Where to run in Singapore when you're tired of making loops around your estate
Where to run in Singapore when you're tired of making loops around your estate
- By SG Staff
- | Apr 06, 2020
Running could be considered a national pastime, judging from the number of running events mushrooming on the sporting calendar these days. And for good reason, too—you don't need any fancy equipment, just yourself and a good ol' pair of running shoes. Here, we round up 19 running routes around Singapore that are great for clocking some mileage while taking in the sights.
The 88-hectare park features a 4.3km track that loops around the reservoir, offering joggers scenic views of the waterfront. For nature lovers, the area is home to over 14,000 wetland plants, and the lucky few might even spot birds like swallows, little herons and kingfishers. What makes this a great place to run is the variety of dining options along the way, such as Bedok Food Centre and popular bistro Wawawa.
An ideal running track for a short workout of around 5km, especially if you’re a resident around this area. Run on the well-maintained tracks that stretch from Upper Thomson Road to Marymount Road and Bishan Road. A lovely trail to run in the heartlands, and you’ll be able to pass by ponds and open lawns, including a riverside gallery.
Another great neighbourhood trail for a short run of less than 5km, Little Guilin is nestled in the Bukit Batok estate and provides a quaint escape from the surrounding buildings. Take in the sights of the cliffs overlooking the lake (which have often been compared to those of the Southern Chinese city), with abundant greenery in the background. To extend your route, take the park connector that leads you to Bukit Batok Nature Park where other shadier running trails are available.
This coastal park is just 3.3km long. However, you can choose to continue along Changi Coast Road, where you'll get to see airplanes taking off and landing (it's parallel to the airport's landing strip). If you still have fuel left in your tank, you can even race down East Coast Park before calling it a day.
This leafy off-shore nature sanctuary has a rich ecosystem, with 80 species of birds such as the nationally critically endangered spotted wood owl, rare plants that were thought to be nationally extinct; and a free-roaming Brahman bull. The 50-hectare park, located next to Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, has boardwalks that lead through the island's forest, mangroves and to the beach.
Great for mountain bikers and hikers too, this 63-hectare park is for all you runners who want a real challenge. Start your journey by the main road near Carpark B (Carpark A is further but nearer to Hillview MRT), then jog to Wallace Education Centre, once an actual cow shed but now a learning exhibit (no, there are no real cows around now). Then go on the nearby 1km-long Wallace Trail or head in the other direction to reach the scenic Singapore Quarry Wetland instead. For the ultimate challenge, ascend Bukit Timah Hill via Dairy Farm Loop.
When asked where is a good place to run in Singapore, East Coast Park undoubtedly surfaces. If you're a seasoned marathon runner, you'll probably be tired of pounding along this 15km track already (the park almost always features in marathon events here). That said, it's still favored by many runners—you get to feast your eyes on calming beach scenery, with the sea breeze in your hair.
This historical park needs no introduction—popular with locals, expats, tourists and concert-goers alike, the many steps leading up to the hilltop reserve at Clemenceau Avenue are great for a pre-workout warm-up. And for those who prefer a more challenging run, it's also where you can find steep slopes and uneven paths, all set along a trail of heritage trees.
It is entirely possible to be contented running loops—while taking in the amazing sights of those iconic Supertrees, beautiful lakes and magnificent art sculptures—within Singapore's most iconic garden, but we'd recommend venturing out a little to make it even more worthwhile. Head past Satay by the Bay (it's a great pitstop) down to the stunning Marina Barrage, jog over the dam, and you'll arrive at Gardens by the Bay East. Unknown to many, this vast park is less crowded and makes for a great running grounds. If you make it to the Northern end of this area, it links to the Kallang Riverside Park (see below), that's great for extending your excursion even more.
