Here's our rugged round-up featuring hiking trails in Singapore where you can get in touch with nature.
There’s a good reason why we’re called the Garden City. We have a multitude of parks and nature reserves hidden away from our skyscrapers and busy streets. From forested hills to swampy wetlands, Singapore’s parks have loads to offer to the intrepid hiker. Check out our list of trails that’ll get you out of the urban gridlock and back into nature. Here’s to some solid hiking and trekking in Singapore!
Where to go hiking in Singapore
1. The Southern Ridges
Linking parks along Singapore’s south is this 10km connector trail that offers its fair share of scenic vistas. The trail connects to five other parks, so hikers can use this path to begin exploring other areas. You’ll be stopping by places like Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. Highlights include Henderson Waves, the iconic bridge, and the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk for nature’s finest. These spots make for a great getaway from the city’s bustle, and they’re perfect for history buffs, bird watchers, nature lovers and everyone in between.
2. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
It’s no Everest, that’s for sure, but you’ll certainly give your calves a workout as you make your way to the summit of Singapore’s highest nature peak. Standing tall at 163 metres, Bukit Timah Hill is quite the trek, going past the reserve’s flora and fauna. The hill also retains historical significance, being the spot of the British military’s final stand against the invading Imperial Japanese Army.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
3. Fort Canning Park
If your knowledge of Fort Canning Park merely extends to its reputation as a site for music festivals and picnics, you’re missing out big time! Delve a little deeper into the lush greenery and you’ll find remnants of the park’s rich cultural heritage – like the Battle Box. The hill’s history goes back much further than that, as archaeological digs have unearthed remains of ancient brick buildings believed to be palaces of ancestral kings. Definitely a must-see for history buffs who prefer the great outdoors to stuffy museums.
Fort Canning Park
4. Clementi Forest
Ready to explore the undiscovered? Head to this untouched forest for lush greenery, open valleys, thick foliage, old train tracks and Jurassic Park vibes. Don’t forget to put on proper hiking gear to get you through certain steep or slippery parts. There aren’t any official trails here, so adventurers can mark your own path across the mud or follow the trail left behind by other hikers.
5. Keppel Hill Reservoir
Care to venture off the beaten track? Purists wouldn’t call this a ‘hike’ but if you’re actively seeking spooky abandoned scenes, the Keppel Hill Reservoir trail might float your boat. Head out to this forgotten reservoir with a dark past. Apparently, it was abandoned in the 50s after three drownings and was only rediscovered recently in 2014. Grab your friends and walk past the old reservoir, spooky diving board, a solitary tombstone and empty roads. Don’t forget to dress in proper gear as the roads and pathways are green and dense.
Keppel Hill Reservoir
6. Thomson Nature Park
Residing in Thomson? Here’s one way to burn those calories after cafe hopping and prata hunting. Located between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road – near Springleaf and Windsor Nature Parks – Thomson Nature Park breathes life to a former Hainan Village. The park features five easy trails spanning 3.8 kilometres, which is great for beginners! Look out for heritage highlights of the former village at the Runs and Figs Trail and freshwater habitat at the Stream and Ferns Trail. Oh, and if you’re lucky you might just spot an adorable but critically endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur. The park is a key conservation site for this primate.
Thomson Nature Park
7. The Green Corridor
Once a railway track, The Green Corridor has since been repurposed into a hiking trail for trekking enthusiasts in Singapore. Much like the Southern Ridges, this route serves as a connector between several parks like Bukit Timah and Kranji Wetlands. Along the trail, you’ll find grasslands, streams and marshes that are teeming with life, thanks to the area being relatively untouched.
The Green Corridor
8. MacRitchie Reservoir Park
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is probably one of Singapore’s most popular hiking trails, and for good reason! For starters, the park offers hikers beautiful tropical scenery, an impressive variety of wildlife and peaceful, secluded paths ideal for trekking in Singapore. For scenic sights, make your way up to the TreeTop Walk, an aerial walkway that will give you a bird’s eye view (definitely Insta-worthy) of the forest’s canopy. Here, you’ll see flying lemurs and long-tailed macaques up close in their natural habitat. Psst: take note that the TreeTop Walk is closed for maintenance works until May 2021.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
9. Labrador Nature Reserve
Shutterbugs will want to pack your cameras for this park! One of Singapore’s most scenic seaside trails, the Labrador Nature Reserve boardwalk will bring you past cliff sides, secondary forests and marshes. This path also gives hikers a stellar view of Singapore’s picturesque coastline. Plus, it’s well known for its abundance of wildlife, so you’ll quickly get used to seeing squirrels scurrying across the boardwalk.
Labrador Nature Reserve
10. Pulau Ubin
Paved paths and built-up treetop walks aren’t rough enough for you? Hop on a bumboat and take a trip back in time at Pulau Ubin. Here, you’ll catch a glimpse of what Singaporean life was like back in the 60s. Put on a good pair of boots and head to the Chek Jawa wetlands where you’ll trek through six distinct ecosystems. Don’t forget to fill up on some rustic kampong fare before you leave the island too! Prefer to bike? Just rent a two-wheeler and explore the area.
