Adventure

Get Outdoors With 10 Of The Best Hikes To Hit Up Around Singapore

By Urban List Writers
28th Feb 2022

When you’re affronted with searing humidity the last thing on your mind might be heading outdoors, but when the outdoors promises stunning forests, nature reserves and treetop walks the sweaty upper lip is more than worth it. 

Singapore might be small, but she’s mighty when it comes to hiking experiences. Ranging from easy strolls on relatively flat terrain to 26-kilometre coast to coast walks, there’s something for everyone and every energy level.

Grab your best hiking shoes, some mosquito repellent and load up on the H2O, here are 10 of the best hikes to hit up around Singapore. 

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Ranging from an easy 3-kilometre boardwalk jaunt to an 11-kilometre four-hour hike, MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a good start point with a wide range of trails to choose from depending on your skill (and energy) level. Being part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (the largest nature reserve in Singapore), hikers have the option to stay within the reservoir trails or try their hand at a longer hike with one of the connecting trails that bring you to Windsor Nature Park or Dairy Farm Nature Park. This verdant forest is home to a diverse bunch of flora and fauna, including turtles, monkeys and lizards. If you’re not afraid of heights, the TreeTop Walk trail is a must. Not only is it a decent 7-kilometre hike, but you’ll also get to traverse a 250-metre free standing suspension bridge. You’ll want to set aside three to four hours for this one, and wear your most grippy hiking shoes as the trail can be steep in some parts. 

Fort Canning Park

If you’re more of an indoorsy, Netflix and chill type, Fort Canning Park might be enough to convince you to venture outdoors. Nestled in the heart of Singapore, the park is easily accessible and offers the perfect blend of history, nature and tech. The trail is complemented by the augmented reality app, BALIKSG with 16 discovery points along the heritage trail to get up close and personal with Singapore’s history, dating back to the 14th century. 

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 

Just outside the hustle and bustle of the city, Singapore’s highest hill awaits your footsteps at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Standing 163 metres tall, the hill is home to a diverse ecosystem of plants, insects and animals, as well as evidence left behind from its tumultuous past. The 1.2 kilometre trail takes around 45 minutes to one hour to complete, and if you have the stamina for stairs you can reach the summit even faster via some steep steps. Keep your eyes peeled for Malayan pangolins, long-tailed macaques and squirrels.

Coast-To-Coast Trail

The most epic hike on offer in Singapore has to be the Coast-to-Coast Trail. Spanning 36 kilometres from Jurong Lake Gardens to Coney Island Park, the hike is broken up into ten checkpoints at various parks, wetlands and gardens around Singapore, so there’s heaps to see. Avid hikers can accomplish this one in around ten hours, factoring in rest stops, but it’s equally as enjoyable broken up into sections. Before setting out for your adventure it’s a good idea to check the National Parks website for information about closures and detours.

The Southern Ridges 

Connecting Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve, this 10 kilometre hike will see you traversing elevated pathways and scenic bridges. There are two routes to choose from and they’ll both take you anywhere from three to five hours to complete. Both routes take you across Henderson Waves (a 36m high and 274m long sculptural walkway in the canopy) and along the Forest Walk in Telok Blangah Hill Park, then route A splits off towards the gardens of HortPark and finishes at Kent Ridge Park’s Canopy Walk, while route B makes a turn at the Gillman Barracks continuing down to Berlayer Creek Boardwalk and loops around to Labrador Nature Reserve. You can’t go wrong either way.

The Rail Corridor

If you’re looking for something different on your next hiking adventure, The Rail Corridor (also known as The Green Corridor) delivers 24 kilometres in its entirety from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Woodlands Train Checkpoint. The central section of the track has recently had a facelift and reopened to the public. Stretching four kilometres between two restored truss bridges on Bukit Timah and Upper Bukit Timah roads, the abandoned railway was once a connection between Singapore and the Malay peninsula and careful work has been done to ensure its heritage remains. From the trail you can easily access Singapore Quarry, Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. 

Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve

As Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve offers rich biodiversity worth checking out. Wander through over 202 hectares of wetlands and extensive mangrove forests to spot the native inhabitants, with otters and water snakes as must-sees. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot the elusive Estuarine Crocodiles. Trails range from 1.5 kilometres along the coast to a cruisey 150-metre forest trail or  the 300-metre Mid-Canopy Walk—catering for all fitness levels.  Be sure to bring your cameras to capture the abundance of flora and fauna at the reserve. For those travelling from September through to March, be sure to embark on the 1.95 kilometre Migratory Bird Trail to catch sight of the diverse flocks of shorebirds or waders, including plovers and sandpipers.

Chestnut Nature Park Trails

If hills aren’t your thing, you’ll love hiking Chestnut Nature Park’s relatively flat north and south trails. The 81 hectares park is the first to have dedicated trails for hiking and mountain biking. The northern loop is 3.5 kilometres long, starting and ending at Chestnut Point, and the southern loop is 2.1 kilometres; together that adds up to 5.6 kilometres of hiking glory. Spot colourful birds like the orange-bellied flowerpecker as you trek past native trees on this jaunt, which you’ll want to set aside a few hours to complete.

Thomson Nature Park 

Five almost interconnecting trails make Thomson Nature Park a top spot for hiking in Singapore. Combined, the trails cover 3.8 kilometres, following what was once a road network. Enjoy a look back in history as the trails give hints to the area’s former Hainan village life—the best of which can be seen on the 1.5 kilometre Ruins and Figs Trail. Keep looping around along the Stream and Ferns Trail and you can spot aquatic creatures and beautiful ferns. The Macaque and Langur trails give you a chance to spot their namesakes, and you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the notoriously tricky to spot pangolins and porcupines that call the park home.

Pulau Ubin 

Hop on a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal and set sail for Pulau Ubin, Singapore’s last surviving kampong (village). Spot everything from jackfruit and banana to durian and cocoa trees on the Pulau Ubin Tree Trail which celebrates native trees. You’ll also meander past coconut and rubber plantations and get the opportunity to check out some of the sweet village houses. The walk takes around 40 minutes, but you’ll want to go at your own pace to explore what Pulau Ubin has to offer. The trail ends at the Chek Jawa Wetlands, which are well worth adding on to your island adventure. 

Ready to hit the trails and soak up Singapore’s natural splendour? We know we are. There’s so much to see and explore in Singapore—not to mention plenty of outdoor adventures too. For more info, head to Singapore Tourism

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Singapore Tourism and endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Singapore Tourism

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