Nature and history is wrapped into one along this 10.5km running track spanning from the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and ending at the old Bukit Timah Rail Station. The scenic and unique trail will have you running on grass, gravel and clay through Bukit Merah, Clementi, Holland Village and Buona Vista. Unfortunately, the southern stretch (at Tanjong Pagar) is now closed till 2025, but the northern stretch starting at Bukit Timah will remain open. This flat trail is good for a jog (be careful of uneven surfaces though!), or if you just want to take a walk amidst the lush greenery with little traffic.
Not many people are aware of this, but the footpaths along Kallang River make for great running routes—you'll pass landmarks like the Singapore Flyer and the F1 Pit Building on one side of the river, and the Singapore Sports Hub and private estates of Tanjong Rhu on the other. Plus, you'll get to see plenty of dragonboats and kayaks out on the water, especially on weekends.
How about a fancier run that checks out luxury yachts docked along this posh waterfront precinct? Starting from Labrador Park Reserve, this leisurely route brings you on a straighforward trail along the bay, through the Keppel Bay Bridge and Keppel Island on a track that measures about 3km.
Part of the larger Southern Ridges (see below), this secluded part of Singapore is teeming with wildlife and worth trekking to just for the views. Jog along a boardwalk that weaves through mangroves, past a massive old colonial home, and over the sea. Love.
Long a favorite with endurance athletes and weekend warriors alike, MacRitchie offers up to almost 11km of terrain. It's easy to customize your own running route (just be sure not to get lost)—for instance, you can start off on the boardwalk, or head straight for the dirt tracks. Cardio bunnies should try the full 10.6km loop around the reservoir—the undulating trail is tricky and challenging, to say the least—but the immense sense of satisfaction you get at the end of your run will be oh so worth it.
You'll find lots of business folk running along the promenade after work. The (approximately) 3.5km loop is especially scenic, with landmarks like the Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion along the way. If you're looking for extra mileage, you can try heading to Gardens by the Bay (see above) before heading back.
Another leisurely trail for non-competitive joggers, this 12.25-hectare waterfront suburban park is popular with families and cyclists, too. The Punggol Promenade Riverside walk is an ideal spot for a nighttime run, as it has pretty fiber optic features that light up after dark. For early birds, the Sunrise Bridge is where you'll want to be to catch the sunrise.
This neighborhood park is rather picturesque—there's a tranquil, unspoiled beach that's great for picnicing on. Plus, the Sembawang Park Connector runs along the 4km-long Sungei Sembawang, where you'll get to see an assortment of water birds like kingfishers—it can break up the monotony of a run nicely.
The one and only natural hot spring in Singapore is found here, and great steps have been taken to ensure the facility is a pleasent experience for all. It's free for everyone to use, with wash buckets and ladles available freely as well, but do practice proper etiquette so that it remains a tranquil, delightful place. A jaunt here is also an educational one, with lessons on Singapore's geology and flora to be had. Make it the final destination of your run as a reward.
While the Kallang Riverside Park is a great outdoors option, the Singapore Sports Hub complex itself makes for a great semi-indoor one. For runners, head to the elevated 100Plus Promenade, a public sheltered area that encircles the entire National Stadium. You may be making loops, but you get views of the city while being able to do so rain or shine. Just don't come during an event day, where you'll likely tire just from bumping into concert goers and their placards.
Take things up a notch with the 9km-long Southern Ridges trail, which covers Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park, Labrador Park and even the iconic Henderson Waves bridge. Expect lots of steep slopes that will make your calves and quads cry out for mercy—definitely not for the faint of heart. However, you'll get to observe loads of flora and fauna along the way (plus some great views across to Sentosa), if that's any consolation.
An east-side secret of sorts, this 36-hectare eco-friendly park is perfect for light jogging while exploring the natural grassland habitats of some of Singapore's plants and wetland animals. No bicycles or scooters are allowed (park 'em at the entrance), so watching out for traffic isn't needed. It's connected to community favourite Sun Plaza Park on one side and the Tampines Park Connector on the other end, that eventually leads to Pasir Ris Park, in case you wish to extend your jaunt.