Singapore is a city-state known for its modern and urban landscape. However, it also has many nature parks and hidden green spaces that are perfect for trail runners.
These green spaces provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as a chance to reconnect with nature.
In this article, we will highlight all the interesting parks and secret greenery spots in Singapore for trail runners.
Top Nature Parks and Greenery Spots in Singapore
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is one of the most popular green spaces in Singapore for trail runners. It has a variety of trails ranging from beginner to advanced, and the terrain includes both flat stretches and challenging hills. The park also features a treetop walk, which offers a stunning view of the forest canopy.
How to get to MacRitchie Reservoir Park: Take bus 132, 163, 166, or 167 from Ang Mo Kio MRT Station, or take bus 52, 74, 93, 130, 132, 156, 157, 162, 165, 166, 167, 852, or 855 from Bishan MRT Station.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a hilly green space that features a challenging trail for Singapore trail runners. The terrain includes steep inclines and declines, as well as rocky paths. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species like the Singapore freshwater crab.
How to get to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: Take bus 67, 75, 170, 171, 184, 852, or 961 from Beauty World MRT Station.
Labrador Nature Reserve
Labrador Nature Reserve is a hidden gem located on the southern coast of Singapore. The park features a mix of paved and unpaved trails, as well as a scenic coastal walk. Trail runners can enjoy views of the sea and the nearby Sentosa Island.
How to get to Labrador Nature Reserve: Take bus 10, 30, 51, 61, 93, 97, 100, 120, 143, 166, or 188 from Harbourfront MRT Station.
Telok Blangah Hill Park
Telok Blangah Hill Park is a park located on a hill that offers panoramic views of the city. The park has a variety of trails that range from easy to challenging, and it is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the resident long-tailed macaques.
How to get to Telok Blangah Hill Park: Take bus 10, 30, 57, 61, 93, 97, 100, 120, 143, 166, or 188 from Harbourfront MRT Station.
Kranji Marshes is a wetland reserve that offers a unique trail running experience. The park features a boardwalk trail that takes runners through the marshes, where they can observe a variety of birds and other wildlife.
How to get to Kranji Marshes: Take bus 925 or 975 from Kranji MRT Station.
Hidden or Lesser-known Nature Parks and Green Spaces
Jurong Eco-Garden is a hidden gem located in the heart of Jurong. The park features a variety of trails that wind through a lush garden filled with native plants and flowers. Trail runners can also enjoy views of the nearby Chinese and Japanese gardens.
How to get to Jurong Eco-Garden: Take bus 49, 98, or 98M from Lakeside MRT Station.
Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Boardwalk
Located in the northeast of Singapore, Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Boardwalk is a peaceful and serene location for trail runners. The boardwalk is an easy 1.2-kilometer loop that takes runners through the mangrove forest and offers a view of the surrounding sea. It’s an excellent place to unwind after a long day or to watch the sunrise over the water.
How to get to Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Boardwalk: Take the MRT to Pasir Ris Station and transfer to Bus 354. Alight at Pasir Ris Park Car Park E.
Tampines Quarry is a hidden spot located in the eastern part of Singapore. The quarry is filled with crystal clear water and is surrounded by lush greenery. The trail around the quarry is approximately 2.5 kilometers long and is perfect for runners who want a scenic workout.
How to get to Tampines Quarry: Take the MRT to Tampines Station and transfer to Bus 293. Alight at Tampines Quarry.
Thomson Nature Park
Thomson Nature Park is a new addition to Singapore’s green spaces. The park features a mix of paved and unpaved trails that wind through lush greenery and past picturesque streams. With its rolling terrain and wide variety of flora and fauna, Thomson Nature Park offers a challenging and scenic trail running experience.
It’s also worth noting that the park is relatively less crowded than some of the more popular spots, making it an ideal choice for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful run.
How to get to Thomson Nature Park: accessed via the Upper Thomson MRT station (Thomson-East Coast Line). From the station, you can take a short walk to the park’s entrance. Alternatively, you can take bus numbers 163, 167, 169, 855, or 980 and alight at the bus stop opposite Flame Tree Park Condominium along Upper Thomson Road. From there, it’s a 10- to 15-minute walk to the park’s entrance.
Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk
Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk is a hidden gem located in the southwestern part of Singapore. This park features scenic views of the sea and greenery. Runners can explore the many trails in the park and spot a variety of birds, insects, and animals along the way.
The park is also home to the Labrador Secret Tunnels, which are remnants of Singapore’s military history.
How to get to Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk: Take the MRT to Labrador Park Station and walk for 5 minutes to reach the park.
Ann Siang Hill Park
Ann Siang Hill Park is a small, tranquil park nestled in the heart of Chinatown. The park features a winding trail that takes runners up a hill and offers panoramic views of the city. The park is surrounded by heritage shophouses and is a popular spot for photoshoots.
How to get to Ann Siang Hill Park: Take the MRT to Chinatown Station and walk for 10 minutes to reach the park.
Duxton Plain Park
Duxton Plain Park is a unique park located in the central part of Singapore. The park features a green roof that stretches across a carpark, making it an excellent place for runners to escape the urban environment.
The park also features a variety of trees and plants that attract a variety of birds and insects.
How to get to Duxton Plain Park: Take the MRT to Tanjong Pagar Station and walk for 10 minutes to reach the park.
Telok Ayer Park
Telok Ayer Park is a small park located in the central part of Singapore. The park features a paved trail that takes runners through a lush greenery and offers a view of the surrounding skyscrapers. It’s an excellent place to unwind after a long day at work.
How to get to Telok Ayer Park: Take the MRT to Telok Ayer Station and walk for 5 minutes to reach the park.
Telok Ayer Green
Located in the heart of the Central Business District, Telok Ayer Green is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. The park features a well-manicured lawn, shady trees, and a small pond. Trail runners can enjoy a short run along the park’s paved paths while taking in views of the surrounding historic shophouses.
How to get to Telok Ayer Green: The nearest MRT station is Telok Ayer MRT station (Downtown Line, DT18). Take Exit A and walk along Telok Ayer Street until you reach the park.
Woodlands Waterfront Park
Woodlands Waterfront Park is a hidden gem located in the northern part of Singapore. The park features a 1.5-kilometer waterfront promenade that offers stunning views of the Johor Strait. Runners can also explore the park’s many trails and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
How to get to Woodlands Waterfront Park: Take the MRT to Admiralty Station and transfer to Bus 962. Alight at Woodlands Waterfront Park.
Clementi Forest is a hidden gem located in the western part of Singapore. The forest is home to a variety of trails that wind through lush greenery, including the 2.2-kilometer Southern Ridges Loop that offers stunning views of the forest and the city skyline.
Trail runners can expect a challenging workout on the hilly terrain of the Southern Ridges Loop.
How to get to Clementi Forest: The nearest MRT station is Clementi MRT station (East West Line, EW23). Take Exit A and walk to the bus stop opposite Clementi Mall. Take bus service 282 and alight at the first bus stop along Old Holland Road. Walk along Old Holland Road until you reach the forest entrance.
Orchard Central Roof Garden
Located in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district, Orchard Central Roof Garden offers runners a unique trail running experience. The park features a rooftop garden that offers runners a scenic and peaceful trail running experience, with lush greenery and a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline.
How to get to Orchard Central Roof Garden: Take the MRT to Somerset Station and walk towards Orchard Central.
Pearl’s Hill City Park
Pearl’s Hill City Park is a hilly park located in the Chinatown area. It features a variety of trails that wind through lush greenery, including a 1.6-kilometer fitness trail that offers a challenging workout for trail runners. The park also offers stunning views of the city skyline and is a great spot for a post-run picnic.
How to get to Pearl’s Hill City Park: The nearest MRT station is Chinatown MRT station (North East Line, NE4/DT19). Take Exit C and walk along Upper Cross Street until you reach the park.
Located next to the Istana (the official residence of the President of Singapore), Istana Park is a small but picturesque park with a variety of walking paths and scenic spots. Trail runners can enjoy a short run along the park’s paved paths, which wind around a central pond and through manicured gardens.
