who had helped the villagers when they first arrived in Singapore).
The inhabitants of these two villages were resettled in the 1980s when Woodlands underwent redevelopment. The legacy of the Mandai Catholic Village survives in the present Church of St Anthony of Padua, which was built in 1994 at Woodlands Avenue 1. There is also a neighbourhood park at Woodlands Avenue 5 called Mandai Tekong Park, which recalls the area’s other former village. Today, Ulu Sembawang Park Connector runs through a scenic rural landscape that offers a glimpse of Woodlands as it was in the past.
Other Suggested Short Trail Routes
Explore the Suggested Short Trail Routes:
- Communities of Woodlands, 1.5 hours with public transport (4km)
- Woodlands at War, 2 hours with public transport (9km)
- A Journey through the Woods, 1.5 hours on bike; 2.5 hours on foot with public transport (15km)
Woodlands Heritage Trail Booklet
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - English
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Tamil
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Tamil