The TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir takes you through the different stages of a mature secondary forest. It’s the first of its kind in Singapore and South-East Asia. The bridge part rises as high as 27 metres, and you can see as many as 80 bird and eight reptile varieties, and 18 rare species of trees. National Parks Board calls it one of the best hiking routes, but be sure to wear the right shoes; it’s graded moderate-to-difficult. Getting to the bridge, and walking it and back is a 10.5km journey. Make the most of your time there and check out our guide to the best things to do and eat at MacRitchie.
This 1.64sq km (0.63sq mile) nature reserve is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. Besides hundreds of animal and insect species, it also contains more tree species than the whole of North America. Weekends are busy with walkers, nature lovers and mountain bikers, so come on a weekday if you prefer a quiet trek. There are four walking trails. A steep paved path takes you directly to the peak, but more interesting are the unpaved trails; route 3 (green) follows a winding forest path, past caves used by Japanese soldiers in World War II. Look out for long-tailed macaques, squirrrels and snakes, and listen for the incessant ‘chonk-chonk’ of the striped tit-babbler. Cyclists should wear protective gear as the biking trail is extremely rugged. The visitor centre has toilets and souvenirs, but no food.
Strap on your best walking shoes and trudge through the swamps of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to learn more about the flora and fauna that call this mangrove forest home. Weekly, volunteer-led tours – they regularly change – introduce the plants, birds, insects and other indigenous species found in this ASEAN Heritage Park (Singapore has two, the other being Bukit Timah Nature Reserve). This wetland reserve of mangrove swamps, ponds and secondary forest is also home to 140 species of birds. Take a spot at observation hides or rent binoculars to bird-watch. There are also nature trails where you can also spot mudskippers, monkeys and climbing crabs on the mangrove boardwalks.
Take a walk on the wild side as you step foot on one of Singapore’s last surviving kampongs. At a sprawling 1,020 hectares, Ubin boasts lush greenery and abundant wildlife, drawing nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the many wonders of the granite island. Whip out your binoculars to spot birds at Pekan Quarry, wander through nature trails, and hike 75 metres up Puaka Hill for a breathtaking panoramic view of the islet.
Home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of buttferflies and 33 different kinds of dragonflies, this nature reserve is the perfect recreation area to observe and enjoy the island's wildlife. At 57 hectares and with a range of natural and green habitats, Kranji Marshes is Singapore's largest freshwater farmland. Here are the top five things to do at Kranji Marshes.
Take a trip down one of the boardwalks at Windsor Nature Park and discover the different flora and fauna, including fruits such as jackfruit and bananas. The three trails are relatively easy – you can finish walking the park in 2 hours. On your path, look out for the dragonflies, too. NParks has recorded 56 species of the insect in the park, almost half of the 122 dragonfly species found in Singapore.
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 cycle and jog on and a moderately easy hiking trail through the foliage. For a bit of history, head to the WWII memorial, which commemorates the location of one of the fiercest battles that took place in Singapore.
Coney Island, also known as Pulau Serangoon, reopened to the public in 2015. Some might dismiss this little island as having nothing to see but that's not true, there are plenty of dirt roads and vegetation, albeit with no iconic landmarks. Beaches A to E all look the same. On the other hand, it is as it is – a rustic island with sand-paved walkways, undeveloped land and sometimes, nobody else around you. It feels as though you’ve left the hustle and bustle of city life and can now indulge in quiet contemplation. Consider it a sanctuary from the daily MRT commute you’d be forced to endure come the next working day.
Prefer cycling instead? Check these out
A cycle through the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network is a tranquil, easy and leafy experience
Bring a camera along when you take this green-swathed route through parks and temples
You’d be surprised by the number of nature parks and quarries on the Western Adventure Loop