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Nature in Singapore: 10 Best Hiking Trails in Singapore

Singapore is one of the best places to visit in Asia. Many visitors are drawn to the city’s iconic attractions, excellent shopping, affordable Michelin-level street food, and colourful wall murals around the city.

But many people may not know much about hiking in Singapore. The city itself is relatively flat but there are amazing places to hike in Singapore.

I spent many months in Singapore exploring the urban areas. But on my last trip, I ventured out to find some of the best hiking trails in Singapore. Keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how you can spend part of your trip visiting some of the best hikes in Singapore.

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What you need to know before attempting the best Singapore hiking trails

Before you try one of these Singapore hiking routes, take a look at my Singapore Solo Travel Guide and get an overview of the city first. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Singapore, where to stay in Singapore and suggestions on what to see in the city.

Here are some additional tips for hiking in Singapore:

  • Hiking trails in Singapore are pretty easy especially if you are an avid hiker. They are suitable for everyone even if you have never hiked before.
  • Bring enough water for a few hours of hike.
  • The weather in Singapore changes quickly. It could be sunny and rainy all on the same day. Bring a compact umbrella just in case.
  • Speaking of weather, Singapore is always hot and humid. So take your time and go at your own pace.
  • Get an EZ-link card, a rechargeable subway card and use it for taking to and from the nature trails. When you use the EZ-link card, you pay the discounted rate instead of the full fare. Purchased one at the MRT station or any 7-Eleven.

What to wear for hiking in Singapore

As I mentioned earlier, Singapore is always hot and humid. These are not your ideal hiking weather conditions. But many of these nature trails in Singapore are shaded by trees which makes hiking in a humid climate a bit more bearable.

Most hiking trails in Singapore are clearly marked and open ie no walking through bushes. So you don’t have to worry about getting cuts on your legs. Plus, they are not treacherous at all. You can get by even with a pair of Birkenstock (but I would still prefer a pair of hiking shoes).

Nonetheless, I would suggest bringing minimalist hiking gear when you are hiking in Singapore. Just bring enough and not too much so you are not carrying too much on your back.

Here is what I suggest wearing when you are hiking in Singapore:

  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying tank-top or t-shirt
  • Hiking shorts or cropped leggings (must have pockets)
  • Light hiking shoes
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunscreen

Top 10 places to hike in Singapore

If you are interested in getting out of the city and be in nature, then you must check out one (or all) of these hiking trails in Singapore. These are some of the best and easiest walking trails in Singapore can be attempted by anyone (even if you have never hiked before).

So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 favourite places to hike in Singapore:

  1. The Southern Ridges
  2. Sentosa
  3. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  4. Fort Canning Park
  5. Jurong Lake Gardens
  6. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  7. Central Catchment Nature Reserve
  8. Pulau Ubin
  9. East Coast Park
  10. Gardens by the Bay

1. The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges consists of 9-km of green open spaces through several parks along the southern ridge of Singapore. These open spaces include West Coast Park, Clementi Woods, Kent Ridge Park, HortPark, Telok Balangah Hill Park, Mount Faber Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.

Along the hiking route, there are two special bridges that connect the parks: Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves (see the main photo of this post).

These connected parks have some of the best flora and fauna in Singapore. The serene parks are excellent for anyone who enjoys walking in nature. Plus, it has beautiful panoramic views of the city including the harbour and the Southern Islands.

I highly recommend hiking the South Ridges from west to east. Take the subway to Kent Ridge MRT Station and start hiking from Kent Ridge Park. The hiking trail crosses HortPark, Alexandra Arch, Telok Balangah Hill Park, Henderson Waves, and Mount Faber Park. And finally, the path finishes at Harbourfront MRT Station via Marang Trail.

Highlights of the trails in the Southern Ridges

  • Alexandra Arch, the pedestrian bridge that looks like an open leaf, lights up between 7 pm and 12 am each day.
  • Walk on the Forest Walk, an elevated walkway and see the Telok Blangah Hill Park from above.
  • Or you hike the Earth Trail underneath the elevated walkway.
  • Walk across the Henderson Waves, Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge that looks like a wave. And it lights up too (between 7 pm to 7 am).
  • At Faber Point, the highest point of Mount Faber, you can see the Southern Islands, the urban areas to the north and Mount Faber Merlion (a smaller version of The Merlion at Marina Bay).

