There are times when we do not think of urban Singapore as a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. On these occasions, many yearn for a quick getaway around the region to escape their hedonistic lifestyles here. But what if we told you that there are natural gems waiting to be uncovered around this supposedly concrete jungle. In this article, we find out more about hiking trails that you can opt for instead of the usual jogging trails.

1. Macritchie Reservoir Park and Treetop Walk

Photo: The Straits Times

One of the most well-known hiking trails, Macritchie Reservoir is a friendly environment for all types of walkers. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, and features a soothing tropical scenery and serene hiking paths of varying distances.The park is also home to the popular HSBC Treetop Walk, an aerial walkway that grants you a bird’s eye view of the rainforest’s canopy and the occasional flying lemur. If you are lucky (or unlucky), you might be able to get up close and personal with the infamous macaques, known for their brazen demands for food from nearby humans.

2. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Photo: The Straits Times

The highest natural peak in Singapore may not have much to offer in terms of a view, but it has a tranquil feel with plenty of trails for you to pick from in the nature reserve. One of them is the mountain biking path tackled by cyclists. The hill is also of historical significance as it is where the British military made its final stand against the invading Imperial Japanese Army.For the more adventurous, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve can be the second destination after Macritchie Reservoir, an additional 6km past the treetop walk.

3. Southern Ridges

Photo: Berita Harian

The Southern Ridges is a 10km connector trail that links to five other parks (Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve).The trail is suitable for hikers at different levels as there are multiple entry points which allow you to tweak your journey according to personal preference and convenience. A popular trail is the journey along Henderson Waves, Singapore’s tallest pedestrian bridge which connects Mount Faber to Telok Blangah Hill Park.

4. Pulau Ubin

Photo: The New Paper

Head to Pulau Ubin if you want to completely detach yourself from the urban jungle of Singapore. A bumboat journey away, a hike in Pulau Ubin will transport you back in time. Opt to visit the island during low tides where you can head to Chek Jawa and check out the intertidal wildlife in action such as the male fiddler crabs. Or, trek up to Bukit Puaka and enjoy the view of the Ubin quarry.Alternatively, a trek or cycle through the island amidst the family of wild boars is a great way to soak in the laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of Singapore in the 1960s.

 

5. The Green Corridor

Photo: The Straits Times

The Green Corridor is a railway track that has been repurposed into a hiking trail. Similar to the Southern Ridges, this trail connects several parks like the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Kranji Wetlands. The trail features an abundance of grasslands, streams and marshes filled with wildlife as a result of being relatively untouched.

 

6. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Photo: The Straits Times

The first wetland reserve is now a 202-hectare sanctuary for a myriad species such as mudskippers, crabs, shellfish, monitor lizards, otters and more. Previously home to commercial prawn farms, the reserve is now a hotspot for migratory birds. A perfect trail for those seeking a natural experience far from the urban landscape that we are so familiar with.One might even get a chance to dip their toes in the natural mud spa while walking along the mudflats at low tide. If you are lucky, you might also spot a crocodile or some white-bellied sea eagles near Eagle Point.

 

7. Dairy Farm Nature Park

Photo: The Straits Times

The Dairy Farm Nature Park’s Wallace Trail is a 1 hour hiking journey set amidst a rustic environment. The 63-hectare park also offers a host of recreational activities and amenities, such as trails for mountain bikers.Near the south-western end of the park is the Singapore Quarry, which has a viewing platform for nature lovers to appreciate the freshwater flora and fauna available there.

 

8. Punggol Promenade

Photo: The Straits Times

A new promenade comprising of a mix of parks and park connectors, Punggol Promenade features a 2.4km Nature Walk in the middle section between Punggol Point Walk and Riverside Walk. The idyllic waterfront destination also feature a number of fishing platforms and rest shelters along its track for visitors to take a quick respite or enjoy the scenic views.The 17km loop around the promenade also connects to Sungei Serangoon, where visitors can visit Lorong Halus Wetland, a former landfill transformed into a wetland for birdwatchers and nature lovers.For the more laidback trekkers, the many ship-inspired, elevated lookout decks also present opportunities to soak in the coastal atmosphere and regard the views of Pulau Ubin and the Johor Straits.

Original article here.