This season we saw the hike (pun intended) in streetwear-inspired ‘Athleisure’ trend on the runway, with couture hikers in deconstructed parkas and lightweight jackets gracing the stages of Prada and Moncler Gamme Bleu during Fashion Week. Here, we are taking the clothing inspiration further with a curated list of hiking trails in Singapore for nature lover.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
A historical landmark where the final fight between the British and the Imperial Japanese Army happened, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to 40% of the native flora and fauna and Bukit Timah Hill, the highest natural vantage point in Singapore located 163m above sea level. As you trek through the pockets of undisturbed vegetation, you’ll find yourself enveloped by the treasure trove of biodiversity and the tranquility of the forest, providing a respite from the urban areas during the 2-3hrs hike.
The Southern Ridges
A fancy name for a 10km long park connector, hikers get to traverse and explore the different parks in Southern Singapore in one route. The Ridges offer panoramic views of the city, the harbour, and the south islands, making it a spectacular location for a scenic date. The hike will never be complete without passing through the insta-famous Henderson Waves, an undulating bridge that gently breaks up the lush jungles of Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park. It is best to be there at 7 pm onwards as the bridge is illuminated by beautiful LED lights, making it a romantic spot for your adventures.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
We didn’t forget about the iconic HSBC TreeTop Walk, a one-way aerial walkway that extends from Bukit Peirce to Bukit Kalang. The Instagramable suspension bridge gives hikers a bird’s eye view of the towering canopy and the chance to observe the community of plants and animals that reside at the top of the forest. If you’re in luck, you might be able to spot flying lemurs and long tail macaques lurking in their habitat.
Fort Canning Park
Once the home of 14th century Malay Kings and also the Headquarters of the Far East Command Centre and British Army Barracks, Fort Canning is dripping with rich historical artefacts and landmarks that hold significance to the country’s progress like the Battle Box, the very premise where the British surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army. Today, it’s a venue for concerts and plays, weddings and gatherings. Walk around you get to discover the lush greenery, ancient buildings, and natural heritage. Peckish after the exploration? The area offers plenty of food and drinks establishments for you to dine and wine.
If you’re looking for an authentic Bear Grylls experience, (please don’t eat any insects or attempt to kill a wild boar) you might want to hop on a boat to Pulau Ubin. A blast-from-the-past experience for people who want to take a trip down the ‘60s lane, Ubin is home to the last few kampungs in Singapore and Chek Jawa wetlands, a mashup of six different habitats housing a myriad of species. For those who are worried about getting lost, there are free guided tours that take you closer to the areas and lets you take an even closer look at nature. It is a no-nonsense trek so put on some comfy boots, brace yourself for the rugged terrains and get walking.
Located a few kilometres off Punggol shores lies a small 133-hectare island that opened its doors to the public two years ago, Coney Island is an ecologically sustainable park for wildlife enthusiasts, with no electricity or water pipes running through to preserve the critically endangered biodiversity and its biosphere. Opened from 7 am to 7 pm, hikers get to trek through the newly built boardwalk and explore the rustic forest, mangroves and the Haw Par Beach. The island is also a hotspot for many birdwatchers as it is a stopover for many migratory birds. Be cautious of sandflies lurking at the beach, cover up any bare skin and wear insect repellent to avoid any nasty insect bites.
Dairy Farm Nature Park
The Wallace trail at the Dairy Farm Nature Park might be a good challenge for the more intrepid and seasoned hikers. While not as retouched as some of the other hiking trails, the muddy and harrowing terrain used to be a mountain biking trail is nonetheless traversable on foot. Your efforts will pay off when you reach the end of the Wallace trail. Be greeted by the magnificently picturesque Singapore Quarry, otherwise dubbed as ‘Little Guilin’. Now a defunct quarry, it is a wetland sanctuary for freshwater flora and fauna.
Northern Explorer Loop
Up in the north of Singapore, there is an 11km route for hikers who are looking for a slightly more challenging walk that starts from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park to Sembawang Park. Stop by the Woodlands Waterfront, a coastal park consisting of a 1.5km long waterfront promenade, an 11-hectare park and the longest coastal jetty in Singapore, offering an unparalleled view of the park and the straits of Johor.