Singapore is known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, man-made attractions, and hawker food culture, but not many may be aware that it is also considered a great hiking destination for newbies. In fact, its compact size of 728.6 square kilometres boasts over 300 parks and 4 nature reserves that beginners can easily conquer.
Within these well-kept parks are countless trails that are carefully designed to provide urban dwellers with a comfortable way to exercise and relieve stress. So, if you’re a nature lover who wants to try hiking for the first time or someone who wants to catch some gorgeous views of nature from a different angle, Singapore has you covered.
Here are a few reasons Singapore should be at the top of the list for beginner-friendly hiking destinations.
- Most Hiking Trails in Singapore Are Rated for Beginners.
Although Singapore is one of the world’s smallest nations, the government ensured through smart urban planning that there would be plenty of breathing space for nature to thrive. Around these pockets of nature, parks were designed to bring people close to natural surroundings. In most parks, the hiking trails are paved with hardly any elevation. This makes Singapore ideal for hiking beginners, as well as families with small children and elderly members who want to spend time outdoors.
- You can Use Efficient Public Transport to Visit Parks and Trails.
Navigating Singapore's hiking spots is a breeze, thanks to its highly efficient public transport system. If you’re travelling, you can immediately go from your Singapore Changi airport hotel to the nearest hiking trail in minutes. You can also hop on a bus or the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to get around to the different hiking spots. This means you don't need to worry about renting a car or getting lost in an unfamiliar city.
- Trails and Parks Are Well-Maintained.
One of the standout features of Singapore's hiking trails and parks is their impeccable maintenance. In fact, the Singaporean government takes pride in keeping these natural spaces in top-notch condition. You can expect well-maintained paths and clean facilities to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. As such, you’ll be able to focus on the beauty of nature without worrying about the trail's cleanliness or safety.
- Some Parks and Trails Are Wheelchair Accessible
Singapore is committed to inclusivity, and it shows even in outdoor activities. If you or a companion happen to require a wheelchair to move around, you’ll be happy to know that several parks and trails are wheelchair accessible. This makes it possible for individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the beauty of nature through hiking.
- It's Impossible to Get Lost in Singapore's Trails
Newbie hikers often worry about getting lost in unfamiliar terrain. But with Singapore’s trails often well-defined by pavements and sometimes roped on both sides, there’s almost no way to get lost. Unlike large national parks like the Yosemite and Grand Canyon in the United States where hikers regularly get off-track, parks in Singapore are too small to worry about losing your bearings. That said, if you ever have a question or need assistance, there's usually a friendly face or a ranger nearby to help you find your way back.
- There Are Hundreds of Scenic Trails to Choose From
Perhaps the most enticing aspect of hiking in Singapore is the sheer number of trails at your disposal. With more than 180 scenic trails to choose from, each offering a unique experience, you'll be spoiled for choice.
From lush rainforests to serene reservoirs and historic landmarks, let's take a closer look at some of the key trails that you absolutely shouldn't miss as a newbie hiker in Singapore:
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
You can explore the entirety of this reservoir park by taking the 11-kilometre walking trail that loops around the park. In addition, the Treetop Walk here allows you to stroll amidst the forest canopy, offering breathtaking views.
The Southern Ridges
For a unique hiking experience, explore The Southern Ridges, a network of trails connecting parks and nature reserves. Moreover, the Henderson Waves, a stunning pedestrian bridge, is also in the area and a must-see for any tourist visiting Singapore (hiker or no).
Thomson Nature Park
This park is a hidden gem, featuring rich biodiversity and historical ruins waiting to be discovered. Indeed, it's a tranquil oasis away from the urban hustle and bustle.
Coast to Coast Trail
As the name suggests, this trail takes you across the island from one coast to another. It’s the longest trail in Singapore at 36 kilometres and links different nature parks and areas.
Chestnut Nature Park
Perfect for families, Chestnut Nature Park has both easy and more challenging trails, as well as a treetop walk for that extra thrill.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
A favourite among locals, this park offers a mix of natural beauty and urban amenities. It's a great place for a leisurely hike or a picnic with a view.
Dairy Farm Nature Park
Explore caves, streams, and the stunning quarry at Dairy Farm Nature Park. It's a unique hiking experience you won't find in many urban settings.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
For those seeking a bit of a challenge, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the place to go. It's home to Singapore's highest hill, Bukit Timah Hill, and offers a rewarding hike to the summit.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
If a serene stroll is more your cup of tea, head over to Singapore’s famed garden. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering a peaceful escape right in the heart of the city.
Singapore has many sides—a global business hub, a luxury shopping destination, and a paradise for new hikers. With its variety of well-designed and well-built parks and trails, Singapore encourages its residents and visitors to relax and be healthy. So, pack your hiking boots and get ready to explore the hidden natural treasures of this remarkable city-state.