Singapore’s most scenic running trails
If the only exercise you’ve been doing the past month is running away from your problems, it’s high time you got out of the couch and laced up your running shoes. But no, don't head to that crowded gym down the street and torture yourself on a boring old dreadmill.
For a city known more for high rise skyscrapers than picturesque scenery, it’s amazing how much of the latter you can find on some of our parks and trails. Beat the monotony with any of these 8 waterfront routes that will leave you catching your breath in more ways than one.
1. Keppel Bay - Labrador Park
Bringing you up close with both the lifestyles of Singapore’s mega-rich and our colonial past is a route extending along Keppel Bay and Labrador Park Nature Reserve.
Conveniently located only 400m away from Labrador Park MRT station, kick off your run with an eclectic mix of nature and history at Labrador Park. Relics like cannons from WWII and a symbolic replica of the Dragon’s Teeth Gate that used to stand at the gateway to Keppel Harbour dot the coastline, with Labrador Jetty located at the western end of the park.
Continuing down the trail, you’ll hit Bukit Chermin Boardwalk - or Mirror Hill in Malay - which owes its name to the surrounding crystal clear waters. Bask in the full view of luxurious apartment complexes like Reflections By The Bay and the yachts floating along Keppel Bay as you set down your life goals and dream homes. And hope your motivation lasts beyond the run.
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Distance: 5 km (6 km from Labrador Park MRT to Harbourfront MRT)
How to get there: Access the trail from Labrador Park MRT Station either via Labrador Villa Road or Berlayer Creek Boardwalk. Alternatively, you can start from Harbourfront MRT Station and down Keppel Bay Drive to start your run from Keppel Club Bridge
2. Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
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One of the largest parks in Central Singapore stretching over 62 hectares, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is more than just a scenic running spot. After a joint redevelopment by both PUB and NParks from 2009 to 2012, the park was transformed from a canal into a floodplain, increasing its capacity to hold water and making the place considerably prettier.
With its staggering size, there are no lack of trails within the park, with the Pond Gardens track and the River Plains track both popular among visitors. And with a total of 8 bridges along the 3.2 km river, there’s no shortage of ways to change up your running route each time you come.
Distance: 3 km (Pond Gardens), 3.3 km (River Plains)
How to get there: Bus 13, 52, 54 or 88 from opposite Bishan MRT Station
3. Yishun Pond Park
Yishun may have received a pretty bad rep over the course of the last year, but there are actually plenty of wonderful sights in and around the northern town.
A 10-minute walk away from Yishun MRT Station and just beside Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, the 1 km long loop offers a variety of trees, shrubs, marshland plants and of course a great view of the water promenade as you take a relaxing jog.
For those looking to take a breather after their workout, climb the whale/taugeh-shaped spiral tower for a stunning panoramic view of the pond and the adjacent greenery. Because nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment like staring off into the distance after a tiring run. Even if it’s only 1 km.
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Distance: Combine the 1 km loop around Yishun Pond Park with the nearby Yishun Park’s 2.6 km trail to extend your running route
How to get there: 850m/10 mins walk from Yishun MRT Station.
4. Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
If you’re looking for a run in absolute tranquility, Upper Seletar Reservoir Park offers just that. Set against a backdrop that feels out of this world, the park is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life - the only building in plain sight is the iconic Rocket Tower.
Encompassing 15 hectares of lush greenery, there is plenty of wildlife in the park. In fact it might probably be too much wildlife for some, with worryingly large numbers of long-tailed macaques (a species of monkeys) prowling around. Thankfully, we only saw them along the roads, with none coming close to the waterfront running route.
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The park’s ulu-ness is its main draw, but those driving in can take comfort in the fact that there are toilet facilities located at pavilions around the park so you can freshen up before heading home. For the rest, take in the tranquility and serenity of the park as you contemplate if you should just call an Uber home.
Distance: 3 km
How to get there: Bus 138 to SCDF Nee Soon Camp before a 1.4 km walk into the reservoir park
5. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
Lower Seletar Reservoir is another scenic running route located in Yishun. A local hub for watersports, there’s a People's Association Water Venture outlet that provides kayak rentals if you’re looking for a different kind of aerobic exercise.
Fishing enthusiasts will take delight in the park’s beautifully structured fishing jetty, but they’re not the only ones. Apart from being a prime paktor spot, joggers can also incorporate the jetty into their runs, with the pathways spacious and the scenery majestic.
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There is even a water play area, complete with sprinklers, making the park an ideal spot for family fun - which is always a sight worth catching on an evening jog.
Distance: 1.5 km (Loop)
How to get there: Short walk from Khatib MRT Station
6. Punggol Waterway Park
Connected to Coney Island, Punggol Waterway Park is a fantastic waterside running spot on its own, paying homage to its roots as a fishing village.
From kids waddling about in its water play areas to coconut trees lining up between water and sand, parts of the 12.25 hectare Punggol Waterway feel more like a family resort than a suburban park. And with several pretty bridges linking the two banks throughout the park - from Kelong Bridge to Adventure Bridge - let’s just say you’ll have a hard time getting over this wonderful running trail.
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Distance: Approx. 5 km
How to get there: Short walk from Punggol MRT Station
7. Sengkang Riverside Park
A 21 hectare park packed full of undulating hills, exotic fruit trees and constructed wetlands, Sengkang Riverside Park isn’t your usual neighbourhood park.
Split into two parts thanks to Sungei Punggol running through it, the eastern and western sections of the park are linked by Floating Island, Singapore’s largest man-made wetland. Doubling as a wildlife habitat for birds and dragonflies, a run down the boardwalk presents a refreshing waterfront view.
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From benches in the mould of sliced oranges to a mangosteen shaped shelter, the centre of the boardwalk is great for a photo shoot or just chilling in general. But if you prefer real fruits instead, take a jog down their unique Fruit Tree Trail located at the park’s east which features 16 different tropical fruit trees, including mulberry, chiku and cashew plants.
Distance: 3.3 km
How to get there: The western segment is within walking distance of SW3 Kupang LRT Station while the eastern end is nearer to SW2 Farmway LRT Station. The park also has a carpark of its own.
8. Woodlands Waterfront Park
Located at the northernmost tip of Singapore, I felt so close to Malaysia I had to check if any data-roaming charges were incurred during my run.
Jokes aside, Woodlands Waterfront Park was officially opened in 2001 and is home to possibly Singapore’s longest recreational jetty. The 400m long ex-naval wharf offers stunning waterside views of the Straits of Johor and the Causeway.
If you have worked up an appetite, there’s a even a restaurant located in the middle of the jetty called Rasa Istimewa Woodlands Waterfront Restaurant offering seafood with a scenic dining experience.
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The jetty can get crowded during the weekends, with fishing aficionados and young families coming in droves to this scenic spot. But with the gentle waves, calming sea breeze and clear open sky, this is one waterfront route too good to pass up.
Distance: The park consists of a 2 km loop and 400 m long jetty but you can extend your running route to the neighbouring Admiralty Park and its mangroves
How to get there: Bus 856 from Marsiling or Woodlands MRT Stations
Scenic waterfront running spots in Singapore
Whether it’s the crashing of the waves, or the gentle ebbing and flowing of the river, the beauty in running outdoors lies in all that surrounds you.
From an elderly couple strolling past to the young family playing by the river, marvel at how insignificant your problems are and just appreciate the sights and sounds around you. Because when the world is your gym, running is every bit as beneficial for your mind as it is for your health.
Get into shape with the right gear
While running may be the world’s easiest sport to pick up, a good pair of running shoes can go a long way in preventing injury and ensuring a more comfortable run - with traction, stability and cushion amongst the things most runners will look for. But even then, they don’t always have to be chunky, ugly and a complete fashion disaster.
From ultra-light racers to the most durable trainers, Royal Sporting House can meet your every need with a wide selection of footwear. Stocking shoes from top brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Asics, Royal Sporting House has got you covered no matter which camp you support.
In fact, I wore a different pair of shoes for each of these 8 running trails - with 8 different brands and colourways but all carried at sportswear retailer.
When it comes to calorie-busting workouts, there’s nothing quite like running. After all, you can do it anywhere - from the treadmill, to the track, on the roads, on nature trails and beyond. But behind every individual who runs is their own special story.
Royal Sporting House wants to hear what motivates you to run. Share why you run on Instagram with the hashtag #RSHRun from now till 31 May 2017 and stand to win a pair of running shoes of your choice from Royal Sporting House.
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