SingaporeMotherhood | Family Fun

June 2020

13 Kid-friendly Nature Trails for Easy Hiking in Singapore

Being cooped up all day long indoors is not the best state for growing minds and bodies to be in. The solution? Bring your kids hiking. Enjoy being immersed in nature (and its benefits), and nurture your child’s natural curiosity along these trails — right here in Singapore.

Along your walks, get the kids to observe the variety of wildlife we have in Singapore, from squirrels to toads, from egrets to wild fowl. There’s lots for a curious child to be inspired, and entertained by. Remember to pack lots of water, some snacks, insect repellent (see the best ones for kids here), hats or caps, sunglasses if necessary, your masks, and a whole kit bag of gung-ho readiness for fun!

1. Bishan Ang – Mo Kio Park

Definitely kid-friendly, both Bishan Parks 1 and 2 (separated by Marymount Road) have playgrounds, eateries, and a winding river that kids can cross using stepping stones. Singapore’s first inclusive playground at the River Plains section (Park 2) features a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and a wheelchair swing. Park 1 boasts a water playground which operates from Thursdays to Sundays from 8 – 11am and 4 – 8 pm. There are toilets close by for convenient washing up and changing after all that liquid fun. Web

Closest MRT: Bishan

2. Coney Island Park

Coney Island Park houses a wide range of habitats, from coastal forests and grasslands to mangroves and casuarina woodlands. This is a great hiking option if you want to expose your kids to a variety of fauna and flora. Some of the plants and animals at the park are critically endangered, and even presumed nationally extinct in the wild. Task the kids to try and spot one of the 80 species of birds that live here. You can even make a game out of it! Some of the trails are rugged at parts and may be unsuitable for younger children. However, if your kids are older or very active and keen on roughing it – or just up for an adventure – this is the hike to do! Web

Closest MRT: Punggol

3. Cyclist Park at East Cost Park

Opened in 2019, Cyclist Park at East Coast Park Area D is a haven for biking enthusiasts. It has a bike retail shop, a self-service bike repair station, and hosts cycling-related workshops. There is even a 280m-long learner circuit, designed for beginner cyclists to train their balance and stamina. If your little ones enjoy cycling, or are learning to, this is a great place to take them to. There is also a nature play garden, with logs, boulders and a climbing wall for post-cycling fun and exercise! Do note though that there is no bike rental available here. The closest East Coast Park bike rental service is at Raintree Cove at Area C (opposite Marine Parade). The next closest bike rental shop is at Lagoon Food Centre, at Area E (opposite the Bedok Flyover). Web

Closest MRT: Bedok, but it’s still quite a hike from the station. We’d suggest driving down (D3 Carpark), taking a taxi or a bus (service 401), or if you and the kids are up for it, cycling here via the Siglap park connector.

(See also: A Mega List of Reusable Face Masks for Kids and Adults)

4. Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park, an iconic hilltop landmark, is especially rich in history AND it’s fun for kids too. After extensive refurbishment it now has manicured gardens, wading pools (look for the forbidden springs), cafes, footpaths, and even escalators so getting to the top is never hard. Plus, with the newly opened Jubilee playground — with slides built into the sloped hills, swings, logs to climb, and more (at the foot of the hill next to the MRT station) kids can have ample fun before or after taking in the rich heritage around you. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some fauna out and about – such as the jungle fowl (looks a lot like a rooster) which, surprisingly, can fly! Web

Closest MRT: Fort Canning (Exit B), Clarke Quay (Exit E) or Dhoby Ghaut (Exit B)

5. Hindhede Nature Park

If you’re looking for a day of leisurely hiking with the family, head to Hindhede Nature Park. Located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, it has easy trails and well-defined footpaths which are perfect for young children. Beautifully scenic, you might get to spot creatures like the banded woodpecker, the clouded monitor lizard, and the plantain squirrel! Remind young ones to keep a lookout for the wildlife as you walk along – the rich diversity of flora and fauna make this a great outdoor classroom. The gentle inclines, playgrounds with baby swings, trampolines, and even a zip-line make this a perfect place for a fun family day out. The star of the show though remains the picturesque Hindhede Quarry, which is located at the end of the park. Web

Closest MRT: Beauty World

6. Kranji Marshes

At the Kranji Marshes, you enter the home of 170 species of birds, 54 types of butterflies, and 33 different kinds of dragonflies! It will definitely pay to keep your eyes peeled because this nature reserve is the perfect place take the kids hiking to observe, appreciate and learn about our island’s wildlife! Kranji Marshes is Singapore’s largest freshwater farmland, with a range of natural and green habitats. If you’re up for it, and if your kids aren’t afraid of heights, don’t miss out on the ultimate bird’s eye view of the grounds from the top of the Raptor Tower. Do note – not the entire park is open to public but there are still many places within it to go bird-watching with your kids. Web

