20 Nature & Hiking Trails in Singapore To Discover on Your Weekends

20 Nature & Hiking Trails in Singapore To Discover on Your Weekends

From shady hills to nature-flanked terrain, Singapore is an unexpected hot spot for hiking enthusiasts who need a break from the urban jungle. These trails offer the much needed escape to nature.

Singapore may be small, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do here in our little red dot. Fancy getting more connected with Mother Nature any time soon? Well, believe it or not, in as much a Singapore is known to be a modern sophisticated hub, there are also plenty of nature trails in the city for you to check out during the weekends. So, grab your hiking shoes and get started!

1. Chestnut Nature Park

Image credit: NParks

The biggest nature park in town, Chestnut Nature Park, has three trails for you to choose from. The park itself is divided into two sections, the North and the South, with two trails that run on the Northern part of the park and another that traverses the Southern section. The Northern Trail is perfect if you’re looking for some afternoon shade, what with its scenic cluster of trees. For water lovers, consider the Northern Nature Trail which walks you by a scenic stream and a showcase of old kampong structures to boot! Lastly, the Southern Trail, lined with characteristical granite boulders, is perfect for those with a fascination for geological masterpieces.

2. St John’s Island

Image credit: Kilburn2000

St.John’s Island is an unexpected treat for many Singapore visitors and residents alike. In fact, government park conservation group NParks recently launched free and easy 1.6 km out of the 2.8 km guided trail that shows just how unique the St John’s experience can be. The most unique part of this tour is that during low tide, you can make your way into the lagoon and get up close and personal with the marine life! Pretty cool, huh?

3. Dairy Farm Nature Park

Image credit: Nparks

Known to be one of the most natural, rugged trails in Singapore, you can escape Singapore’s rigid and manicured facade and take a break at Dairy Farm Nature Park. At this Nature Park, you get to bask in nature in its bare splendour. Not exactly a farm per se, the park has since been repurposed to function as a wetland habitat and is home to flora, fauna, and local animals. A hike through this nature reserve leads you to a viewing platform for visitors and to a quarry at end of the park.

4. Coney Island

An actual island just a bridge away from mainland Singapore, this island’s charm lies in the fact that it’s mostly left untouched. Here at Coney Island, Mother Nature runs her course, and the trees grow and bloom unrestrictedly. If you’re looking for a day away from the urban jungle that is Singapore, then this is the trail for you. Devote a whole day to walk through the different paths, stake out its five beaches, and brave its off-beaten tracks. The vastly different landscapes make this island a gem at every turn.

5. Southern Ridges

Image credit: Visit Singapore

This 10 km trek connects together Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Reserve. Not only does this trek offer a rich selection of flora and fauna for you to admire, it also has the best panoramic view of the city. For leisure hikers, don’t worry: You don’t have to climb all the way up the 10 km stretch. Instead, simply choose your starting and ending points, and off you go. One highly recommend vista is the magnificent Henderson Waves structure along the route from Mount Faber to Telok Blangah.

6. Macritchie TreeTop Walk

singapore hiking trails

Image credit: travel oriented

Macritchie Reservoir seems like a usual green reserve at first, but hidden in that lush greenery is a bridge high above the canopy of trees. Sitting 25 metres above the treetops, a trek on the bridge gives hikers a different view Singapore’s lush green landscape. The trek itself is surrounded by the thick forest, which makes for a cooling hike towards the suspended climax. Watch out for the monkeys, though, they can get quite mischievous and steal your things!

7. Green Rail Corridor

Image credit: Jin Guan KOH

As the name suggests, this trail used to be a railway track for trains, but has been out of use for years. In recent time though, nature has been allowed to naturally grow around it. At an astounding 24 km long (it was supposed to connect Singapore to Malaysia), it extends from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station all the way to the Woodlands Checkpoint. Pro tip: Check out the area between Chua Chu Kang Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road at night, where a section of it actually glows in the dark!

8. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Image credit: NParks

This reserve has the honour of being named Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. This one is truly for the animal lovers—with just enough patience and luck, you might chance upon a crocodile lurking in the waters! This reserve has been vigorously protected, making it a safe home for an abundance of wildlife. As an added nature trip, you’ll get to enjoy the lush views of mangroves, mud lands, forests, and ponds.

9. Kranji Marshes

Image credit: NParks

From walking along actual marshes to grassy lands where unique birds abound, this would make a lovely weekend escape to learn more about the biodiversity and landscape of Singapore. Join the “Evening Chorus at Kranji Marshes,” a free guided tour by NParks through the marshes, and gain access to areas normally inaccessible to the public.

10. Fort Canning Park

Image credit: VisitSingapore

Out of all the different trails in Singapore, this park is probably the hike for history buffs. With structures that housed Malayan kings to barracks used during the era of colonisation, this park has borne witness to many historical milestones of the country. Today, it functions both as an event space as well as a quickie rural respite that’s perfect for history lovers.

11. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Image credit: Nparks Facebook

Being a popular lookout point and also the highest point in Singapore, this top spot is surely not new to Singaporeans. It still, however, offers, a novel way to experience the city. From the foothills, you can choose to take a few paths to the summit, such as the main path which is fairly easy. If you prefer a more scenic route, try hiking up the South View Path to get a more immersive dose of nature on your way up to the top.

12. Windsor Nature Park

Image credit: Nparks

Having just opened this April, the Windsor Nature Park positions itself as a fun new date spot. There are three rather easy trails for you to choose from, though if you want to try something more novel, go for the Drongo Trail and walk amongst the trees! Also, animal lovers, rejoice: With about 23k to 28k of species on the ground and 392 recorded bird species, it’ll make for a fun weekend of exploration and animal-spotting.

13. Botanic Gardens’ Rainforest Walking Trail

Step back in time as you walk amongst a good 314 species of plants that make up the rainforest on this popular trail. Some of these plants were here even before Singapore was discovered by Stamford Raffles in 1819, so you can almost imagine just how green Singapore was like before it became truly urbanized. And since 50% of the plants here are classified as rare, you’ll be sure to spot exotic species while trekking through this forest-shrouded trail.

14. Tampines Eco Green

singapore hiking trails

Image credit: Tampines Eco Green

With a savannah-like landscape with geographical features like secondary rainforests, freshwater ponds, and marshlands, this park is almost as natural as you can possibly get. There are three trails for you to choose from, and the names speak for themselves: Diversity Trail, Forest Trail, and Marsh Trail. Pick your nature trip for the weekend and wander off to your heart’s content. One thing’s for sure: Whichever path you choose, you’ll be sure to feel like an explorer trekking through undisturbed lands. If you’re brave enough for night hikes, note that the paths are kept unlit so as not to disturb the creatures living there.

15. Changi East Boardwalk

Image credit: Edwin Lee

Located at the East of Singapore, this trail is mainly a boardwalk overlooking the serene sea. For those who fancy seaside trails, this is an easy walk that treats you to peaceful views of fishing villages of the past and undisturbed beaches. At the end of this trail, reward yourself with some modern comforts at Changi City Point.

16. Pulau Ubin’s Chek Jawa

Image credit: NParks

In spite of its small land area, this trail hike sure packs a punch because of the diversity of the trail landscape. This spot has no less than seven vastly different ecosystems, and you get to enjoy and appreciate each one as you walk around the grounds. You’ll find a coastal forest, mangroves, a natural rocky shore, a sandy shore, a sandbar, a seagrass lagoon, as well as the coral rubble area. This is arguably the most well-preserved natural space in Singapore, so it’ll be a fun whole-day outing for you to kick back and see more of its hidden gems.

17. Punggol Waterway

singapore hiking trails

Image credit: Erwin Soo

Punggol Waterway is perfect for some family fun because of its water play area and a sand pit where kids go to build sandcastles. If amped up activity isn’t part of the itinerary, you may opt to take a relaxing walk by the river to enjoy the calming presence of nature. Also, the bridges here are a sight to behold – the Jewel Bridge and its futuristic design, for instance,  glistens serenely on the water.

18. Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoirs

Image credit: PUB sg

Even though these two parks sit next to each other, each reserve stands independently of the other, providing more individuals paths to explore. The trails of both Upper and Lower Pierce are famous for sightings of naughty monkeys, views of the waterways, and blossoming trees. The Lower Peirce Reservoir, in particular, offers one of the most beautiful sunset views in Singapore. With little high-rise buildings obstructing the view, the calming sunset makes for a great reward after a leisurely hike.

19. Labrador Park

Image credit: NParks

For those who love the sea, this coastal trek should be right up your alley. Not only are its coastal views extremely picturesque, this park is teeming with wildlife as well, such as clusters of adorable squirrels everywhere! Other views include swamplands and secondary forests, both pleasant surprises during a hiking weekend.

20. Bukit Batok Nature Park

Image credit: NParks

Last but not least, stake out the quarry pond at Bukit Batok Nature Park. With so little natural quarries in Singapore, its granite core is indeed a sight to behold with stone slabs stretching upwards through rich vegetation. The site is so unexpected in Singapore, that this spot has been nicknamed the “Xiao Guilin” (small Guilin) of Singapore, after the real Guilin city in China where dramatic limestone cliffs adorn the grand city.

With so many nature trails to check out in Singapore, there’s no excuse to hole up for a boring weekend ever again. Not only do these places provide you with a much-needed reprieve from the urban rush, they also offer so many unique features to keep you occupied, mesmerized, and fit. So, unearth your hiking boots out and get ready for trails that’ll shake up your Singapore weekends.

About Author

See Wah
See Wah

See Wah loves to immerse herself in the poetic side of life: art, literature, photography, and of course travelling - poetry (of the human condition) in itself. She believes that the world is endlessly inspiring and beautiful, and when her head isn’t in the clouds, she hopes to fill her life with all these things that makes life wondrous

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