Address: Southern ridge of Singapore (see map) | Hours: 24 hours | Closest MRT Station: Kent Ridge (CC24) to the west and Harbourfront (CC29/NE1) to the east

2. Sentosa

Sentosa is a small island on the southern tip of Singapore and it has many attractions including Universal Studios Singapore, golf courses, resort hotels and sandy beaches.

But if you like to hike, there are a series of hiking trails on the west side of Sentosa Island.

First, walk across the Sentosa Boardwalk from VivoCity. Then follow the signs for Imbiah Nature Trail where the hiking path will lead you to the west end of the island. Along the way, you will come across Imbiah Lookout, Fort Imbiah and Tempinis Cascade (waterfall) on Mount Imbiah.

Continue walking west and walk across Fort Siloso Sky Walk, an 11-storey high walkway on the way to the historical site of Fort Siloso. Keep walking until you reach the western tip of Sentosa and visit Tanjong Rimau. There is a small beach with several hidden caves.

Highlights of the trails on Sentosa Island

  • See the Sentosa Merlion near the beginning of Imbiah Trail.
  • Take in the panoramic views from Fort Siloso Sky Walk.
  • Go off the beaten path and see the narrow beach and hidden caves at Tanjong Rimau.
  • To get back to the mainland, hike across the Coastal Trail on the north side of Sentosa.
  • Or walk across along Siloso Beach Walk and visit Siloso Beach before returning to the mainland.

Address: Sentosa, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 24 hours | Closest MRT Station: HarbourFront (CC29/NE1)

3. Singapore Botanic Gardens

Founded in 1859, The Singapore Botanic Gardens reflected the styles of the English Landscape Garden Movement, which includes lakes, large green lawns, and architectural features like bridges and classic pavilions. The 82-acre garden has over 60,000 plants including tropical trees, orchids, and plant collections from all around the world.

Start your tour of the Gardens by taking the subway to Botanic Gardens MRT Station and meander through the Gardens from north to south. The paved walking trails take you through different areas of the park. Then finish the day at Orchard Road.

I highly recommend visiting the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is Singapore’s oldest garden and it is the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Furthermore, the Gardens is part of the Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail, a 36km trail across the city. That’s a long trail if you ask me, but at least you can say you hiked part of it.

Highlights of the Singapore Botanical Garden

  • See the latest exhibit at the Centre of Ethnobotany.
  • Admire the sculptures and stage around Symphony Lake.
  • See over 1,000 orchid species at the world’s largest orchid display at the National Orchid Garden ($15SGD entrance fee).
  • Visit the Heritage Museum in Holltum Hall and learn about the Garden’s history.
  • Walk over to the Gallop Extension to see the Botanical Art Gallery.

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 5:00 am to 12:00 am | Closest MRT Station: Botanic Gardens (CC19/DT9)

4. Fort Canning Park

The first time I learned about Fort Canning Park is when I was searching for the most Instagrammable spots in Singapore. At the north end of the park, there is an underground walkway that ends at the open spiral staircase. It is called the Tree Tunnel. Many locals and visitors go the IG-famous spot to take the perfect photo! 

But I also learned that Fort Canning Park has many paved walking trails around the central Fort Canning Reservoir. The trails take you through nine historical gardens in the park including Sang Nila Utama Garden, Raffles Garden, the Spice Garden, and the Artisan’s Garden just to name a few.

Fort Canning Park was once an important historical site in Singapore. Today, visitors come to the park for leisurely strolls, picnics, and to enjoy the outdoors right in the middle of the city.

If you are keen to learn more about Fort Canning Park, follow the self-guided Ancient History trail and it will take you to all the major attractions around the park.

Highlights of the trails around Fort Canning Park

  • Take an Instagram photo at the Tree Tunnel.
  • See the Fort Canning Lighthouse and Raffles House at the Raffles Garden.
  • Take a glimpse of the Balinese stone wall at the Fort Canning Hill Mural Wall.
  • Walk on the Five Kings Walk paved trail and see a view of the city.
  • Transport yourself to Bali by walking through the Javanese split gates in Sang Nila Utama Garden.

Address: River Valley Road, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 24 hours | Closest MRT Station: Fort Canning (DT20) or Bras Basah (CC2) 

5. Jurong Lake Gardens

The 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens consists of several parks around Jurong Lake including Lakeside Garden, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden and the Garden Promenade. And you can hike all the trails in these gardens on the same day.

However, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens and the northern side of the Lakeside Garden are closed for redevelopment and will reopen at the end of 2022. This means you can only walk through part of Lakeside Garden for the time being.

There are two main hiking trails in Lakeside Garden. Mempat Trail is a 1.75km trail that goes through the central part of the park. While Banyan Trail is a 3.3km trail that meanders through the south part of the park which includes the Rasau Walk, an elevated boardwalk over the restored freshwater swamp and the quiet nature trails in the Southern Promenade.

Highlights of Jurong Lake Gardens

  • Take a leisurely stroll over the elevated boardwalk of Rasau Walk in Lakeside Garden.
  • Catch a beautiful sunset at the Southern Promenade.
  • Walk over the Double Beauty Bridge between the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden.
  • See the 7-storey Cloud Pagoda and the Tea Pavilions in the Chinese Garden.
  • Experience the Flowering Canopy Walk in the Japanese Garden.

Address: 104 Yuan Ching Road, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 24hrs | Closest MRT Station: Lakeside (EW26)

6. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a 163-hectare nature reserve that protects and preserves Singapore’s most unique indigenous flora and fauna. And within the nature reserve, you can hike up to Bukit Timah Summit, Singapore’s highest hill.

To be honest, there’s not much to see at the top of Bukit Timah Hill. At 163m, there is a resting pavilion and a rock marking Singapore’s highest peak. But nonetheless, you can say you hiked up the highest elevation in the country!

Besides hiking up to the summit, there are other interesting hiking trails within the nature reserve including the Cave Path, the Jungle Fall Path and the Dairy Farm Loop.

And beyond the nature reserve, check out the paved hiking paths in Hindhere Nature Park. On the west end of the park, there is a lookout point to see the Hindhede Quarry. I quite like this view!

And if you are still not tired after hiking up to the summit, you can trek the Murnane Trail in Rifle Range Nature Park or the Wallace Trail in Dairy Farm Nature Park outside of the nature reserve.

If this is confusing, here is a map showing all of the nature trails in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the surrounding parks.

Highlights of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

  • Hike up to Bukit Timah Summit, Singapore’s highest peak at 163m.
  • Meander through the park and see other parts of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
  • See the old Hindhere Quarry at Hindhere Nature Park.
  • See the Singapore Quarry which is reachable by the mountain biking trail or a short walk from the west parking lot at Dairy Farm Nature Park.

Address: Hindhede Drive, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm | Closest MRT Station: Beauty World (DT5)

7. Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Next door to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. It is the largest nature reserve in Singapore and is located in the heart of the city-state.

But what is truly impressive is the 20km network of nature trails and boardwalks called the MacRitchie Trails. This series of hiking trails meander through the forest and lines the edges of MacRitchie Reservoir.

It includes the TreeTop Walk, a 250m suspended bridge connecting the two highest points in the park, (FYI – you can only enter from the Peirce Track entrance and exit at the Petaling Boardwalk), and MacRitchie Nature Trail, a nature trail that stretches across the nature reserve.

Other noteworthy hiking trails in this 2,000-hectare park include MacRitchie Petai Boardwalk, Chemperai Boardwalk and Jering Boardwalk where you can get a closer look at the reservoir.

Here’s a map of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve so you can plan the perfect hiking day in the nature reserve.

Highlights of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve

  • Enjoy the views from the TreeTop Walk (open from 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Friday; 8:30 am to 5 pm Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays).
  • Climb up Jelutong Tower, a 7-deck observatory tower and see the forest from above.
  • Walk along the MacRitchie Petai Boardwalk and enjoy the views of MacRitchie Reservoir.
  • See monkeys on the nature trails! But don’t feed them. They will find food in the forest.

Address: Lornie Road, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm | Closest MRT Station: Marymount (CC16)

8. Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is a small island off the northeast coast of the main island of Singapore. Nature lovers and day-trippers can visit this 1020-hectare island by either renting a bike or walking the hiking trails around the south side of the island. Along the way, see historical sites, villages, wetlands and abandoned granite quarries.

Here’s what I suggest for a day hike around Pulau Ubin.

Start the hike on the west side of the island, and visit the Bukit Puaka, Ubin Quarry Viewpoint and Ketam Mountain Bike Park. Then backtrack to Pekan Quarry and continue exploring the east, starting with House No.1 and Chek Jawa Trail around Chek Jawa Wetlands. Then finally, finish the day via the Sensory Trail.

