Worldwide icon-chevron-right Asia icon-chevron-right Singapore icon-chevron-right The best hiking trails in Singapore

The best hiking trails in Singapore

Strap on a pair of good shoes and get in touch with nature at these green hiking trails
hiking
By Time Out Singapore editors |
Advertising

Singapore's most popular attractions may include a boat-like tower with an infinity pool and two durian-looking domes and other impressive manmade structures but you'll be surprised by the amount of the greenery you can find within the city-state (and surrounding offshore islands). The best way to discover this? Hiking. 

Put on your best trekking shoes and go by foot to explore these hidden (and not so hidden) trails around the island. But before you get on the best hiking trails in Singapore, it ight be best to slap on some sunscreen – and it wouldn't hurt to bring along some mosquito repellent. 

RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands and the best secret and hidden parks in Singapore

Things to do, Walks and tours

Hindhede Nature Park

icon-location-pin Bukit Panjang

If you're looking for a leisurely hike with the family, head to Hindhede Nature Park located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which has easy trails and well-defined footpaths perfect for families, children and hiking beginners. Scenic 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 taking a walk. The main highlight of course is the picturesque Hindhede Quarry which is located at the end of the park. 

Things to do

Dairy Farm Nature Park

icon-location-pin Bukit Panjang

Highlights of this 63-hectare park include the Wallace Education Centre which houses both the Wallace Environmental Learning Lab (WELL) and an interpretative centre where you can browse the exhibits and try the hands-on activities. Keep a lookout for the striking red and yellow heliconias as well as the monkeys, pangolins and butterflies. Head towards the scenic Singapore Quarry at the park’s south-western end for a chance to spot rare species of dragonflies and the critically endangered birds 'Little Grebe'.

Advertising
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Chestnut Nature Park

icon-location-pin Central Water Catchment

Split into North and South regions, Chestnut Nature Park covers 81 hectares, making it Singapore’s largest nature park. The park has separate mountain biking and hiking trails that are clearly marked out, too. The former has winding slopes and a pump track where bikers can practise their stunts, while the latter, especially along the 2.1km Southern Loop, takes you through varying terrains and steps.

Things to do

TreeTop Walk at Macritchie Reservoir

icon-location-pin Central Water Catchment

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.

Advertising
Things to do

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

icon-location-pin Bukit Panjang

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.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Photo: Nparks
Things to do

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

icon-location-pin Lim Chu Kang

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.

Advertising
Things to do

Pulau Ubin

icon-location-pin Palau Ubin

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.  

Kranji Marshes
Photo: Urban Redevelopment Authority
Things to do

Kranji Marshes

icon-location-pin Lim Chu Kang

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.

Advertising
Attractions

Windsor Nature Park

icon-location-pin Bishan

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.

Things to do

Bukit Batok Nature Park

icon-location-pin 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 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.

Prefer cycling instead? Check these out

Advertising

More outdoor activities

Things to do

The best outdoor things to do on land in Singapore

Singapore isn't just a concrete jungle, there are pockets of green to seek out the wild, urban walking trails and unique group sports activities – there are plenty of reasons to go outside in this city. Strap on a good pair of shoes and embark on one of these land-based adventures.

Things to do

The ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands

Spending 24/7 in the thick of city life can take a toll. Hop on a boat to these offshore islands and breathe in the fresh air. Set up camp – or a picnic mat if you don't intend to stay the night – and relive those kampong days at these uninhabited islands that are ripe for exploration. Just don't forget to mozzie repellant and sunscreen. 

Advertising
Things to do, Walks and tours

The best cycling trails in Singapore

Singapore may be small in size but you'll be surprised to find plenty of green spaces including farms (yes, we've got farms!) and outdoor activities indulge in – if you know where to look. So leave the car at home, hop on a bicycle (get a cool one from one of these bike shops or do a bike-share) and explore these cycling trails in and around the city. Don't worry, we've included plenty of leisure beginner-friendly options (with a good view to boot), intense mountain biking tracks and everything else in-between to suit all abilities. 

More to explore

Advertising