Walking trails to conquer with your partner.
By Saw Su Hui
Need time away from the concrete jungle? Going for a walk is always a good date idea. You get to fit in some fresh air and exercise, enjoy a scenic backdrop, and you can focus on getting to know one another. Here are some popular walking trails to consider:
The Southern Ridges
Connecting various green spaces together, the Southern Ridges is a 10km-long trail that begins from Mount Faber and ends at Kent Ridge Park, and is ideal for couples who want to go on a leisure, picturesque yet easy walk. Henderson Waves – the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore at 36m above ground and designed to look like undulating waves – is illuminated with pretty LED lights every evening from 7pm to 2am daily, making it a must-visit site for night owls.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
MacRitchie Reservoir Park has trails that are up to 11km-long, which can be challenging for some, but the park also has easier options if you’re not up for a five-hour trek. Expect rich flora and fauna, including native species like the Gaharu tree and the greater racket-tailed drongo, an Asian bird with a distinctive elongated tail. Don’t miss the TreeTop Walk, a 250m suspension bridge that offers gorgeous views of the forest canopy. Do note that MacRitchie can get crowded on Sundays so you may want to plan your visit well ahead of time if the two of you don’t like crowds.
For a walk with a difference, head to Fort Canning and immerse in the park’s rich history. The Ancient History trail touches on 14th century Singapore and brings you to sites like the Keramat, which houses the ancient tomb of the last ruler of pre-colonial Singapore. The Colonial Heritage trail, on the other hand, takes you on a tour of key colonial structures in the park, such as the Fort Wall, an integral part of Fort Canning’s military history; Raffles Terrace, the site of Raffles’ first bungalow; and Gothic Gates, Singapore’s first Christian cemetery. Pro tip: To impress your date, familiarise yourself with the trails and be a guide!
Chestnut Nature Park
At 81 hectares, Chestnut Nature Park is currently Singapore’s largest nature park, and is great for those who want to either hike, mountain bike, or bird watch. In fact, there are separate mountain biking and hiking trails here. Look out for native trees such as the Braided Chestnut and the Singapore Walking-Stick Palm as you explore the park, and keep an eye out for creatures like macaques, monitor lizards and other wildlife. Do note that the park can be a little inaccessible for those who don’t drive as the closest bus stop is two kilometres away by foot.
Changi Point Coastal Walk
The 2.2km-long Changi Coastal Boardwalk is ideal for couples who want a scenic, relaxing stroll. This boardwalk comprises six sections overlooking the coastline: Creek Walk, Beach Walk, Sailing Point Walk, Cliff Walk, Kelong Walk and Sunset Walk, and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete it. Spot the towering Tembusu tree (fun fact: it’s also on your $5 note) along Cliff Walk, and look out for birds like the Pacific swallow and little terns. Catch the sunset, and don’t forget that camera!
Love birds or enjoy an educational trail? Kranji Marshes serves up both. A freshwater marshland in Singapore, Kranji Marshes plays a key part in biodiversity conservation, especially marsh birds. If you’re lucky, you might spot endangered birds such as the purple swamphen and red-wattled lapwing! Free guided walks are held once a month and are strongly recommended as they give you access to areas that are otherwise closed to the public (including some very Instagram-worthy places such as the Reed Crossing and Raptor Tower) due to ecological sensitivity. The park is open daily from 7am to 7pm.
Bukit Batok Nature Park
Built on an abandoned quarry site in 1988, Bukit Batok Nature Park is excellent for a laid-back stroll with your date. There are multiple winding trails to choose from as well as look-out points that reach more than 10 storeys high for impressive views of the quarry and lush greenery of the secondary forest.
Now that you’ve picked your trail, preparation is in order! Here are some things to take along:
- Wear light clothing like shorts and a T-shirt for warm weather and pack a small towel or change of clothes;
- Proper footwear like hiking boots or running shoes is crucial if you picked a challenging trail to ensure you are comfortable and properly attired;
- Trekking poles, to keep you stable on particularly tough terrain;
- Plenty of water to stay hydrated and some light snacks like nuts or a power bar to keep energised;
- Insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other bugs;
- Sunblock, sunglasses and/or a hat are necessary to protect against UV rays
- A fully-charged phone (and power bank) for navigation, photo-taking, as well as to make calls in case of an emergency
Lastly, remember to check the rules of the parks and make sure you follow them. Always stay on the trails and do not wander off course. Before you embark on any trail, take down the contact information of the park ranger or a helpline so that you can seek help if you do get lost.