Amidst Singapore’s towering skyscrapers, efficient transport network and ubiquitous residential areas, there are still untouched areas in the city, such as hiking trails and nature parks. After all, Singapore is known as a Garden City, and we do live up to its name. We sussed out some of the best scenic hiking trails in Singapore. So, go ahead, unleash the explorer in you and experience our home in a new light.
1. Keppel Hill Reservoir
Go off the beaten track and discover one of Singapore’s most deserted reservoir which leads to Mount Faber. If you’re a fan of taking the road less travelled, this trek experience is for you as you’ll need to traverse through muddy trails and verdant foliage. The reservoir is one-third the size of an Olympic swimming pool and was rediscovered by researchers in 2014.
2. Hindhede Nature Park
Take a leisure stroll with the family at this easy trail at Hindhede Nature Park. It is located right next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and is an ideal spot for bird watching too. Here, you’ll get to see birds such as the Banded Woodpecker and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. The well-defined footpath also makes it easy for the kids to walk, which is ideal for the little ones and the elderly too.
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3. Tampines Eco Green
A sanctuary right in your backyard, Tampines Eco Green is located just 20 mins away from Tampines MRT via Sun Plaza Park. The park is rich with biodiversity and a great place for visitors residing in Tampines and beyond. Appreciate nature by spotting butterflies and dragonflies as you stroll through the park.
4. Kranji Marshes
If you’re an avid wildlife enthusiast, Kranji Marshes is the park you should visit. It is home to more than 170 species of birds, 33 species of dragonflies and 54 species of butterflies. Take a leisure stroll along Neo Tiew Woods and look out for birds such as Purple Swamphen and Common Moorhen. If you’re visiting between November to March, spot migratory birds such as Japanese Sparrowhawk and Black Baza from the top of Raptor Tower.
5. Chestnut Nature Park
The park is split into two areas, Chestnut Nature Park North and South, where the former opened to the public on 25 February 2017. This park is Singapore’s largest park to date at 81 hectares and visitors can look forward to bird watching, hiking and mountain biking. Feel the adrenaline rush at the 8.2km bike trail that puts your mountain biking skill to the test.
6. Thomson Nature Park
One of the newer hiking trails in Singapore, Thomson Nature Park opened in October 2019. A hiking trail that goes beyond just admiring flora and fauna, it is also rich in cultural heritage that showcases the ruins of a former Hainanese Village, where villagers (including Teo Chew, Cantonese, Malay and Eurasian) resided from the 1930s to 1980s. Be amazed by the ruins which are still standing such as a spiral staircase, previously owned by the Eurasian Fox Family. Or be left in awe, as you witness a well-preserved ruin, where you can clearly distinguish staircases and rooms, previously owned by the Foo Family.
With multiple unique trails such as Streams & Ferns Trail, Rambutan Trail and Ruins & Figs Trail, it’s a hiking experience you should definitely try. Did you know the area was once part of the Thomson Road circuit for the Singapore Grand Prix in 1961?
7. Coney Island
Not to be confused with Coney Island in New York, Singapore’s very own Coney Island opened its doors to the public in October 2015. Also known as Pulau Serangoon, the island spans over 100 hectares after multiple land reclamation projects. Rich in biodiversity, Coney Island is a popular stop for migratory birds like the Asian Drongo-Cuckoo.
The island is also a popular spot for wedding photography for its lush greeneries, resulting in beautifully captured photos. Did you also know that there is a bungalow on the island owned by Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par? The founders of a huge ointment business empire known as Tiger Balm.
8. The Southern Ridges
Comprised of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve, The Southern Ridges is a must-try hiking trail in Singapore. Close to a 10-kilometre stretch, The Southern Ridges most iconic spot would be the Henderson Waves Bridge – that looks futuristic in shape and it’s also the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore.
Go for an evening hike, where at dawn, you’ll witness the bridge come to life, illuminating the sky from 7pm to 7am every night. After a long hike, take a respite and have brunch with the kids at the kid-friendly cafe, Wildseed at The Alkaff Mansion.
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9. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Be one with nature at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and traverse through extensive mangroves rich with biodiversity, from migratory birds, mudskippers to lobsters. For the migratory birds, some come as far away as Siberia, and witnessing their stop in Singapore can be heartwarming. For photography and art enthusiasts, this is the perfect park to capture and draw nature’s wonder at work.
Take a stroll at the 1.3km Coastal Trail, where you can see a picturesque view of Johor, Malaysia. Do practice caution when walking at the boardwalks and stay clear of the water’s edge as there might be crocodiles lurking in the waters.
10. MacRitchie Reservoir Park
Last but not least, the most popular hiking trail and nature park is, of course, the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. The nature park is highly visited by sports enthusiasts and nature lovers for its pristine waters, thick lush greeneries and a bevy of water activities, such as kayaking and canoeing. Gear up in your trekking attire and test your stamina, by embarking on an 11km hiking trail which would take roughly four hours, depending on your fitness level.
A must-see spot in MacRitchie Reservoir Park is the Treetop Walk, an aerial suspension bridge hanging about 80 feet above the ground. On the bridge, witness the panoramic view of Upper Peirce Reservoir – a truly breathtaking sight. There might be monkeys on the ledge of the bridge, so be careful to not hold onto anything lose such as sunglasses, caps and snacks.
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