Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

5 nature trails to hit this weekend 5/5 (1)

If you are looking for something to do over the weekend, go out for a enjoyable hike with these 5 nature trails.

For many of us here, going for a hike could involve walking the treadmill on a steep incline. In this dense and relatively flat concrete jungle we call home, it is hard to imagine any place we can put our hiking boots on and be one with nature.

While Singapore does not have expansive national parks and mountains, we are home to walking paths and nature reserves that give local gyms a run for their money.

Here are five hiking trails in Singapore that you should bookmark for your next day out. The best part? You don’t have to pay to get in.

1) Southern Ridges Trail

5 nature trails to hit this weekendHenderson Waves bridge

A 10km trail covering five parks (Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve), the Southern Ridges span from Kent Ridge to Harbourfront, offering a variety of natural and heritage sites along the way. For the history buff, Labrador Park provides a glimpse of Singapore’s past, with military installations such as firing cannons and machine gun posts dating back to WWII. Nature lovers will appreciate the elevated Forest Walk at Telok Blangah Hill Park as well as the themed gardens in HortPark.

The Ridges are also home to various vantage points, so you can expect gorgeous views of the city’s landscape! The Henderson Waves bridge is Singapore’s highest at 36m above ground, allowing a view of the cityscape as well as Keppel Harbour. The peak at Mount Faber presents hikers with a picturesque panorama of Harbourfront and cable cars joining the mainland from Sentosa.


Moderate – Difficult

Recommended Trail Path:

Start at Kent Ridge Park → HortPark → Telok Blangah Hill Park → Mount Faber Park


3 – 5 hours

How to get there:

To Kent Ridge Park – From Pasir Panjang MRT station, it is a 10-minute walk via Pepys Road.

To Mount Faber Park – A 7-minute walk from Harbourfront MRT Station.

Opening Hours:

24 Hours, however lighting hours vary.

2) Bukit Timah Hill Trail

 5 nature trails to hit this weekend
Pavilion at the Bukit Timah Hill Summit (Credit: The Straits Times)

Despite currently being under renovation to restore its the slopes and trails until end 2016, Singapore’s tallest hill, Bukit Timah Hill is still open to visitors through the Main Road entrance. At 163m, be prepared for an intense, challenging hike with steep inclines winding up to the top, which take about 15 to 20 minutes to traverse. After climbing the final steps leading to the summit, hikers can take a break in the pavilion. A huge plus: You’ll walk away with a sense of achievement for conquering the country’s highest peak!

Home to almost 40 per cent of the country’s flora and fauna, budding zoologists and botanists may take interest in the information panels dotted along the trails, which describe a myriad of species that reside there, such as the Scaly Anteater and Lesser Mousedeer.




30 minutes – 1 hour

How to get there:

From Beauty World MRT, it is a 15-minute walk via Jalan Anak Bukit and Hindhede Drive.

Opening Hours:

Saturdays and Sundays only, 7am – 6pm (last entry at 5pm).

3) MacRitchie Nature Trail

5 nature trails to hit this weekendBoardwalk in MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Behind an unassuming, heartland park on the front lies a jewel of crystal green waters and vertigo-inducing thrills. Incorporated alongside MacRitchie Reservoir, the 11km nature trail has much to offer in terms of sightseeing and its multiple terrains.

Starting off at MacRitchie Reservoir Park off Thomson Road, take in the view of the reservoir from the Chemperai Trail boardwalk. Its translucent waters and surrounding greenery reveal a wealth of wildlife, ranging from terrapins to fish-owls. The pathway soon transforms into a rugged, rainforest landscape, where hikers may alternate between coarse stone steps to soft soil, making it an interesting and demanding walk. For Instagrammers, do not forget to attempt the climb to the TreeTop Walk, a 250m freestanding suspension bridge accessible through the Petaling Trail. Its panoramic views of the MacRitchie and Central Catchment Area forests are a sight to behold, though people afraid of heights shouldn’t attempt to look down!


Moderate – Difficult


4 – 5 hours

How to get there:

From Caldecott MRT, it is a 10-minute walk via Thomson Road.

Opening Hours:

24 hours. It is lit from 7pm to 7am daily.

4) Coney Island

5 nature trails to hit this weekendDirt path in Coney Island

Not to be confused with the one in New York, Singapore’s Coney Island is the go-to destination for those seeking serenity in a rustic, untouched environment. The 50-hectare island is home to various habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands, beaches and mangroves. Despite being off the grid, the island is fitted with modern amenities, such as dirt and paved paths, toilets, as well as seating and shelter made from recycled Casuarina trees, perfect for a leisurely stroll or run. Those looking for more may also love searching for local relics, such as the abandoned Haw Par Beach Villa by the mangrove swamps.


Easy – Moderate


1 – 2 hours

How to get there:

From Punggol Interchange, take bus 84 to Punggol Settlement Park. From there, walk 500m east along Punggol Promenade Nature Walk to the west entrance of the island.

Opening Hours:

7am to 7pm daily

5) Fort Canning Park Trail

5 nature trails to hit this weekend
Fort Gate at Fort Canning Park (Credit: Insight Guides)

 Fort Canning Park Trail

 Nestled in the bustling city centre, Fort Canning Park is a quiet escape seeped in history. Once known as the ‘Forbidden Hill’, the area used to house the palaces of Malay rulers, which were replaced by the colonial and wartime monuments we see today. The 2km trail, dotted with points of interest such as the Fort Gate, Sir Stamford Raffles’ bungalow and the Nine Pound Cannon, makes for a tranquil sight against the abundant greenery.

In spite of the beautiful scenery and soothing atmosphere, Fort Canning makes a moderately difficult hike with its sloping terrain and numerous steps. Those feeling exceptionally energetic can even make their way to the First Christian Cemetery, where brick steps are laid on the sides of the slope downhill. This is a cooler alternative to the Stairmaster!




45 mins

How to get there:

Walk along River Valley road, on the opposite site of Clarke Quay MRT.

Opening Hours:

7am – 7pm daily

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