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Biking from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

There’s river crossings galore on this trail

There is a tale told in whispers about a mythical elixir that can only be found beyond the far mountains of Montalban. Those who have partaken of this substance swear that it imbued them with strength, stamina, well-being and a new powerful sense of purpose. But to get a taste of this arcane sustenance, you have to climb and descend towering mountains and make perilous river crossings in the legendary land of Bernardo Carpio. This magical mixture, made from some of the best fruits and ingredients, is sometimes referred to as Shimanong’s Halo Halo.

Anyway, this was a ride that should have happened a long time ago. I bike to Timberland almost every week. But despite Maarat’s proximity to Montalban, I had never taken the Casili road to Wawa Dam.

I had a vague idea of the route, thanks to Google Maps. But I wasn’t willing to go it solo because I knew that the place wasn’t exactly spitting distance from civilization and assistance, in case someone needed to bring my shattered bones back home. There are some destinations that you can go solo, and there are some where a buddy is a must. This ride belongs to the second category.

Thankfully last week, I was finally able to convince Montalban biker and die-hard Kapuso Jeff to lead the way.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

You could almost see Bernardo Carpio in the distance

So on that fateful Satuday morning, Jeff, his brother Jeremy, and me made our way to Timberland, past Wall 1, 2 and 3 and into the Basic trail, out Sapinit road, and then down into the Pintong Bukawe-Casili road.

Bikers looking for a fast downhill ride will be pleased to know that the Casili road offers just that. It’s not exactly singletrack, but this fire road less taken has lots of fast sections, with lots of twists, and lots of loose gravel.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

I  wouldn’t recommend that you go all out on the downhill though, because this is still a community road after all with children and animals sometimes crossing this way and that.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

The first river crossing

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Many thanks to Spyder for the helmet, shades and jersey hehe

After getting a healthy dose of adrenaline from the downhill section, we finally encountered the river. The riverbank’s soft sand sucked our wheels and made it difficult to pedal. The riverbank’s rock gardens (more like boulder haciendas) were no piece of cake either. Or maybe it’s a piece of cake since that’s exactly the kind of terrain mountain bikers lust for.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

The jackhammer terrain just made me love my steel frame all the more. I remembered the last time I was on similar rough stuff, which was last January’s ride to Puray falls. My aluminum frame rattled and hummed like a U2 album. My steel framed bike meanwhile made short work of the babyhead rocks, smoothing them out like I was almost on pavement.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bridges of Love eh?

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

It’s almost hard to believe that you can pedal all the way to this place

After several river crossings, we finally made it to our pitstop–Shimanong’s. This little pwesto in the middle of nowhere is a godsend. After several hours of pedaling, you get to cool your heels by the river, enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, and snack on some delicious halo-halo. Tired bikers can even catch some Zzzs here before they go on their way.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

So how was the fabled mythical legendary Shimanong halo-halo? Did it live up to the hype?

I’d love to give a definitive answer to that question, but as the Ermitaño we met on the path told us: “Nais kong isalin sa inyo ang aking karunungan (uhu-uhu)… pero there are things better left experienced than said.” Yeah, nakapagtataka na medyo inglisero yung ermitaño na yun ;) So I’ll have to leave my readers to find that out for themselves.

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

Bike Ride from Timberland to Wawa Dam

A few more river crossings later and we were already at Wawa Dam. I was just amazed at the number of huts that had sprung up all over the place. Jeff told me that that’s just how it was like during summer.

It was interesting to see Wawa’s towering cliffs from the other side. I had climbed some of those cliffs before along with my wife. I really wish I could climb them again.

Rock Climbing in Wawa Montalban

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16 Comments

  • Thanks for all the informative and entertaining posts! I’m fan!

    I was wondering if you have a route for this ride (Strava?). Me and my friends would love to try it out.

    Been to Wawa Dam but this route seems a LOT more exciting!

    Thanks in advanced for the reply!

  • sarap mag bike dyan!

  • herbert John B. Camacho

    April 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Hi, Good morning. i am planning to try biking/cycling for health and recreation reasons. and now planning to buy mountain bike and with all the other accesories and stuffs. what shall i consider? salamat.

  • Hi, nice blog post. You did not mention how to go back… Did you went back to Timberland? or exited via Montalban town? Thanks

    • outsideslacker

      May 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      hi, we exited via montalban town. too much effort to double back into timberland :)

  • Hi! Nice blog you got here! Any idea if i could get there by commute from marikina or marcos highway? We’re planning to try trail running around that area (timberland, pintong bukawe, etc.). Thanks!

    • outsideslacker

      May 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      hey, i do some trail running here too. if you plan to commute, you can take the montalban jeepney. check this –> http://tripbarker.com/routes/Marikina—San-Mateo/LTFRB_PUJ1456http://tripbarker.com/routes/Marikina—San-Mateo/LTFRB_PUJ1456 … tell the driver to drop you off on the road to timberland, or watch out for the 711 store after the san mateo caltex station. you can start running from here, up The Wall ot Shotgun and into the Timberland trails.
      To get there via Marcos highway, ride a jeep or fx from cubao going to Cogeo Gate 2 / Padilla. From Gate 2 (near the market), ride a jeep going to Sampaloc, Tanay and get off at the Cabading road. For route specifics, just use google maps. hope this helps

  • Hey there. I;ve been to Wawa Dam but I didn’t know there are still a lot of things to do here. Thanks your blog, it makes me want to go back next month.

  • Hi, I’ve biked sa shotgun and sa Timberland walls already but not familiar with the trails at all. I’m planning to do a trail run to Wawa dam (From basekamp as starting point instead of Timberland). Inaaral ko yung maps and yung ibang info and looks like may connection. Nice pics and info sir! Madami po bang nagbabike on the trails to wawa on a saturday na pwdeng delikado tumakbo? Newbie question. Thanks!

    • outsideslacker

      April 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      may mga nagba-bike sa wawa from timberland every weekend. pero di naman delikado for trail runners as long as you keep yourself situationally aware :)

  • Sir, we’re going to wawa dam next week, if ever baka puntahan namin pintong bukawe. how long and how difficult kaya ang path pag wawa dam going pintong bukawe or kahit sa shimanongs lang?

    TIA

    • outsideslacker

      July 7, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      hi jorz, sorry for the very late reply. hope you had a good ride sa wawa. in case, di kayo natuloy, madali na ang ruta once you’ve gone to pintong bukawe from cabading. dati, pwede pa dumaan ng timberland papuntang wawa, pero ngayon di na. mag-iiwan pa kasi ng id sa guard ng timberland.