By: Ezra Gideon
Singapore may be considered an urban jungle, but it does have some amazing trekking paths and nature reserves to explore. For a fun weekend adventure with the family, we recommend these seven green spaces.
North Eastern Riverine Loop
This 4.2-kilometre walkthrough connects the Punggol and Sungei Serangoon reservoirs, marrying modern facilities like the ‘Adventure Bridge’ – a steel bridge designed to look like a wooden one, to blend in with the surrounding nature – with an abundant amount of greenery and open spaces. Your little ones will love the water play area – it’s a good spot to cool down and get wet after a long walk in the sun. Just remember to bring along an extra set of clothes!
Labrador Nature Reserve
This little reserve down Labrador Villa Road loops around other lovely natural spots such as Kent Ridge Park and the southern ridges. It not only boasts lush greenery, but also has an all-encompassing view of the sea. Stare hard into the distance, and you might spot the islands of Sentosa and Ubin. 45 minutes is all you need to stroll the entire coastal walk, so head here if you’re pressed for time but want a magnificent glimpse of Singapore’s natural side.
Woodlands Waterfront Park
It may be a little out of the way for some, but the park is an excellent recreational hub for families who love open waters and fields of green. The park’s promenade stretches out to the ocean – the Causeway and Johor Bahru will be within your sights. After catching some sea breeze, head deeper into the park for (literally) greener pastures, where kids can play at the two-story high Sky Walk – a series of six crows nets interlinked by mesh bridges, where the daring can climb and cross.
If you love sunsets, this is a good place to catch one. Go on the almost three-kilometre-long ‘Kelong Walk” (so named as the boardwalk is built above water on kelong-like stilts) which stretches out to sea, linking the Changi Beach Club and Changi Village. Several lookout pavilions on this walk are popular fishing spots. Or try the “Cliff Walk” – a forested pathway built slightly inland that leads you to the bottom of a hilltop, where viewing decks give you a panoramic view of the surroundings.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Singapore’s oldest rainforest reopened last April, after being closed for six months for renovations. It now has smoother trails, allowing nature lovers a better hiking (and mountain biking) experience. Choose from five routes – including the Kampong Trail, which leads to Macritchie Reservoir – all varying in terms of distance and difficulty. Need help identifying the different types of flora and fauna that you see along the way? Then sign up for a guided walk.
Prunus Trail, MacRitchie Boardwalk
Trekking around the MacRitchie Reservoir may sound daunting to some, due to its sheer size and multiple hiking paths, but the Prunus Trail is surprisingly suited for relaxing, hour-long weekend strolls. Located on the quieter east side of the reservoir, the trail skirts right by the water, giving you a close-up view of the lake, rainforest and incredible wildlife. Definitely a great place to unwind with the family.
You may need to take a ferry to get to this wetland in Pulau Ubin, but the trip is worth it. Upon arrival, rent a van or bicycle to get to Chek Jawa. Or if you’re up to it, set out on foot for a 40-minute hike. There are also guided tours to bring you to the one-kilometre boardwalk, where diverse marine and plant life await. For intimate sightings of the island’s exotic birds (think kingfishers and straw-headed bulbuls), climb up to the viewing tower.