With everything that’s been going on lately, leisurely strolls, hikes and even runs can really help to clear your headspace. So leave your worries and the city behind by getting lost in the lush greenery at the following nature parks in Singapore. Don’t even worry about finding the right route(s), the parks listed below offer trail guides as well as maps to ensure a safe yet fulfilling trip. Just bring along bottles of water, but do stow your snacks properly as monkeys and other wildlife may be lurking. Also check out the NParks noticeboard before you proceed to keep updated on the latest rules and regulations at these facilities.
One lengthy, but all-encompassing walking trail awaits at Bukit Batok Nature Park, which brings folks everywhere from lush secondary forests to lookout points and a World War II memorial site. Just start the tour with an uphill path to admire unique species of plants and trees, then discover a variety of fruit trees (durian, rambutan and mango) as you trek further into the park. Fresh water streams are located in the vicinity too, so don’t freak out if you discover monitor lizards and frogs here. Read the complete e-guide here.
Take a tropical forest walk and discover nature in its most pristine form at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as the vicinity is Singapore’s largest surviving primary rainforest that includes the highest hill at 163m. Suitable for most beginners, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Trail will help you explore and encounter a wide variety of native plants and wildlife; look out for helpful interpretative signs and waymarks along the way too. Besides keeping an eye out for Meninjau trees, also see if you can spot the rare Malyan Pangolin and tree-dwelling mammal Malayan Colugo.
This unassuming local park near Hillview MRT station is actually home to a large number of animals and plant species, some of which are even protected under the Parks & Trees Act so be sure to view the trail etiquette guidelines so as not to unknowingly damage anything. A rustic environment with multiple trails for trekking and biking, the 75-hectare Dairy Farm Nature Park’s main attraction is the Wallace Education Centre, Singapore’s first field study hub for schools. But also visit the Singapore Quarry, which has been transformed into a wetland habitat with a viewing platform for visitors to appreciate Singapore’s freshwater flora and fauna.
Hop on any of the five trails within Thomson Nature Park located east of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve to get a glimpse of the carefully conserved kampung ruins while learning about the site’s vast history. The regenerating secondary forest here is also a habitat for numerous faunal species; keep your eyes peeled for the great diversity of ferns and aquatic animals present. While the Ruins and Figs Trail gives visitors the opportunity to experience highlights of the Hainan Village, the Stream and Ferns Trail is perfect for nature lovers.
Enjoy a leisurely trek through MacRitchie Reservoir Park via either the 3.2km or 4.8k trails that are often used for cross-country meets. Here, the landscape highlight is a near 100m vegetated gravel swale, complemented by a 40m submerged boardwalk. On a regular basis, groups with more than 30 hikers are required to file for a permit, but for now, no more than groups of five are allowed to roam together. Details on the TreeTop Walk can be found here.
If you’re looking for a challenge, then head up the hilly terrain at Mount Faber Park that has a seamless connection route to the Southern Ridges which boast picturesque ridges and pathways. The HortPark and Southern Ridges trails make for enjoyable treks too, while two alternative routes will bring you around Telok Blangah Hill Park before moving into Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.
Westies will proudly defend the largest regional park in the southwest of Singapore if necessary, and it is easy to understand why. Besides being a beloved play centre for families and students who live in the area, the linear park comprises 50 hectares of flat park land that promises an easy, breezy day-out thanks to its Seafront Promenade, 3G Fitness Corner and Grand Lawn.
So either walk or cycle across the park, but bring along your binoculars to spot the White-breasted Waterhen and Striated Heron at the Marsh Garden. You can even stop for some wholesome fun by renting a pedal go-kart at the shop near Carpark 2. Check out the West Coast Park trail guide here.