Top 3 Hiking Trails To Check Out in Singapore

FITNESS  |  March 31, 2017
  • For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail
    1 / 10 For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail

    You’ll get… A rugged trail with a breathtaking view.

    The terrain is pretty rocky, and some areas can be quite steep. Take note that you may lose your phone signal at some points of the trail too. MacRitchie has one of the harder and longer trails, but the view you get at the Treetop Walk is worth it! However, the bridge is narrow, so you’ll have to walk in a single file. We took the Terentang trail to the Treetop Walk. There’s a barricade at the junction of the trail, so it does not look accessible, but look out for a small sign at the side of the barricade that indicates the name of the trail.

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  • For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail
    2 / 10 For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail

    Difficulty level: Four out of five stars

    Estimated distance and time: We started our trail at the entrance of Venus Drive and got the Treetop Walk via the Terentang Trail, which is one of the shorter routes. The trail is about 6km, and takes about three hours to and fro.

    Getting there: Head to the Venus Drive entrance by car or taxi to start your trail.

    (Also read: 5 Best Hiking Shoes For Women)

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  • For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail
    3 / 10 For the adventurous: MacRitchie Trail

    Rest stops: There is no toilet point at the Venus Drive entrance, and the only toilet point will be at the ranger station halfway through the hike. There are a few sheltered rest points along the way.

    Points to note: There are many monkeys roaming around and the route is pretty rocky and steep, so we don’t recommend this trail for young children. This trail is not stroller or pet friendly.

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  • For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
    4 / 10 For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

    You’ll get… A family friendly trail with an easily customisable route.

    This newly renovated trail has different routes that are easily customisable to every individual’s needs. We combined both route one and two for our trail. There is even a mountain biking trail available. Your chances of getting lost are low as there are poles at every junction to make sure you’re on the right track. Every route is represented by a colour, and the poles are marked with the respective colours to show you which way to go. Brace yourself for the first part of the trail though, because there is a very steep slope awaiting you!

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  • For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
    5 / 10 For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

    Difficulty level: Three out of five stars

    Estimated distance and time: We used route one, one of the easier routes, to get to the summit, and used route three, the moderate route, to head back down. We took just under two hours.

    Getting there: Beauty World Station is the nearest MRT station to the trail, and you can take a bus from there. It’s best to drive in.

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  • For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
    6 / 10 For those with kids: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

    Rest stops: The only toilet point is at the start of the trail. There are a few sheltered rest points along the way.

    Points to note: We did not encounter any monkeys on this trail. Young children can try out this trail, but it is not stroller or pet-friendly.

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  • For nature lovers: Coney Island
    7 / 10 For nature lovers: Coney Island

    You’ll get… An off-beaten track away from the city.

    Unlike the other two trails, Coney Island has a rather flat terrain, so there aren’t any significant slopes. This is definitely the most untouched out of all the trails, and you can admire nature at its best. The route is quite direct and there are many signs along the way too, so it’s hard to get lost. The area can get hot and humid because it isn’t as dense and sheltered, so lather on your sunblock. Insect repellent is also important because you’ll be very prone to sand fly bites there. If possible, we would suggest avoiding the beach areas altogether.

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  • For nature lovers: Coney Island
    8 / 10 For nature lovers: Coney Island

    Difficulty level: Two out of five stars

    Estimated distance and time: We walked through half the island before turning back and it took about an hour and a half. If you walk from one end to the other end of the island, it is about 2.4km. This does not include the 10-minute walk from Punggol Settlement to the island.

    Getting there: If you’re driving, park at Punggol Settlement and walk to Coney Island via the boardwalk. Enter via the west entrance. It is recommended that you exit at the same gate you entered, because exiting at the east entrance will land you at Pasir Ris (unless that’s where you’re headed).

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  • For nature lovers: Coney Island
    9 / 10 For nature lovers: Coney Island

    Rest stops: Use the toilet at Punggol Settlement as there aren’t any sheltered pavilions like the other two trails, only beach areas. But we don’t recommend you to stay there, because you’ll leave with sand fly bites!

    Points to note: There’s a high chance of getting bitten by sand flie. Pets are allowed on this trail, and it’s a great place to cycle too. We did not have any hostile encounters with monkeys, but be careful. Remember to bring along sufficient water too, because there are no water coolers around.

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  • Dealing with monkeys
    10 / 10 Dealing with monkeys

    You may encounter monkeys when hiking along these trails. The worst thing is to do is panic, so we got Sabrina Jabbar of the Primate Advisory Council at the Jane Goodall Institute Singapore to give advice on what to do in such situations.

    If monkeys approach you… Remain calm and quiet. Do not make sudden movements. Do not make direct eye contact with the monkeys, but pay attention to the alpha male. The alpha male is usually shown submission by the rest of the troop members. Avoid walking in between mothers and babies as they are highly protective of one another.

    Back off slowly; do not turn away and run. If you’re carrying a bag, hug it close to your chest. Do not try to hit the monkeys. Do not shout at them. If you have a small child with you, put him/her on your shoulders. This will increase your perceived size.

    If they start running after you… This is unlikely to happen. However, if they do, do not run, especially with your back turned on them. Find the nearest alternative route. If you have a stick, keep hitting the ground or point it towards the monkey.

    Tips to avoid attention from monkeys…

    • Do not bring food.
    • Do not bring plastic bags.
    • Do not use flash photography.
    • Do not make a lot of noise.
    • Do not wear bright colours, only earthy tones.
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