FYI – there are wild boards and monkeys on the island. Some of these monkeys can be a bit pesky! Hide your food and don’t make any eye contact! Ha!

Highlights of the hiking trails around Pulau Ubin

  • See the granite quarry from Bukit Puaka, the highest peak (74m) on Pulau Ubin.
  • Visit House No.1 and see the restored Tudor-style house that was built in the 1930s.
  • Walk on the Chek Jawa Trail and see the coastal forest and mangroves at Chek Jawa Wetlands.
  • Climb up Jejawi Tower, a 21m viewing tower and see panoramic views of the area.
  • See fruit trees, spices, herbs and other edible plants along the Sensory Trail.

Address: Pulau Ubin, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm | How to get there: Take a 15-minute bumboat ride ($4SGD) from Changi Point Ferry Terminal

9. East Coast Park

East Coast Park is coastal park lining the southeast side of Singapore. The urban park stretches over 15km and has a total land size of 185-hectares. This city park is a favourite amongst the local community.

If you walk the park from end to end, not only will you walk next to the East Coast Beach, but you will also come across several sports facilities like Singapore Wake Park and Xtreme SkatePark.

And if you need to take a break, you can try Singaporean food at one of the hawkers at East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Imagine eating satays and drinking beer in front of a beach? Oh yes!

And as recent as January 2022, the East Coast Park and other parks on the east side of the city are grouped together to be part of the Round Island Route. The route stretches across the east end of Singapore and has over 75km of walking trails, making it Singapore’s longest recreational hiking route.

Highlights of East Coast Park

  • Challenge yourself and walk the entire East Coast Park from end to end.
  • Enjoy the white sand and calm waters of East Coast Beach.
  • Try wakeboarding at Singapore Water Park, the city’s only cable-ski park.
  • Eat traditional Singaporean food at the East Coast Lagoon Food Village.

Address: East Coast Park Service Road, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 24 hours | Closest MRT Station: Paya Lebar (CC9/EW8) then take bus 43, 134, or 135 and walk 8 minutes

10. Gardens by the Bay

When you first think of Gardens by the Bay, you might think of the two domes in the park, Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, and the giants trees at Supertree Grove.

But if you walk around the Gardens, you will find a series of nature trails all around the park.

On the east side, the Kingfisher Wetlands Trail weaves around the wetlands and Kingfisher Lake. You can see a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals. And when you continue walking along the path, it will lead to Marina Barrage (not part of the park but definitely worth seeing).

In the centre of the Gardens, follow the paved paths in the Heritage Gardens. And when you continue walking in the south direction, you’ll find hiking paths through The Meadow and Serene Garden.

And when you are ready go back, take the paths west of Dragonfly Lake. The scenery along the peaceful lake is quite beautiful.

Highlights of the Gardens by the Bay

  • Explore the new area of the park and see the natural rock pool at the Kingfisher Wetlands.
  • See the Trio of Kingfishers (outdoor sculptures) along the Kingfisher Lakes.
  • Follow the paved trails around Dragonfly Lake.
  • See bamboo and bonsai trees in the Japanese zen gardens of Serene Garden.
  • Learn about Singapore’s diverse history in the different gardens in the Heritage Gardens.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore (see map) | Hours: 5:00 am to 2:00 am | Closest MRT Station: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)

Where to stay in Singapore

Here are a few recommended boutique hotels in Singapore for you to stay in between your hikes in the city. You can really get a good night’s sleep in any of these hotels.

  • Lloyd’s Inn Singapore ($$) – a small minimalist boutique hotel near Orchard Road. I wrote a full review of Lloyd’s Inn Singapore on why I love this hotel.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Wanderlust ($$) – a boutique hotel in a 1920s Art Deco building in Little India. 
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • The Warehouse Hotel ($$$) – the most luxurious boutique hotel in Clarke Quay.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

Which one of these nature trails in Singapore are you going to hike?

Hiking is one of the best free activities in Singapore especially for a solo traveller. But I will say it is a bit tough to hike in humid weather. However, all the hiking trails in Singapore are relatively flat and without too much of an elevation gain. Even when you hike up to the tallest hill in Singapore, it’s not too bad at all.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and find it helpful when searching for your next hiking adventure in Singapore. There are so many awesome nature trails around the city so even if you only have a few days in Singapore, you should check out some of these hiking trails.

Let me know in the comments if you agree or you think other hiking trails should be part of the top 10 list.

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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