In my old stomping ground of Hong Kong, we were spoiled for choice with an abundance of hikes. In comparison, Singapore doesn’t quite have the terrain of Hong Kong but it is easier on the knees! Here you’ll find a mix of coastal and jungle walks, for the most part well signed and probably paved. In addition, National Parks are doing an amazing job converting Singapore’s old Rail Corridor to 24km of nature trail. Not listed here but it goes without saying that walking the Botanics is outstanding and the new extension includes an art gallery located in a black and white and the COMO adventure grove.
Bukit Timah Hill
If you’re looking for a cardio blast, there’s only one hill in town and that’s Bukit Timah Hill. This stands at a mighty (!) 163m. Whilst that doesn’t sound much, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve comprises several different routes to have you huffing and puffing. My favourite is to follow Route 4 ‘difficult’. Instead of looping up on the track, take the Summit Steps for some extra work. Follow the path to the Dairy Farm Loop – starting on the right of the loop is a bit tougher. On the way down take the Cave Path and spot the small waterfall and two caves.
Bukit Brown Cemetery
I can’t quite believe it took me so long to get to Bukit Brown cemetery. This is the perfect place to follow your nose, see where the trail leads and discover the stories behind the graves. Dating back to the early 1920s, this is the first Chinese public cemetery in Singapore. Home to over 100,000 graves, the cemetery closed in 1973. Download the Wayfinder @BukitBrown which is a self-guided walk put together by the Singapore Heritage Society.
If you are bringing a dog (esp off lead), be warned there are some aggressive dogs who live in the area. You’ll see caretaker shelters dotted around the place and they are sometimes living in there.
Windsor Nature Park
If you’ve got kids that moan about hiking, Windsor Nature Park has a lovely selection of short, canopied walks. Choose either the Squirrel/Drongo trail (1 hour) or Venus Loop (45 mins). Then add the Hanguana trail at the end which is only 350m. Named after Hanguana rubinea, a plant found only in Singapore, Hanguana Trail offers rare native plants and trees along the trail loop.
Labrador Nature Reserve
What I love about this walk is the mix of history and seaside. We followed this handy NParks walking trail, which started at Carpark C close to the Promenade that overlooks Keppel Harbour. From here you’ll wind your way from the maritime to war history trail. Labrador played a big role in WW2 as it had been identified earlier as a strategic defence site. Forts were built both here and in Fort Siloso in 1878. In the 1930s they installed big guns and upgraded the underground complexes. However it wasn’t enough to hold off against the Japanese. You can still see today war relics, a fort and secret tunnels.
If you aren’t entirely covered in sweat, you could finish off with a meal at the beautiful Tamarind Hill Thai Restaurant.
Check out Little Day Out for a more in depth review.