Top Singapore Running Trails That Let You Discover Running in Singapore
Singapore is one of the world's hottest tourist destinations right now, but few talk about its running trails. Thanks in part to heavy investment into tourism, Singapore's running trails are some of the best maintained and unique in the world, with options for all skill levels. So if you are a runner, you should really run in at least one of the following great running trails in Singapore.
1. Changi Coastal Park Connector
Among the most beautiful sections of Singapore's legendarily beautiful (if sometimes crowded) coastline, the Coastal Park Connector trail will take you through Changi Beach Park. Designed to retain the festive village atmosphere of 60's and 70's Singapore, the Park is constantly bathed in a cool ocean mist and covered in unique flora. Before hitting the park, visitors taking the trail will run along the Changi Airport Runway, allowing them to view planes taking off and landing from a remarkably short distance!
Type of Distance: Long - 10.7km
Starting Point: Junction of Changi Coast Walk and Coastal Park Connector
Route: Simply follow the Coastal Park Connector trail down to Changi Beach all the way till the end of the Changi Coast Track.
Terrain: Flat coastal
Traffic: Medium, with some bicycles
Best Time to Run: Early morning, as soon as the park opens, for both maximum comfort and minimum traffic.
Tips: Particularly adventurous runners may prefer a late-night sprint, as locals whisper that the Changi beach park is haunted. If you wish to keep going, you can consider running the whole 42km Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network.
2. Sentosa Beach
Sentosa's famous beaches have long been popular destinations for runners. While discouraged by park attendants, many runners challenge themselves with barefoot beach runs, although a concrete path is also available.
Type of Distance: Long - 6.4km
Starting Point: Siloso Beach, Siloso Beach Walk
Route: Follow Siloso Beach Walk down to the end of Palawan Beach, before ending with a quick tour of Tanjong Beach at the end of the island. Then, return via the same route. A quick detour will take you past the Southernmost point in Continental Asia.
Terrain: Flat beach
Traffic: Low, but watch out for sunbathers
Best Time to Run: Early morning or late afternoon, to avoid sunbathers and the stifling heat of the afternoon.
Tips: Strongly consider some high-SPF sun protection. There are little to no trees or building cover through the entire route.
3. Singapore River Bridge
A lot of runs in Singapore are urban, but none more so than the Singapore River Bridge route. Taking you directly through the city, the Singapore Bridge is nonetheless a breezy run with as much appeal for fitness enthusiasts as sightseers.
Type of Distance: Medium - 6km
Starting Point: Youth Olympic Park
Route: Follow the trail along Marina Bay and jog up to the Singapore river to see the Merlion and the Parliament House. You can pay tribute to the Raffles Landing Site and Lim Bo Seng Memorial before heading back to the starting point.
Terrain: Flat urban
Traffic: Low, except in the evening
Best Time to Run: Morning or early afternoon
Tips: Don't even think about running this route at night — the bridge is almost always full of (often heavily inebriated) tourists at night.
4. The Southern Ridges
Particularly experienced runners are recommended to try the Southern Ridges Trail. Winding up and down Singapore's hilliest terrain, the Ridges will reward determined runners with great views and an excellent workout.
Type of Distance: Long - 10km
Starting Point: Buona Vista, off Vigilante Drive
Route: Follow the road through Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Kent Ridge Park before ending in West Coast Park.
Terrain: Hills, Partial jungle
Best Time to Run: Late Morning, for maximum visibility
Tips: Bring your own drinks. While there are beverage kiosks along the trail, they charge absurd prices.
5. Kranji Heritage Trail
For those seeking an authentic dose of Singapore's history, the Kranji Heritage Trail should top your list. Kranji is a relatively new running trail that connects 14 famous countryside historical sites, including the ruins of a British-era army barracks and numerous farmsteads.
Type of Distance: Long - 8km
Starting Point: Kranji War Memorial
Route: From the Kranji War Memorial, head north to Kranji Road. Follow it and pass Kranji way and follow linearly down to Neo Tiew Road. At Neo Tiew road, you may visit the Bollywood Veggies and other farms.
Terrain: Mild hills
Traffic: Low (Mainly heavy vehicles)
Best Time to Run: Any daytime
Tips: Bring cash or an iron will. Farmers aggressively hawk fresh bananas to tourists and by the time you're done, you'll want to buy them.
6. Dempsey Hill Botanical Garden Trail
If you're looking for a trail with both difficult challenges and superb sights, look no further than the Dempsey Hill Botanical Gardens trail. From an authentic Singaporean hamlet to the historic Dempsey Road parade square, Dempsey Hill is your best bet for a taste of Singapore's culture during your workout.
Type of Distance: Long - 14km
Starting Point: Dempsey Road Clubhouse, Tanglin Village
Route: Beginning at the parade square, head left to enter the Botanic Gardens. Jog along the trail there until you exit at Raintree Drive. From there, head right toward Holland road, eventually turning left again toward Dempsey Road and Tanglin Village.
Terrain: Mild hills
Best Time to Run: Early afternoon
Tips: Take your time and don't be afraid to stop and look at the unique fauna found all over the Botanical Gardens.
7. Punggol Waterway Park Trail
For a real taste of Singapore's concerted conservation efforts, take a look at Punggol Park. With numerous species of rare trees carefully grouped together for both protection and aesthetic beauty, Punggol Waterway Park is a great destination for any runner with a naturist's heart.
Type of Distance: Long - 7 to 8.4km
Starting Point: Punggol Info Center ("My Waterway @ Punggol")
Route: First, consider whether you plan on taking the 1km trail due West to Sungei Punggol. If so, cross Horseshoe Bridge to do so. Afterwards, or if you elect to skip Sungei Punggol, travel north from your starting destination until you reach Sam Kee Road. Follow the trail alongside it (the road itself stops about a kilometre in)–you'll know you're on the right track when it crosses Punggol Road. Then, continue to follow the trail due east until hitting the waterway and Promenade.
Terrain: Largely flat
Traffic: Medium, with many bicycles
Best Time to Run: Early morning, before the humidity sets in
Tips: Run just off the side of the paved road. It's just as easy and avoids the possibility of colliding with a speeding bicycle.
If you wish to train for a half marathon, you can go for the North Eastern Riverine Loop (26km) which will goes around the estates of Buangkok, Punggol, Hougang and Sengkang. The loop will link up Punggol park connector (6.1km), Buangkok park connector (2.4km), Buangkok park connector (2.4km), Serangoon park connector (2.3km), Punggol Waterway (8.4km both ways), Sungei Serangoon park connector (2.1km), Punggol Promenade (4.9km), Sengkang Riverside Park, Punggol Park, and Punggol Point Park. This nature loop will reward runners with fantastic panoramic views of the coastline of northeast Singapore.
That's it for our list, but certainly not for Singapore. Do you know any more trails with breathtaking sights, exhilarating climbs, or gruelling last legs? Please let us know; we're always eager to hear our readers' trails and stories. Until then, good running and enjoy Singapore!
*The distance of each trail is provided as an estimate based on information collected.