11. Kranji Marshes
As one of the largest freshwater marshes in Singapore, Kranji Marshes is the perfect destination for wildlife enthusiasts who are on the hunt for a good trekking spot. The marsh habitat is home to a broad range of aquatic plants, insects, fish and birds. Lucky explorers in the woodland area of the park might even spot threatened bird species like the Changeable Hawk Eagle and the Grey-headed Fish Eagle.
12. Bukit Batok Nature Park
Want to enjoy greenery without working your butt off on a crazy hiking trail? Bukit Batok Nature Park offers some pretty laidback walking routes that’ll reward you with stunning views and crystal clear lakes on its abandoned quarry site. Hardcore hikers looking to get closer to nature can go off the beaten path and explore some of the less-travelled forest paths – just be careful!
Bukit Batok Nature Park
13. Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail
This one isn’t for the faint-hearted or the easily tired. The 36km trail gets you trekking in Singapore from Jurong Lake Gardens (west) all the way to Coney Island Park (northeast). This curated route cuts across multiple parks and park connectors, making it a great adventure for those who want a challenge. But don’t you worry if you can’t complete it all in one go. It’s a long stretch and there’s a lot of exploring to do across the 10 checkpoints and various wildlife viewing spots. We recommend downloading the Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Mobile App to plan your route and learn about the native biodiversity (with AR) you might bump into.
Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail
14. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Singapore’s first wetland reserve is home to myriad riverine species including water monitors, mudskippers and, if you’re really lucky (or unlucky), the ferocious estuarine crocodile. If you happen to be trekking through the park’s many trails during the migratory season, you’ll be able to see flocks of shorebirds like sandpipers and plovers. Otherwise, its year-round native inhabitants include mudskippers, water snakes, herons, monitor lizards, kingfishers and otters.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
15. Upper Peirce Reservoir Park
This tranquil park offers several easy-going lakeside trails that won’t leave you huffing and puffing while you embark on your trekking journey in Singapore. Like most parks in the area, the forest is home to large populations of long-tailed macaque, so keep an eye on your snacks!
Upper Peirce Reservoir Park
16. Mount Faber Park
One of Singapore’s oldest parks, Mount Faber offers guests much more amenities than most other trails. If you’re not that big on the great outdoors, skip the hike and take the cable car to the summit where you can take a panoramic peek through several telescopes at the look-out points.
Mount Faber Park
17. Changi East Boardwalk
Sure, the more hardcore hikers might scoff at a ‘trail’ that’s pretty much all boardwalk, but there’s plenty to see here besides holiday chalets and the famous Changi Village Food Centre. This easy-going boardwalk will take you past fishing villages and beaches before finally culminating at Changi Point, where you can reward yourself with some killer nasi lemak after you’ve completed an afternoon of trekking in Singapore.
Changi East Boardwalk
18. Coney Island Park
If you think Pulau Ubin is rustic and untouched, Coney Island is even less developed. Opened to the public in recent years, this ecologically sustainable park makes use of timber from fallen Casuarina trees to build signage, benches and the mangrove boardwalk. Budding botanists with keen eyes should look out for several rare plant species that are presumed to be extinct in mainland Singapore. The island also serves as a refuge for migratory birds, so wildlife enthusiasts might want to pack a camera and a zoom lens.
Coney Island Park
19. Lower Peirce Reservoir Park
Continue hiking from Upper Peirce Reservoir and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the dense forests of Lower Pierce Reservoir Park. The 900m boardwalk will lead you through the forest and along the reservoir, offering beautiful scenes of nature.
Lower Peirce Reservoir Park
20. Chestnut Nature Park
If you prefer a more chill hike in Singapore, grab the family and head to Chestnut Nature Park. Here, you can take advantage of its relatively flat hiking trails with the occasional slope. The park is split into two areas – Chestnut Nature Park (north) for a 3.5km hiking trail and Chestnut Nature Park (south), spanning 2.1km. Want a little more adventure? Hop on your bike and own the 8.2 km mountain bike trail instead.
Chestnut Nature Park
21. Windsor Nature Park
Despite its Downton Abbey-esque name, there are no sprawling, manicured gardens and palatial fountains at Windsor Nature Park. What you’ll find instead is a wetland wonderland befitting of Singapore’s Garden City rep. Located near Upper Thomson, the park features hiking trails, freshwater streams and marsh habitat. Perhaps most exciting for hikers is the Drongo trail, a sub-canopy walk for visitors to walk through flora beneath the forest. For hikers looking for a challenge, take the 7km trail to MacRitchie’s TreeTop walk – just set aside a couple of hours for this.
Windsor Nature Park
22. Dairy Farm Nature Park
This park’s Wallace Trail is not as done-up as other trails in Singapore, so expect mud and some harrowing terrain. While mostly used by mountain bikers, the trail is easily traversable by foot. At the end of the hike, you’ll find the Singapore Quarry. It’s been converted into a wetland habitat with a viewing area that lets hikers admire some of Singapore’s freshwater flora and fauna.
Dairy Farm Nature Park
Now, who’s ready to take a hike?