Six trails in Singapore you can explore for a slice of nature and history

Get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the sights and wonders of Singapore's nature.

Esther Lam

Published: 30 July 2020, 9:06 PM

We may not be able to resume leisure travels abroad yet, but Singapore has plenty of unique and interesting spots to visit.

Stretch your limbs and spend some time outdoors while exploring Singapore’s green spaces!

Here’s our list of six nature trails in Singapore to check out, featuring historical landmarks and endangered wildlife species.

1. Thomson Nature Park

Thomson Nature Park is Singapore’s seventh nature park, complementing nearby Springleaf and Windsor Nature Parks to extend the green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CNNR).

Once the site of a former Hainan village, the park features five trails spanning 3.8km as well as carefully conserved ruins and remnants of kampung life such as Han’s Rambutan Garden.


Embark on the Langur Trail or the Macaque Trail and observe the kampung ruins or variety of birds hidden in the park. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS


This reserve is home to various species of local wildlife, some of which are endangered. If you are lucky, you might even catch a spotted tree frog or a blue-rumped parrot!

It is also home to and a key conservation site for the elusive and endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur, which can only be found in Singapore and southern Malaysia.

NParks has also planted trees with spreading canopies and installed rope bridges along the roads, with the intention to help these animals move safely.

2. Chestnut Nature Park Chestnut

Nature Park is Singapore’s largest nature park and consists of two regions, Chestnut Nature Park (North) and Chestnut Nature Park (South). They are separated by Chestnut Avenue, with the north region being about four times the size of the south.


Check out the native tree species meant to help improve the ecological connectivity so the animals may safely move around the forest. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS


Across both regions, the hiking trail is about 5.6km while the mountain biking trail is 8.2km.

The mountain biking trail has winding slopes as well as a Pump Track and Bike Park for bikers to practice their stunts but the Chestnut Pump Track is closed for maintenance until further notice.

But there is still a variety of recreational activities for visitors to do such as hiking, mountain biking and bird watching. You can even enjoy a gorgeous, scenic view of Chestnut Nature Park from the Observation Tower.


Enjoy the diverse species of fauna in the park. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD


Avid bird watchers can also catch a glimpse of the unique yet globally endangered species like the Straw-headed Bulbul or the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher. Other species include the Banded Woodpecker, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker and Little Spiderhunter.

3. Kranji Marshes

Kranji Marshes is one of Singapore’s largest freshwater farmlands and is home to over 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies. It is an important habitat in Kranji for the conservation of biodiversity, especially marsh birds.

Look close enough and you might spot some birds and reptiles such as woodpeckers, monitor lizards, a Changeable Hawk Eagle or even a White-bellied Sea Eagle perching itself on a tree!

You can also wait at the bird hides for a glimpse of the marsh birds like the Purple Swamphen or Common Moorhen, or enjoy a bird’s eye view from top of the Raptor Tower.


Explore the lesser-known nature hideouts and get picturesque views of Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS


If you would like to enter the Core Conservation Area, you must register online for the guided tour, ‘Evening Chorus at Kranji Marshes’. Led by NParks volunteers once a month on Saturday evenings, the guided walk is a two-hour journey from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. However, the next available registration only opens on Sep 4 at 8am.

4. Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park is one of our nation’s iconic historical landmarks and an occasional arts venue. It is arguably one of Singapore’s more popular nature parks.

Situated in Central Singapore, visitors can choose from a myriad of activities such as learning about Singapore’s history and heritage, nature walks, photography and sightseeing while exploring the nine historical gardens within.


The park used to be called Bukit Larangan, or Forbidden Hill in Malay, and now features ancient artefacts and lush greenery. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS


Head over to Battle Box, once a British command centre, situated nine metres below ground. It was part of the army headquarters that defended Singapore’s borders during World War II and also where the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese was made.

The Battle Box is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Battlebox Visitor Centre.

5. MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Some youths might remember this place from their cross country events, running through the trails while experiencing the park’s beautiful sights.

From a simple stroll on the boardwalk to ambitious hikes as long as 11km, there are various trails for visitors to take. Admire the beauty and serenity of the reservoir and enjoy some water sports like a leisurely paddle through the waters!


Located by Singapore’s largest reservoir, MacRitchie Reservoir Park is great for practically anyone enthusiastic adventure goers to families and weekend strollers. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS


The park is full of wildlife, although rarely seen, like flying lemurs, tree frogs, pangolins and long-tailed macaque monkeys.

The park’s opening hours are from 6am to 7pm daily while the TreeTop Walk is open from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday, and 8.30am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

6. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is not only Singapore’s largest surviving primary rainforest but also where Singapore’s highest hill, Bukit Timah Hill, resides at 163 metres.

It is also the first forest reserve to be established for nature conservation and was officially declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2011.


Remember to bring mosquito repellent, a bottle of water and to not feed the monkeys! PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS’ FACEBOOK


Located within the tropical region, the nature reserve also possesses a rich and diverse ecological system, with a wide variety of native plants and wildlife. There are multiple walking trails, which all start at the Visitor Centre, open from 8.30am to 5pm, but not all of them lead to the hill’s summit.

You can also head to the nearby Hindhede Nature Park and Hindhede Quarry, an excellent spot for bird watching and trekking, ideal for families with young children or even the elderly.

While planning your trip to explore Singapore’s heritage-filled nature trails, you can check the crowd levels of the various parks here. Safe distancing rules still apply, so do not go in groups of more than five, and don’t forget to bring your mask!

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