PUBLISHED January 11th, 2021 06:00 am | UPDATED January 24th, 2021 09:18 pm
Monsoon rains brought in the new year and appear to be continuing into the most of January, but the weather is finally lightening up a little — perfect for a hike. While we love our big and bustling city, we can’t deny that it’s nice to sometimes get away and spend some time in nature. Here are seven hiking trails that’ll satiate your need for a quick nature-filled jaunt outdoors.
Nature-lovers are definitely no strangers to the trails in Macritchie Reservoir. Boasting trails of different lengths — ranging from 2km to 11km — and a picture-perfect Treetop Walk, you can definitely customise each visit depending on how energetic you’re feeling. While the Treetop Walk is currently closed for maintenance until May 2021, have some fun keeping an eye out for turtles and monitor lizards or looking for the secret bamboo grove along the 4.7km Prunus & Petai Trail.
MacRitchie Reservoir is located at Reservoir Rd, Singapore 570000. Open 7am — 7pm daily.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
We’ve all been to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, another of Singapore’s best-known natural offerings, to brave the hill at some point – but how many of us can say that we’ve really explored every inch of this spectacular paradise? The reserve is one of the few areas of primary rainforest and contains most of our country’s native flora and fauna. Fun fact: the reserve has more tree species than the entirety of North America! Seasoned bikers will also enjoy the 7km mountain biking trail, an intermediate to advanced venture that takes you through intense ups and downs — literally.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is located at Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589318. Open 7am — 7pm daily.
Beware: this trail is not for the faint of heart. The Coast-to-Coast Trail is a whopping 36km venture that spans across Singapore, from Jurong Lake Gardens in the west all the way to Coney Island Park in the northeast. Feel free to make a day of it and explore Singapore in a whole new way. And hey, the trail also takes you past some signature food establishments — like the Adam Road Food Centre — so you can fuel yourself with great grub as you explore.
The rustic Kranji Marshes may be a bit of a journey for most of us, but completely worth it. This 56.8 hectare freshwater marshland houses a rich array of flora and fauna. Trek through marsh, woodland, and grass habitats while keeping an eye out for one of the over 170 species of birds that inhabit the area. The top of Raptor Tower is a particularly great place for bird-watching, especially now — catch visiting species like the Black Baza from now till March, during the migratory season.
Kranji Marshes is located at 11 Neo Tiew Lane 2, Singapore 718814. Open 7am — 7pm daily.
Labrador Nature Reserve
Labrador Nature Reserve — or as you know it, Labrador Park — is home to the only publically accessible rocky sea-cliff on the mainland. While the entire reserve is a three-hour commitment, feel free to limit your visit to smaller areas like the 960m Berlayer Creek or 330m Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. Apart from the rocky shores and the sea, other sights to expect during your hike include birds and flowers in the Alexandra Garden Trail. The park is also closely connected to the Southern Ridges, a 9km chain of green, open spaces across southern Singapore.
Labrador Nature Reserve is located along Labrador Villa Road. Open 7am — 7pm.
Fort Canning Park
History buffs — this one’s for you. Fort Canning Park is an iconic landmark that has been the site of many a historical milestone, from 14th century kings to the British surrender of Singapore in World War II. While the trail itself is a mere 2.5km, the bulk of your time will likely be spent exploring the wonders of its nine historical gardens, from the Peranakan-inspired Armenian Street Park to the centuries-old First Botanic Garden founded in 1822.
Fort Canning Park is located along River Valley Rd, Singapore 179037.
Coney Island Park
Coney Island Park is not the most accessible, but it’s tranquility and charm are well worth it, we say. Explore everything from mangroves and forests to casuarina woodlands and even pristine hidden beaches to give you a quiet seaside respite during your hike. While a walk is a great way to take advantage of the natural diversity and the adult-friendly Casuarina Exploration Playground, bikes are another great way to explore this bumpy terrain, if you’re so inclined.
Coney Island Park is located beside Punggol Promenade Nature Walk. Open 7am — 7pm daily.
Top image: Macritchie Reservoir
Images from NParks.