Friday, October 10, 2014

Bukidnon: 5 Adventure Trails Near Malaybalay City

Malaybalay City, landlocked in the highlands of Bukidnon Province, is tagged as the South Summer Capital of the Philippines due to its year round cool climate. Fog-clad morning is not an uncommon sight in this small city which has an average elevation of 2,040.68 feet above sea level. Kaamulan Festival, widely considered as the only authentic ethnic festival in the country, is held here annually and is undoubtedly the Malaybalay's number one tourist draw.

While Malaybalay is already a first class component city with plenty of commercial establishments congregating at the city proper, on its not-so-distant outskirts are adventure trails tailor made for outdoor enthusiasts. With its challenging terrain, wonderful views and easy access from the city proper, these trails have become the favorite playground of local runners, bikers and hikers.

Being a running enthusiast has lead me to these off-the-beaten paths right within my hometown. Despite its proximity to urban areas, these trails provide a quick escape from the bustling city life and are guaranteed to be breathtaking both literally and figuratively. So anytime my adventurous feet feel the need to sweat it out and get dirty, I just have to lace up my trail shoes and run straight from my doorway to any of these trails.

1. Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park

The most popular hiking destination in Malaybalay City is the Two Trees Peak of the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park. Access road passes in-between GK Capitol Village and DPWH compound. The ascent is less than two kilometers along a narrow trail clad with tall pine trees. At the peak, one can view the vast rice fields, hills and mountains of Brngy. Can-ayan, the overlooking view Malaybalay City proper and the Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park.

Travel blogger Journeying James descending from the Two Trees peak

Travel blogger Pinay Solo Backpacker enjoying the view at the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park

From the Two Trees, hikers have the option to backtrack to the jump off point or proceed to the adjacent Mt. Tralala (!) and descend at the back side of Malaybalay City Public Market.

2. Big Rock Trail

A favorite training ground of local runners due to its very challenging uphill portion which stretches for about 2.5 kilometers. The Big Rock Trail is actually a barangay road which connects the highland barangays of Kibalabag and Manalog to Barangay Can-ayan and Malaybalay City proper. Its named was coined from the large boulder which sits like a sentinel at the turn of the road.

A few hundred meters after the Big Rock is a spot where the panoramic view of verdant hills and mountains can be seen at the roadside. For those who are not much into running or hiking, habal-habal motorcylces from Malaybalay bound for Kibalabag and Manalog regularly pass along this road.

3. BFI Trail (Kalasungay to City Pool)

This one is probably the easiest trail in this list. From Barangay Kalasungay highway enter the paved road going to Bukidnon National High School-Kalasungay Annex. At the end of the paved road, simply follow the path going to your right.

This trail has a gentle up-and-down terrain as you will be passing along the rolling foothills. It ends at the Malaybalay City Swimming Pool where you can take a refreshing dip on its natural ice-cold water. Approximate distance from Kalasungay highway to the city pool is about 5 kilometers.

4. Malandog Ridge

This is another option if you pass along the BFI Trail listedin # 3. About 2.5 kilometers from Kalasungay Highway, you will find a quarried area where a small, barely visible trail leads to upward to Malandog Ridge.

This used to be a popular hiking spot because a wooden viewing tower called Tabios Tower (named after a former governor of the Province) once stood on one of its peaks. On the spot where the tower once stood, another overlooking view of Malaybalay City can be seen.

5. BFI Look 1 Tower 

BFI is an acronym for Bukidnon Forest Incorporated, a reforestation project which covers thousands of hectares of land in Malaybalay.  BFI Look 1 Tower (probably short for Lookout Tower # 1) can be accessed from Barangay Kalasungay. Jump off point will be the road across the terminal of habal-habal motorcycles going to Brngy. Capitan Angel. About 2.5 kilometers from the highway is a popular ranch called Hernandez Farm. After the farm, an uphill stretch of almost 3 kilometers will take you the the steel tower.

On top of the tower, you can have the refreshing 360-degree view of Mt. Kiamo, Mt. Kitanglad Range, Mt. Musuan and several hills and ranges from afar.

How To Get There

Malaybalay City is 2-3 hours by bus from Cagayan de Oro City and 6 houts from Davao City.

For cheap accommodations in Malaybalay, kindly visit this LINK


  1. Great post . I like the picture . Complete wild , don`t think i would have energy to survive those tracks , bit too much rock and mountains , but its a stunning place, for sure .

  2. Your blog sharing it too informative and quiet impressive for me. I have already set my next mystic falls tours with my friends. My friends are an adventurous nature and they are interested to know that types of spot that offers a best outdoor option. I include it to my bucket list and I will definitely plan my visit there. Any sorts of suggestion or a tip would be much appreciated there.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi. Is it safe to have a hike this yearend? :)


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