When the tough gets going, going on a run might do good for you. But it's also good to get off the treadmill and out of the gym hit an outdoor trail. If a change of scenery, calm and tranquility is something you seek while out on a walk or run, go with a waterside trail in Singapore. With so many beaches, reservoirs and riverines in Singapore, there are a couple to pick from. See you by the waterside!
Officially launched in March this year, Rower's Bay Park is so named for the reservoir's popularity with kayaking and dragon-boating enthusiasts. The park's boardwalk has become popular with those in the neighbourhood as the best spot to view the sunrise or sunset, and amenities such as shelters, vending machines, a do-it-yourself bicycle repair station and toilets are available for cyclists or those seeking reprieve from our tropical heat. The wetlands surrounding the boardwalk have also been filled with plant species that will attract and provide a habitat for native wildlife in the area. Rower's Bay also forms part of the first phase of the planned 150km Round Island Route (RIR), which will connect parks around Singapore – yes, you will eventually be able to cycle around the entire island. The completion date of the RIR is set for 2035, so you have plenty of time to start building up that stamina.
Lace up and surround yourself with the flora and fauna in the west. Deemed as the largest nature wonderland in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore's latest national garden, spanning a whopping 90 hectares. The gardens include Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Garden Promenade – previously known as Jurong Lake Gardens West, Jurong Lake Gardens Central and Garden Promenade respectively. The grounds are specially landscaped and designed for families and the community to come together to play, learn and bond.
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. This wetland reserve of mangrove swamps, ponds and the 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 in the view of the Johor skyline without being in the middle of a traffic jam on the causeway. Work out at one of the exercise pits along the waterfront or take a slow jog by the water. Kids can run amok at the vast play area in Woodlands Waterfront or cycle around on the designated paths.
Though opened to the public, making your way to this end of Singapore is quite the trail itself. Good thing you don't even need a ferry to get to the island, just a pair of good walking shoes will do. When you reach the island, go on the coastal trail loop which takes you around the island by the water. Discover hidden beaches and coves, serene corners of the island and get to meet the wildlife – if you're lucky, you might be able to spot some monkeys and snakes!
Part of the Southern Ridges, the park contains the only rocky sea-cliff in Singapore, and offers a panoramic view of the sea and cliff side vegetation. It is not uncommon to hear songs of a variety of bird species, including the Oriental Magpie-robin and Black-naped Oriole. Remnants of World War II such as tunnels and a fort also provide an educational experience for visitors.
One of the oldest and largest reservoirs in Singapore, MacRitchie has several trails of various difficulties for visitors to embark on. Choose a waterside trail for a calming stroll or scenic run with the picturesque reservoir as your company. Keep your eyes open! You'll be able to spot monkeys, turtles, monitor lizards and a lot of other wildlife there.
Put on your running gear and go for a heart-pumping, invigorating jog around the park. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll and admire the serenity of the reservoir or climb up the iconic tower that overlooks the reservoir and be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the waters and adjacent greenery. Just beware of the macaques that might get aggressive if you have snacks on you.
Segmented into four different themes: Nature Cove, Recreation Zone, Heritage Zone and Green Gallery, there's much to see and do at Punggol Waterway. Fitness enthusiasts can jog or cycle on the well-maintained tracks along the promenade at both sides of the waterway while admiring the surrounding views. There is also a water playground for kids looking for a wet-and-wild day of fun. Alternatively, sit on the many benches placed around the park and enjoy the breeze as you listen to the soothing sounds of running, trickling, splashing and cascading water. While at it, look out for the various types of birds that can be spotted along the Waterway.
Sengkang Riverside Park features a constructed wetland and rich biodiversity lending its calm and tranquil vibes. Visitors can hike on the park’s many trails to view the manually planted marshes and get close to the inhabitants of the marshland. Home to many aquatic plants, the constructed wetland doubles up as a wildlife habitat and attracts a variety of mangrove birds and damselflies. While at it, explore the fruit trees planted around the park and spot common edible fruits such as star fruit, chiku and dragon fruit. Make a visit to Singapore’s largest man-made wetland, PUB’s Sengkang Floating Island, which is located within the park.
Take a stroll from Bay East Gardens, before crossing over to its more popular sibling. Slightly more rustic than the main park, walk by the water's edge and take in the city views and if you're lucky, you might even spot the native river otters basking in the sun. Cross over the bridge to Marina Barrage before ending your trail at Gardens By The Bay.