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Bukit Batok Nature Park hiking trails
Photograph: NParks

The best running trails in Singapore

Bored of running indoors on the treadmill? We have some alternatives for you

By Delfina Utomo and Cam Khalid
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There's no need to be busting out the moves in the gym or HIIT studio all the time. Sometimes an outdoor run can do wonders for the mind. After all, it’s a relatively fuss-free way to stay fit, without the need for expensive gym memberships. If you’re going to keep up a running routine, you’re going to need somewhere to do it. And we suggest picking places with views to keep yourself inspired. Here’s our rundown of places where you can get started.

RECOMMENDED: The best HIIT gyms and studios to work out in Singapore and best gyms for express workouts

Bukit Batok Nature Park hiking trails
Photograph: NParks

Bukit Batok Nature Park

Things to do Bukit Batok

The serene Bukit Batok Nature Park was developed on an abandoned quarry in 1988. There are lookout points that afford stunning views of the quarry, along with footpaths to jog through the lush foliage. For a super short run – think less than 5-kilometre – look no further than Little Guilin where you can soak in the sights of the cliffs while working on your legs.

Punggol Waterway
Photograph: NParks

Punggol Waterway Park

Things to do Punggol

Located in a quiet, tranquil area in the northeastern part of Singapore, this waterfront suburban park offers plenty of fun and fitness stations for families. Perfect for evening runs, the Punggol Promenade Riverside walk features fiber optic lights that illuminate after sunset. Alternatively, catch the golden sunrise at the Sunrise Bridge. Continue to admire the stunning views of the park from the Rope Bridge and Kelong Bridge.

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Tampines Eco Garden
Photograph: Chinnian

Tampines Eco Green

Things to do Tampines

Enjoy a light jog as you take in the sprawling greenery formed by open grasslands, freshwater wetlands, and a secondary rainforest – you’d never guess they wrap around one of the most populous neighbourhoods in Singapore. Wade through the greens as you take on the walking trail within the sanctuary to uncover its rich biodiversity, featuring many species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and spiders.

Changi Beach Park
Photograph: NParks

Changi Beach Park

Things to do Changi 

Beat the crowd at East Coast Park by opting for its sister park: Changi. While the coastal park measures at about 3.3-kilometre-long, there's ample space to walk, jog, run and even cycle. Continue along Changi Coast Road and you might be lucky enough to catch an airplane taking off or landing at the nearby Changi Airport landing strip. Further torch those calories by folowing the path that leads you to East Coast Park.

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Singapore Sports Hub, 100Plus Promenade
Photograph: Facebook/Singapore Sports Hub/Leandro Ngo

Singapore Sports Hub

Sport and fitness Kallang

For a shadier alternative, lace up for the Singapore Sports Hub. Head to the 100Plus Promenade, a semi-indoor running track that surrounds the National Stadium. Rain or shine, you can do as many loops as you want here without worrying about getting drenched – unless with perspiration. Tip: check if there are any events happening at the National Stadium beforehand to avoid any human traffic on the track.

Coney Island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Coney Island

Things to do Punggol

Though opened to the public, making your way to this end of Singapore is quite an adventure already. Good thing you don't even need a ferry to get to the island, just a pair of good walking shoes will do. This ecologically sustainable park also uses timber from fallen trees for all the signage in the park, benches and the boardwalk over the mangrove swamp. Everything on the island is kept rustic and as it is so expect hidden beaches and some wildlife out and about. 

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Bedok Reservoir

Things to do

Another alternative to East Coast Park for the Eastsiders is the sprawling Bedok Reservoir. Tranquil and quiet, a run around the park – one loop is 4-kilometre – will definitely do wonders to clear your mind. There are a lot of picturesque spots in the park like the floating boardwalks and waterside platforms to cool down after a workout as well for the full zen experience. 

Punggol Park
Photograph: NParks

Punggol Park

Things to do

Clocking in at 5 hectares, the pond at Punggol Park is ideal for a run. Shaded and lush, with lots of trees lining the pond, the running route is pretty straightforward. Plus, there's plenty of spots to take a breather if you need one on the run.            

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gardens by the bay
Photograph: Unsplash/Ben Thai

Gardens by the Bay

Things to do Marina Bay

If a run and a view in downtown Singapore is what you're looking for, Gardens by The Bay is the most obvious choice. Already laid out with trails for visitors to follow, you can choose to run and explore the entire park first before winding down the run by the coastline – who knows you might even spot the native Singapore otters in the waters. 

East Coast Park

Attractions Beaches Marine Parade

Unlike most of the other parts of the Marina Bay waterfront, the East Coast Park allows runners to enjoy a shoreline run without being crowded out by rising skyscrapers. The park stretches from the east end of Marina Bay and goes all the way to Changi, with the East Bay Parkway running parallel to the park the whole way. The park is serviced by several bus lines, so access to it is pretty simple even if you don’t live close by.

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Henderson Waves
Photograph: Flickr/Bill Rosgen

Henderson Waves

Sport and fitness Walking Bukit Merah

The iconic pedestrian bridge itself is probably not conducive for running but the entire Southern Ridges trail surrounding it spans three parks – Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill and Kent Ridge, offering some blessed relief from the city. The trail is quite an uphill battle at times but it rewards runners with a lush view of the surrounding parks at the top, and of the 274-metre-long bridge that stands just above Henderson road.

Hindhede Nature Park

Things to do Walks and tours Bukit Panjang

If you're looking for a quick but scenic run, head to Hindhede Nature Park located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which has easy trails and well-defined footpaths. There also several exercise pits within the park for you to work on your reps and elevate the workout. Lush and serene, it is also an excellent spot for wildlife watching as it is home to inhabitants like the banded woodpecker, clouded monitor lizard and plaintain squirrel so it pays to keep your eyes open when running. The main highlight of course is the picturesque Hindhede Quarry which is located at the end of the park. 

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Singapore Botanic Gardens - Orchid Garden
Photograph: NParks

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Tanglin

The Botanic Gardens is a convenient and scenic place for a good run. The Gardens, established back in 1859, is the home of the National Orchid Garden which houses over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids. There’s also a tropical rainforest and the Ginger Garden. The Gardens offers a more unique running experience, with a variety of plant life spanning a massive 74 hectares of land.

running, singapore, marina bay
Photograph: Shutterstock

Marina Bay

Attractions Marina Bay

With a variety of strategic waterfront landmarks being built along the bay, it’s become an ideal stretch for professionals to take a breather from the stresses of work life to clock in some miles. You can take in the awe-inspiring architecture of Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade as you enjoy a run along an actual shoreline. In some ways it’s the best of both worlds.

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Fort Canning
Photograph: Flickr/David Lee

Fort Canning Park

Things to do City Hall

Located just off Orchard Road, Fort Canning Park is probably one of the most convenient places for city dwellers to get out of fast-paced city living to enjoy some refreshing greenery. With the park located on a hill, the trail here is largely uphill, which could be something of a challenge. But once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the city skyline.

Time to hit the gym

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