How To Spend One Day Hiking and Cycling In Singapore - Map Included

Singapore Cities Travel Maps Cycling Hikes | 6 mins read | Diana Neculai

How To Spend One Day Hiking and Cycling In Singapore - Map Included
The city is what made Singapore famous, but there are a lot of other beautiful things to do for physically active people that want to take exploration further.

This day is for physically active people who enjoy long walks and cycling. This is also for nature lovers that want to explore something different in Singapore than the city. The are numerous cycling routes, and hiking paths in Singapore, but some of them are more accessible or more impressive than others.

Hiking and Cycling Map: Central Water Catchment, East Coast Park, Singapore
Hiking and Cycling Map: Central Water Catchment, East Coast Park, Singapore

For passionate hikers: the hikes in Singapore are more towards nature walks and trekking than hiking. There are some dirt trails, but a large part of the trails is paved. The elevation gain is also minimal, and you will mostly gain elevation by going up some stairs. You don’t need hiking boots, or hiking poles.

Central Water Catchment

Although the Central Water Catchment is a popular attraction in Singapore, there are no crowds here. Few travellers venture away from the city because most come here for 2-3 days.

We entered the forest at the Windsor Nature Park, and took a paved path towards the TreeTop Walk tower. We’ve seen few animals on our way like giant ants, monitor lizards, and squirrels.

Once we reached the tower where the TreeTop Walk starts, tens of monkeys greeted us as we started walking on the suspended bridges. The bridges are well built and stable, we didn’t feel unsafe or unease by the heights, although I have some mild height vertigo.

The trail afterwards follows some stairs down towards South MacRitchie Reservoir. Here you will pass by a golf course, then the path will take you along the shore of the water reservoir with great views until we chose exit the park at the end of the Lornie trail.

Trail Alternatives

There are multiple paths in the Central Water Catchment, but there are only 2 different options that we might have considered. First of all it’s good to mention that the trail that we did had 7km (4.3 miles), and it took us 2 hours and 30 minutes.

  • If you enjoy the Central Water Catchment park you can continue the trail along the South MacRitchie Reservoir, on the MacRitchie Nature Trail which will take you back from where we started at Windsor Nature Park. I believe this trail is also beautiful, but our explorative souls made us want to jump into a different experience in order to discover more about Singapore.
  • After the TreeTop Walk mentioned above, you can continue on a different trail called Rifle Range Link which will take you straight into the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

If you’re still in for some walking and nature exploration you can continue to the close-by Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. We were a bit hungry so we had to skip this and go to the Rail Mall.

The Rail Mall

The Rail Mall is a strip mall with a design that stands out from the rest on Singapore. We thought this was going to be a nice place to have lunch after the long walk we did in the Central Water Catchment, but we’ve been a bit disappointed. The place itself was nice, but most restaurants and shops were closed, or serving only drinks. Maybe the timing wasn’t right, or maybe the business is not doing well since there aren’t too many tourists here. Anyway, we don’t necessarily recommend this place unless you have a lot of time in Singapore.

The Rail Corridor

The Rail Corridor is a 24km trail, that starts even more to the North than the Rail Mall. It seems like a great place for long distance walks, and even better for cycling. There are multiple access points to the trail, but you should only go during the day when the weather is good.

Below is the map with the Southern part of the Rail Corridor. The access point closest to the Rail Mall is the Upper Bukit Timah Truss Bridge. If you plan to cycle or walk any part of the Rail Corridor we recommend you to check out the official guidelines. The official website has up-to-date accurate information that you can rely on better than any travel blog.

For cycling enthusiast, you have to rent a bicycle in advance from a bike shop. There are plenty of bike rental shops in Singapore. We were looking more for the hop-on hop-off bicycle rental that we could’ve picked up from our location, and then drop-off later on the route. Since this was not possible we preferred to go to the East Coast for cycling.

We would have liked to walk at least for 3-4km on the Rail Corridor, including the Green Corridor, but while we’ve been at the access point from the Rail Mall we’ve seen nobody on the trail. While we do consider Singapore safe, we would have liked to not be alone on a trail like this. Bear in mind that between the access points on the map above, there are no other exits from the trail.

Cycling East Coast Park

From the Rail Mall we took a Grab (local version of Uber), and went to the East Coast Park, further away from the center so that we can ride a bike back to the city center. First thing first, when we got there, before cycling, we went straight to the beach and dipped our feet in the water. It was extremely refreshing and pleasant.

We intentionally went to the area of the East Coast Park where there was a bike shop, but that is not necessary. There are public bike stations everywhere and you can hop-on on a bike and hop-ff a different bike station. You just have to install an app, get a bike and then drop it at another station. The stations are quite frequent and we could see them in the app. There were 2 different app services offering bikes, we just picked the one which seemed to have better bikes at the station in front of us. If you are wondering what was the app name, we would recommend you (if you have internet) to just go there, see the bikes, get the app, and start riding.

We cycled all the way to the Gardens by the Bay, crossing the Marina Bay on the Marina Barrage bridge and Dam. We made this ride during the sunset, which offered us spectacular views, but the light was not good for photos.

Itinerary Variations

You can spend your day as described in this posts, but you can also adapt it to your own personal preferences. Here are some of our suggestions:

If you wish to skip cycling, but still be physically active:

  • Start at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park instead of Windsor Nature Park. This will add more nature walking with beautiful scenery.
  • Do a loop in the Central Water Catchment and skip the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Rail Mall and Rail Corridor.
  • Cut strait through the Central Water Catchment and continue the trail in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
  • From the Rail Mall continue on the Rail Corridor for as long as you like.

If you want to add more cycling to your day instead of hiking:

  • Cycle the entire Rail Corridor or at least part of it. Find a bike rental shop to rent a bicycle for the entire day and have it transported at the start of the Rail Corridor.

We write to help you create your own Singapore itinerary, and to discover off the beaten path attractions. Checkout out other articles that we have about this spectacular country:

Singapore is the gem of South East Asia, a marvel of engineering with multicultural background. A must-see country for every traveler.

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