Distance: 2 km (return distance)
Total Time : 50 minutes
Grading: Very Easy (Suitable for beginners)
Land Status: Privately Owned, Secondary Forests.
The trail to Bukit Hijau from Island Park is extremely popular among the locals in the Island Park Township. Maintained by the local community, this trail is kept clean and clear, thus chances of getting lost is very slim. Though this hill is less than 200 meters above sea level, it rewards hikers with a breathtaking view of the Paya Terubong Valley and Penang Hill. It is also located beside the beautiful Bukit Hijau waterfall, a singular cascade which drops a sheer cliff.
To get to the trail head, one has to get to the Cangkat Tembaga road in Island Park. If you are heading along Jalan Masjid Negeri from the Gelugor side, you should turn into the left junction (Jalan Tembaga) when you see The Penang Home For the Infirm and the Aged (Old Folks Home) on the right side of the Jalan Masjid Negeri. Continue straight along Jalan Tembaga for about 600 meters and turn into Lorong Tembaga. Once you are in Lorong Tembaga, go straight for about 60 meters and turn into Cangkat Tembaga. Drive till the end of this road (about 300 meters) and you will see the trail head (a flight of stairs into the jungle) on the very end towards the left, just behind the last house in the row. You can park your car here.
Starting on the trail, climb up the row of stairs and within a minute you will be standing on what looks like a small badminton court. The trail continues behind the court, up the slope of the hill, occasionally passing by large boulders. When in doubt, always keep to the path closest to the gully to the left. In about 3-5 minutes from the start, the jungle trail is replaced by cement steps which carefully navigate around the contour of the gully and brings you across a small stream to a small rest shed.
You should reach this rest shed in about 7-10 minutes from the beginning of your hike. Rest here awhile and continue beside the shed (towards the right) and cross a second smaller stream. The trail opens up into narrow tarmac path and soon you will hit the first ‘Datuk‘ Shrine. You will be able to see a path heading up to the right of this shrine but ignore this for now as we will be saving this less scenic short cut for our descent.
In about a 1-2 minutes from this first shrine, there will be a second ‘Datuk‘ shrine. Continue for less than 20 meters from this second shrine and you will see on your right, a flight of stairs steadily leading uphill. Take this turning and continue uphill. Certain parts of the trail is exposed, but as you keep going higher, the trail becomes more shady and green. In about 7-8 minutes from this second ‘Datuk‘ shrine junction, you would be able to reach the peak of Bukit Hijau.
Bukit Hijau’s large barren rock faces have meant that visitors are able to see magnificent views of the Paya Terubong Valley as well as the North Eastern Coast of Penang. Once you’ve rewarded yourself with the views, you’ve got two options of going down. First would be through the same trail you came up from and the second one is the shorter and steeper trail which is located 20 meters away on the right of the earlier trail. This second option will take you directly down to the first Chinese Shrine and back to where you started. Happy Hiking!