How to get to Istana Park: The nearest MRT station is Dhoby Ghaut MRT station (North South Line, NS24/NE6/CC1). Take Exit B and walk along Penang Road until you reach the park.
Zhenghua Nature Park
Zhenghua Nature Park is a large park located in the northwestern part of Singapore. It features a variety of trails that wind through lush greenery, including the 3.2-kilometer Dairy Farm Loop that offers a challenging workout for trail runners. The park also offers scenic views of the surrounding forest and is home to a variety of wildlife.
How to get to Zhenghua Nature Park: The nearest MRT station is Hillview MRT station (Downtown Line, DT3). Take Exit A and walk along Hillview Avenue until you reach Dairy Farm Road. Cross the road and continue walking until you reach the park entrance.
Tips for Trail Running in Singapore’s Nature Parks and Green Spaces
When trail running in Singapore’s community parks and green spaces, it’s important to stay safe and be mindful of the environment. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated: Singapore’s weather can be hot and humid, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run.
- Be mindful of wildlife: Singapore’s parks and green spaces are home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, monkeys, and wild boars. Be aware of your surroundings and give wildlife a wide berth.
- Follow park rules and regulations: Each park and green space in Singapore has its own set of rules and regulations that are designed to protect the environment and ensure the safety of all users. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules before heading out on a trail run and follow them accordingly.
- Respect other trail users: Trails in Singapore’s parks and green spaces are often shared by walkers, hikers, and cyclists. Be respectful of other trail users and yield to them when necessary.
- Leave no trace: When trail running in Singapore’s parks and green spaces, it’s important to leave the environment as you found it. This means disposing of trash properly and avoiding damaging plants and wildlife.
Mental Health Benefits in Nature Parks and Reserves
Nature parks and reserves can have a significant positive impact on mental health and well-being. Spending time in green spaces has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improve mood and cognitive function.
This is because exposure to nature helps to reduce the production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
Spending time outdoors can increase the production of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Incorporating regular visits to Singapore’s parks and reserves into your trail running routine can help to maximise these mental health benefits.
Time to Visit The Nature Parks and Reserves
Singapore is full of beautiful parks and green spaces that offer excellent opportunities for trail running. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner, there’s something for everyone. From well-known locations like MacRitchie Reservoir Park to hidden gems like Clementi Forest, there are plenty of trails to explore.
Remember to come prepared, stay hydrated, and be respectful of the environment and other trail users. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy Singapore’s parks and greenery spots to the fullest. So lace up your shoes, grab a water bottle, and hit the trails for a refreshing and rejuvenating running experience!
Are there any fees to enter the parks and green spaces for trail running?
The reserve and most of Singapore’s parks and green spaces are free to enter. However, there may be charges for some specific activities or facilities within the parks, such as rental of BBQ pits or camping sites. It’s best to check the park’s website for any information on fees or charges.
What should I wear for trail running in Singapore's parks and green spaces?
It’s important to wear comfortable and breathable clothing such as a dri-fit and moisture wicking running tee that allows for a full range of motion. Trail running shoes with good traction are also recommended, as the terrain can be uneven. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection.
Is it safe to run alone in the parks and green spaces in Singapore?
While it is generally safe to run alone in Singapore’s parks and green spaces, it’s always best to take precautions. Let someone know your route and expected return time, carry a mobile phone, and be aware of your surroundings. Running in groups is also a great way to increase safety.
Can I bring my dog with me for trail running in the parks and green spaces?
It depends on the park. Some parks, like the MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, allow dogs on designated trails. However, other parks may not allow dogs or have restrictions on where they can go. Check the park’s website for specific dog regulations.
Are there any organised trail running groups or events in Singapore's parks and green spaces?
Yes, there are several organised trail running groups and events in Singapore’s parks and green spaces. Some popular groups include Trailblazers and Running Department, which organize regular trail runs for all levels. Check out the websites and social media pages of these groups for more information.