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Lesser-known Walking Trails in Singapore Worth Exploring

by Voices Wellness 02 Aug 2021
Photo: Unsplash

Unwind and destress by enjoying a walk in the great outdoors. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

With staying home being the default mode in light of rising COVID-19 cases, you might find yourself craving for a bit of sunshine and fresh air. Without venturing too far from home, consider taking walks as a respite for both your physical and mental health. In fact, a new study published online in June in NeuroImage showed that exercise can improve the white matter in our brains, potentially bettering our memory and ability to think.

Walking, the simplest form of exercise is known to increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, as well as promote stronger bones and improve balance. If you’re eyeing your next hike into nature, here are some ideas. 

Photo: Nature Society (Singapore) Facebook

Tampines Eco Green

Nestled in the Tampines Heartland, this 36.5-hectare ecological park looks like a wild savannah with its marshlands, secondary forests, and freshwater ponds. What few know is that more than 75 species of birds, 20 species of dragonflies, and 35 species of butterflies can be spotted within the area. Visitors can explore three trails, namely Diversity Trail, Forest Trail, and Marsh Trail—all weave through the secondary forests. Rustic wooden benches line some of the walkways, allowing one to sit and enjoy bird spotting in proximity.

More information here.

Seng Chew Quarry 

Looking to go off the beaten track? Head to Seng Chew Quarry in Bukit Gombak to discover the mining heyday of the Lion City. Located behind a block of HDB flats in the area, this lesser-known quarry features muddy, unmarked trails along a short 50-metre route. First, you’ll ascend a slope, before trudging by a drain, and taking a short trek through the forest. Be sure to wear non-slip shoes with a good grip to prevent slipping. At the end of it, you’ll find an uninterrupted and lush nature-filled quarry—a worthy view to reward the journey.

More information here.

Fort Canning Park

This hilltop landmark might be better known for its historic military sites, including the Fort Gate and Battle Box, but it’s also home to more than four walking trails. Highlights include the Spice Garden, the Javanese-inspiredf Sang Nila Utama Garden, and a photo-worthy spiral staircase (main image). For a more immersive experience, visitors can download the augmented reality trail BALIKSG: The Fort Canning Trail, which revisits the hill back when it was known as Bukit Larangan or Government Hill. Expect a 2.5 km trail, with eight checkpoints throughout the park, including the gardens.

More information here.

Photo: Mothership

Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park

You’ll find this mysterious nature park located just a short 10-minute walk from Bukit Gombak MRT Station, with the entrance marked by two nondescript poles. Visitors will be greeted by manmade stone steps that merge into the vegetation-filled trails, which feature rugged and uneven terrain. Inside, plenty of striking sights await, including a wooden boardwalk framed by torii-like gates, pavilions, and finally, an open hilltop. To prepare for a hike in this dense forest area, be sure to wear long sleeves, pants, and a hat. Meanwhile, trekking poles, at least a litre of water, and insect repellent will help ensure a better experience.

More information here.

Mandai T15 Trail

Also known as the Gangsa Trail, this 7.1-kilometre trail is part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Beginner-friendly but with enough challenge for seasoned hikers, the trail is home to some of the city-state’s most charming flora and fauna, including the macaque, sambar deer, oriental whip snake, and more. Those seeking a photo for the ‘gram can keep an eye out for a “fallen trunk” along the reservoir. Hugely popular with mountain bikers, the track here is shared by both trekkers and cyclists. When in doubt, stay mindful and keep to your left.

More information here.

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