Closest MRT: Kranji

Image: Singapore Botanic Gardens

7. Learning Forest at the Botanic Gardens

Located within Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Learning Forest is segmented into different areas like the bamboo garden, an arboretum of wild fruit trees, and wetland ecosystems. Let your curious little ones explore, discover and learn through nature here. It’s an ‘educational’ hike, with lots of clearly-marked paths and trails that are easy to follow, so you can let the kids wander away from you — within eyesight of course — safely. The space is also pram-friendly, and very walkable. Web

Closest MRT: Botanic Gardens

8. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park

A beautiful place to go for a walk or run with the kids. This looks out onto Lower Seletar Reservoir and you can take in the calm and peaceful azure waters as you stroll along with your loved ones. There are also many things to do if your legs get tired: walk out on the fishing jetty, rent a kayak from the People’s Association Water Venture outlet, or even splash about with your kids at the water park — an excellent way to cool down after a sweaty hike! Web

Closest MRT: Khatib

9. MacRitchie Reservoir Park

MacRitchie (as it is often shortened to) is a favourite that cannot be overlooked. Singapore’s oldest reservoir, this lush, green oasis has trails for every kind of hiker to try. You will see lots of fish, turtles, and monkeys along the way — remember not to feed them! The boardwalk by the reservoir is magically scenic and serene, and a favourite for families living in the area. If the kids are ready for more hiking, try the tree top walk which will bring you through the different stages of a mature secondary forest, and let you cross a suspended bridge high up above the tree canopy! Web

Closest MRT: Caldecott

10. Rowers Bay Park

Rower’s Bay Park at Lower Seletar Reservoir is named for the reservoir’s popularity with kayaking and dragon-boating enthusiasts. It also forms the first phase of the planned 150km Round Island Route (RIR), which will connect parks around Singapore, soon allowing you to cycle around the entire island! Walk along the boardwalk for amazing waterside views and catch a stunning sunrise or sunset. This park is cycling friendly, so if you have bikes, bring them along. There’s also a DIY bicycle repair station. Remind kids to look out for the grey heron and the copper-cheeked frog, which make their home in the surrounding wetlands. Web

Closest MRT: Khatib

11. Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges is a popular, pram-friendly hiking trail, with 10km of green, open spaces with extensive connections to three parks: Mount Faber, Hortpark, and Labrador nature reserve. Many bird watchers frequent the area – and if you are lucky, you might spot some rare breeds too! This is definitely one of the best places to enjoy panoramic views of our city-state, and is an easy enough hike that anyone can do it. Almost all of the main trail is paved, and most of it is lit up at night, making it look even more spectacular. By the way, the sunset from the bridges and other viewpoints are stunning! Web

Closest MRT: Kent Ridge (exit B), HarbourFront MRT (Exit D)

(See also: The Best Insect and Mosquito Repellents for Babies and Children in Singapore)

12. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve extension

This new extension sits between the original Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Kranji Reservoir Park. While the original Sungei Buloh has gravel paths and wooden bird watching huts, the new extension is much more kid-friendly. There are many little spots around the extension that give families with young children things to do, while also exposing them to nature and wildlife. You can pick between trails, mid-canopy walks, coastal boardwalks or even a ‘mud experience’ (dedicated area to get up close with creatures living in the mud!), just to name a few. Little ones can have fun on a hiking trail of their own — the junior adventure trail, where they can experience what it’s like to be a crab or a mudskipper living in the mangroves! Web

Closest MRT: Kranji MRT

13. Thomson Nature Park

Newly opened in 2019, this 50-hectare park is unique for its rich cultural heritage as it was the site of a former Hainan Village. It is also home to some critically endangered species, such as the Raffles’ Banded Lungur! Ask them to keep their eyes peeled for for one of these rare monkeys! Explore the five trails which have been specially curated to offer insights into the ways of life during kampung days — something interesting that you can expose your kids to! The Stream and Ferns Trail also allows you to discover the freshwater habitat in the park, where you can introduce your little ones to different ferns and aquatic animals. Web

Closest MRT: Yio Chu Kang

(See also: 15 Fun Nature Activities for Children in Singapore)


Go Hiking with the Kids soon!

With these kid-friendly hiking options in Singapore, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to spend the weekend being a couch potato. Grab your family and head out for a fun-filled day to explore one of these parks and trails!

Header image: Saiful Mulia from Pixabay
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13 Kid-friendly Nature Trails for Easy Hiking in Singapore