Worldwide icon-chevron-right Asia icon-chevron-right Singapore icon-chevron-right The shortest hikes under 30 minutes in Singapore
Sengkang Riverside Park
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

The shortest hikes under 30 minutes in Singapore

Take a quick break and get out in the outdoors – even if it's just for a short while

By Delfina Utomo
Advertising

Why make things hard? If you love the outdoors but not too much sun and the trees and the wild in small doses, take on these short hikes that will hardly disrupt your day. Choose from a rustic neighbourhood park or take a hike to a secret reservoir somewhere near the city. Even if you're a city person, take a break from the skyscrapers and get your shoes a little dirty. After all, the bars and cafes will still be open for a drink when you're done.

RECOMMENDED: The best secret and hidden parks in Singapore and the best beaches in Singapore for fun in the sun

Hampstead Wetlands Park
Hampstead Wetlands Park
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Hampstead Wetlands Park

Things to do Seletar

How long it will take 15-30min

Highlight The Monet-like pond

While The Oval is bustling with the brunch crowd, next to it is the tranquil Hampstead Wetlands Park. Though just a small pocket of green in the somewhat industrial area, the former marshland area has seen been spruced up so that it looks like a lush English garden with a pond – complete with lily pads – now.

Though there are observatory decks and railings (so you don't fall over!), the area has retained its rustic element and is not as 'polished' as other parks. There is a short trail loop you can take which will take you through the forested area and by the waterside. You can easily explore the place under 30 minutes but keep the peace – it's a favourite haunt for birdwatchers in Singapore. 

The Learning Forest
The Learning Forest
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

The Learning Forest

Things to do Tanglin

How long it will take 30-45min

Highlight The boardwalk at the Keppel Discovery Wetlands because of the views and how calming it is 

Located in the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest was designed to integrate with the existing 6-hectare rainforest to form an enlarged forest habitat. Unlike the rest of the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest is a little more rustic and sprawling, segmented into different areas for nature lovers to explore. 

You can cover the area on foot through the network of boardwalks and elevated walkways that allow visitors to be close to nature. Start close to the lowlands and the ground and slowly make your way up. You can also stand on an overhead bridge where you can observe the whole area peacefully. 

Stand at the edge of a freshwater forest wetland at the Keppel Discovery Wetlands and watch the dragonflies on the water, escape to faraway Japan at the Bambusetum, walk amongst some of the tallest trees in Southeast Asia SPH Walk of Giants where you can also jump around on aerial nets on the boardwalk.

Advertising
Kranji Marshes
Kranji Marshes
Photo: Urban Redevelopment Authority

Kranji Marshes

Things to do Lim Chu Kang

How long it will take 20-30min

Highlight Climb the Raptor Tower for the best views of Kranji marshes – including the bits that are not opened to the public

Home to many species of birds, butterflies and 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. 

Sit at one of the bird hides to observe life in the marshlands quietly or you can book a guided tour in advance with NParks to walk through the areas of the park that are not usually open to the public. 

Check out five unique things you can do at Kranji Marshes here.

Coney Island
Coney Island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Coney Island

Things to do Punggol

How long it will take 30-45min

Highlight The lookout point with steps leading to the sea is the best place to take a breather

Located in the far end of the North East, Coney Island is a rustic escape that preserves the island's natural character. 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. 

Keep your eyes open for native macaques, rare birds and butterflies on the island while you explore the woods and the hidden beaches. Look out for snakes if you're venturing into the woods! 

Advertising
Tampines Eco Green
Tampines Eco Green
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Tampines Eco Green

Things to do Tampines

How long it will take 30min

Highlight The pond area is the main highlight of the park. Sit on one of the logs or benches by the waterside to watch the fish, terrapins, dragonflies 

Continue along the Pasir Ris park connector towards Tampines and you’ll come across sprawling greenery formed by open grasslands, freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest. You’d never guess that this green space exists, wrapping 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. Sit on one of the rustic wooden benches while you admire the marshes and listen to the unique sounds of wild birds – and the expressway.

Sengkang Riverside Park
Sengkang Riverside Park
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Sengkang Riverside Park

Things to do Sengkang

How long it will take 30-45min

Highlight Get close to the constructed wetlands – there is a patch of grass where you can have a picnic or just watch the kite fliers.

The Sengkang Riverside Park is a riverine park by Sungei Punggol – one of the two large rivers that run through Sengkang. The park is home to a unique water feature, constructed wetlands that collects and filters rainwater naturally through its aquatic plants. The wetlands also double as a wildlife habitat and attract many mangrove birds into the park such as purple heron, collared kingfisher and little tern. Other than that, dragonflies & damselflies, like the Red Scarlet and Common Bluetail damselfly, can also be found resting on the aquatic plants. For an immersive experience, you can walk right up to the edge of these ponds to observe the wildlife for yourself. 

Just nearby and over Sungei Punggol, you can also the Sengkang Floating Wetland. Cross the bridge to get closer to the floating island of aquatic plants or sit on the seats shaped like orange slices on the bridge for a breather. 

Advertising

Hindhede Nature Park

Things to do Walks and tours Bukit Panjang

How long it will take 15-20min

Highlight The main highlight, of course, is the picturesque Hindhede Quarry which is located at the end of the trail.

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 plantain squirrel so it pays to keep your eyes open when taking a walk. 

Keppel Hill Reservoir
Keppel Hill Reservoir
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Keppel Hill Reservoir

How long it will take 30min

Highlight Walk to the edge of the reservoir and check out the fallen branches and trees in the water, terrapins and fish. There is also the remnants of a diving board.

If you're willing to go off the main path, bash through some super tall ferns and wild grass and get slightly scratched by thorny plants and stems to find the secret Keppel Hill Reservoir, you will be greatly rewarded.

Formerly used as a private reservoir in 1905 and then a swimming hole from the 1940s, the body of water was totally left out on official maps of Singapore from 1954. Start your trek on Keppel Hill Road before slipping into a man-made path which leads to the reservoir.

If you have more time to hike

Advertising
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising