Singapore, often referred to as the “Garden City,” offers a unique blend of urban modernity and verdant nature. Despite its cosmopolitan nature, Singapore boasts numerous reservoir hiking trails that are sure to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. For martial arts and fitness enthusiasts, incorporating outdoor activities like hiking into your routine can complement your training regime, offering numerous health and mental benefits. Here’s why you should lace up your hiking boots and explore Singapore’s captivating reservoir trails.
Benefits Of Hiking
- Full-Body Workout: Hiking isn’t just about the legs. Depending on the terrain, hiking can challenge various muscles, from your glutes and quads to your core and even your upper body, especially if the trails have elevation changes.
- Mental Well-being: Studies have shown that hiking, especially in nature, can reduce mental fatigue and stress. Engaging in physical activity in a natural setting can promote a positive mood and decrease anxiety levels.
- Cardiovascular Health: As a form of aerobic exercise, hiking can enhance cardiovascular health, improving blood circulation and strengthening the heart.
- Improved Balance and Flexibility: Navigating through uneven terrains can help improve one’s balance and flexibility.
- Connection with Nature: In our digital age, taking a break and immersing oneself in nature helps us connect with our roots. It provides a break from screen time and the hustle and bustle of city life.
Benefits Of Hiking In Nature
Apart from the physical health benefits, hiking in nature, like reservoir trails, offers added advantages:
- Enhanced Creativity: Natural settings can stimulate the mind, increasing creativity and problem-solving skills. The serene landscapes and sounds of nature help clear the mind, making way for innovative thoughts.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Nature trails provide an environment conducive to mindfulness and meditation. The rhythmic pattern of hiking can be a form of moving meditation, helping you remain present.
- Vitamin D Boost: Most reservoir trails are peppered with sunny spots. This sun exposure aids in the production of Vitamin D, essential for bone health and immune system function.
- Social Bonding: Hiking in groups can foster better relationships. Sharing the beauty of nature, the challenges, and the victories of a trail can bring people closer.
Top Reservoir Hiking Trails in Singapore
Now that you’re all hyped about what you can get out of hiking, let’s dive into where you can reap these hiking benefits right here in sunny Singapore!
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
The granddaddy of all reservoirs in Singapore, MacRitchie offers a range of hiking opportunities from short walks to more challenging trails. The Treetop Walk suspension bridge offers a panoramic view of the forest canopy, a treat for all nature enthusiasts. As one of the most popular hiking spots in Singapore, MacRitchie Reservoir Park is more than just a reservoir. It’s a testament to Singapore’s rich biodiversity. As you hike, you may come across long-tailed macaque monkeys, squirrels, and monitor lizards. While the Treetop Walk is a highlight, there are also canoeing and kayaking opportunities. The park offers a variety of trails of different lengths and difficulties, catering to both beginners and seasoned hikers.
Lower Peirce Reservoir
Nestled amidst the secondary forest, this trail offers a serene escape from urban life. With its boardwalk skirting the water’s edge, you’re treated to sights of calm waters juxtaposed against lush greenery.
Established in the late 19th century, this is one of Singapore’s oldest reservoirs. The boardwalk, with interpretative signages, provides information about the mature secondary forest and its inhabitants. This reservoir is a sanctuary for birdwatchers. Species such as the Stork-billed Kingfisher and the Straw-headed Bulbul can be spotted if you’re patient and observant.
Bedok Reservoir Park
This reservoir, surrounded by a beautifully maintained park, is a favorite among locals. Apart from hiking, the park offers a range of water sports activities. Bedok Reservoir was once a sand quarry, which was transformed into a reservoir to meet Singapore’s water demand. The transformation story itself is an ode to Singapore’s adaptability and foresight. Beyond hiking, Bedok Reservoir Park often plays host to community events, dragon boat races, and water sports activities, making it a bustling hub on weekends.
Upper Seletar Reservoir
One of the lesser-known attractions, Upper Seletar Reservoir is a favorite among stargazers and those hoping to catch a meteor shower or a clear view of the planets. The iconic rocket-shaped tower is not only a nostalgic landmark but also offers panoramic views of the reservoir and its surroundings.
An angler’s paradise, Pandan Reservoir is Singapore’s largest and longest reservoir and is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. Remember to fish at designated areas and release your catch! Apart from hiking, its 6km jogging path is popular among joggers and evening walkers, offering views of the serene waters against the backdrop of factories – a blend of nature and industry.
While Singapore is compact, it is brimming with nature spots that sometimes go unnoticed, overshadowed by the more popular destinations. Delving into these hidden reservoirs can offer a completely different and more intimate experience. Here are some lesser-known reservoirs in Singapore perfect for hiking:
Located in the western part of Singapore, Poyan Reservoir is one of the lesser-explored reservoirs, making it an ideal spot for those seeking tranquillity and solitude. Originally designed to support the needs of the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) live firing area in the Poyan region, this reservoir has a unique backstory. Today, while it still lies within the SAF’s training grounds, its serene surroundings tell a different story altogether. The remote nature of Poyan Reservoir means that its natural ecosystem has remained relatively undisturbed. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of otters frolicking in the water or birds like the White-bellied Sea Eagle soaring overhead.
From river to reservoir, Tengah Reservoir was originally the Tengah River, a vital water source that was dammed in the late 1970s to increase Singapore’s freshwater supply. Flanked by the lush greenery of the Western Water Catchment area, Tengah Reservoir is a testament to Singapore’s efforts to blend urban needs with natural preservation. As you walk its perimeter, you’ll notice how it’s enveloped by dense forests, offering a serene environment. Its isolation has made Tengah Reservoir a sanctuary for wildlife. From playful macaques to monitor lizards and myriad bird species, nature enthusiasts can revel in its biodiversity. Do remember to maintain a respectful distance from the animals and avoid feeding them. While not as commercialized as its counterparts, Tengah Reservoir offers a serene environment for kayaking and canoeing. Those seeking a tranquil spot for meditation or yoga will find its shores to be ideal.
With plans to develop the Tengah area into Singapore’s first “forest town”, the reservoir and its surroundings might soon witness changes. This makes it all the more essential for nature lovers to visit and cherish its current tranquillity.
Located in the far west of Singapore, Sarimbun is perhaps the least known among Singapore’s reservoirs. The region around Sarimbun holds historical weight, as it was one of the landing sites of the Japanese during the invasion of Singapore in World War II. Due to its obscurity, you’re likely to enjoy an undisturbed hiking experience, making it an ideal spot for bird-watching and meditation.
Keppel Hill Reservoir
Despite being just a stone’s throw away from VivoCity, one of Singapore’s largest malls, Keppel Hill Reservoir remained forgotten for decades until it was “rediscovered” in 2014. The reservoir’s past is intriguing with remnants of a past era including a dilapidated diving board and steps leading into the water. The hike to this reservoir is relatively easy, making it suitable for families and casual hikers.
If you’re training at Evolve Clarke Quay, you may opt for an hour walk or a 15-minute drive after your workout or even before your workout. Since it is located within the downtown area of Singapore, Keppel Hill Reservoir might just be the perfect place for a pre or post-workout relaxing hike.
Located in the northern region of Singapore, Kranji Reservoir is a hub of avian activity. From migratory birds to local species, this is a bird-watching haven. The reservoir is one of the prime spots to catch breathtaking sunsets in Singapore, with its open horizon offering an unobstructed view. The Kranji War Memorial, a significant historical site, is located nearby and can be incorporated into your hike.
Located near Lim Chu Kang and the SAFTI Live Firing Area, Murai Reservoir is as secluded as it gets in Singapore. Its remote location means you might encounter more wildlife here than at other reservoirs. Due to its proximity to the firing area, it’s essential to ensure there’s no ongoing military exercise when planning a hike.
Each of these lesser-known reservoirs offers a unique slice of Singapore’s natural and historical heritage. These destinations serve as a reminder that even in an urbanized city-state like Singapore, pockets of nature’s serenity await exploration. As always, when visiting these reservoirs, it’s crucial to adhere to park guidelines, respect the wildlife, and leave no trace to preserve these spaces for future generations.
Singapore’s reservoirs offer more than just water storage. They are intricately linked to the nation’s history, culture, and commitment to sustainability. As you blend your rigorous martial arts or fitness training with the tranquility and challenge of hiking, you’ll find a balance that enriches both body and mind. So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a newbie looking for a refreshing break, Singapore’s reservoir trails promise a rejuvenating experience. While each reservoir offers a unique experience, they all promise serenity, nature’s beauty, and a respite from urban life. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, a bird watcher, or someone looking for a peaceful nature walk, Singapore’s reservoir trails will never disappoint.
Pair Up Hiking With Martial Arts!
If you’re looking for a perfect pairing to hiking, perhaps you may like to try out martial arts at Evolve MMA. In addition to their highly experienced team of trainers, Evolve MMA offers a wide range of martial art packages with classes taught by World Champions across all major disciplines, including Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Submission Grappling, MMA and more. Our classes cater to all age groups, genders, skills and fitness levels, so even beginners can try it out. So work hard and play hard – all at Evolve MMA. Contact us for a free trial to begin your warrior lifestyle today.
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