For a small country, Singapore has plenty of scenic spots that do not get as many visitors as they deserve. If you enjoy a quiet run that is off the beaten track, you might be interested in the following parks that are just a little more quiet and peaceful than other popular places.
As many of these places contain wildlife, do not be tempted to feed them. Remember the environmental adage, “Take only photographs, and leave only footprints!”
Admiralty Park is a truly unique park. Within this 4km loop, you will run through a combination of 50 acres of natural swampland, mangrove, and grassland with 17 acres of urban parkland.
Mangroves and swamps are home to a rich natural ecosystem, teeming with life. See if you can spot some truly exotic birds, like the Little Egret wading for food, or the Baya Weaver with their distinctively woven nests!
Located a stone’s throw away from Republic Polytechnic, Admiralty Park is also home to one of the remaining troops of monkeys living alongside a mangrove! If you do see them, please remember not to feed or antagonise them!
Bukit Batok Nature Park
The Bukit Batok Nature Park runs in a 1.6km loop, with the main attraction being the converted granite quarry, and a well-established secondary forest. The quarry has been filled in to form a pool, and lends an air of serenity to the area.
Enjoy the tranquil view of the quarry pool at the plaza area, and you can spot squirrels and monkeys as they go about their lives. The Bukit Batok Nature Park also has some durian trees, so watch out for falling durians too!
Labrador Nature Park
Located only 400m away from Labrador Park MRT Station on the Circle Line, Labrador Nature Reserve is a gem that is surprisingly quiet. A designated nature reserve, this place contains a large portion of Singapore’s endangered animal and plant species, as well as the only rocky sea-cliff accessible to the public in Singapore!
There is a well-preserved World War 2 bunker here, along with an iconic red lighthouse that has stood here for decades. Enjoy truly wonderful views of Sentosa Island and the uniquely designed Reflections at Keppel Bay residential complex. The park runs in a 1.6km loop, but you can extend your run into Keppel Island, which is free for visitors to enter!
Dairy Farm Nature Park
In the 1930s, Fred Heron, then Managing Director of Cold Storage, established the world’s first tropical dairy farm on a 60-acre patch of jungle land right here in sunny Singapore! In fact, as the only dairy farm at that time successfully raising Friesian cows within the equatorial region, it attracted worldwide attention from foreign scientists and farming experts, who travelled here to view its success.
At the south-western end of the park lies another abandoned quarry. A quiet and peaceful place, the transformation of the site into a wetland has attracted many fauna, including the Little Grebe, a critically endangered bird.
While the Dairy Farm has ceased operations in the 1970s, you still can visit the Dairy Farm Nature Park and the Wallace Education Centre, which is a converted cowshed. It contains an exhibition hall that tells you more about Diary Farm’s history, as well as the wildlife of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, of which the Wallace Trail is a part of.
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is currently slated to be closed for 6 months on September 15, with limited access in the 18 months after closure. The Dairy Farm Nature Park will remain open, so you’ll be able to get your running fix here. If you want to ramp up your mileage, go for a 5km looped run along Dairy Farm Road, Petir Road, and Upper Bukit Timah Road!
Tampines Eco Green
Now, this is a park that is literally off the beaten track. There are only 2 entrances to this 90 acre ecological park, both of which are at Tampines Avenue 12. The main entrance is near the junction where Tampines Avenue 12 and 9 meet, so don’t get lost!
But the journey here will definitely pay off. As its name implies, everything in the Tampines Eco Park is designed to be ecologically friendly. Even the toilet here uses a waterless, chemical-free system that converts human waste using bacteria and wood shavings into compost. Do not worry; this eco-toilet is odour-free as it has a good ventilation system!
The outer perimeter of the park is an approximate 2km loop. There is a bird hide made out of twigs and branches, which helps camouflage yourself so that you can observe wildlife, especially birds, at close proximity without startling them!
There is also an additional marsh trail that is 800m long, where you can observe the beautiful marshland ecosystem at work.
Woodlands Waterfront Park
Connected to Admiralty Park, the Woodlands Waterfront Park is a 2km loop that has exceptional waterside views of the Straits of Johor. Head out into the 400m ex-naval jetty, which is one of the longest coastal jetties in Singapore.
Apart from the wonderful coastal views, this park is also teeming with wildlife. Catch sight of the beautiful Purple Heron which stands at 1m in height, or the Cattle Egret, which roams the grasslands to feed on insects!
Isn’t it Fun to Explore?
These 5 nature parks are a wonderful way to get close to Mother Nature, breathe in some fresh air and get some sunlight! Just remember to bring some sunscreen and running shades!
The next time you’re bored of your run, head off the beaten track and try including any of these destinations into your running route!