Explore Singapore with these family-friendly nature routes

4 Family-Friendly Nature Routes Around Singapore for the National Day Weekend

Singapore, got nature meh? Answer: of course! Caught in the flurry of city life, we rarely have pause to admire the beautiful flora and fauna here, and it’s easy to extrapolate our everyday environments to the rest of the island. In anticipation of the National Day long weekend, and just to prove to you that there is so much more to Singapore than the city, we’ve put together a list of family-friendly routes around the country that showcase the best of our parks and heartlands. While a little long to cover on foot in their entirety, these trails are manageable by bicycle or personal mobility device (PMD). But whichever your mode of transport, a little trip through our park connectors can do wonders for your spirit. Read on for some ideas!

Coast-To-Coast Trail

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There’s something healing about the sound of waves and the salty breeze that rides high on the Singaporean coast. For those looking to take your family on a weekend excursion, cross Singapore on the Coast to Coast Trail. The route stretches from the western Jurong Lake Gardens to Coney Island Park in the North East, by way of the Sengkang Riverside Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

The twist: this trail comes with its own mobile application: the Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Mobile App. In augmented reality, the application curates your journey while offering guides on all destinations along the way. This includes checkpoints where display pop-ups offer information about the plants and animals that can be found in the area (such as the 80 species of birds that call Coney Island Park home), and even a treasure hunt — perfect for families with young children.

Length of trail: 36km, can be split up across several visits

Central Urban Loop (Makan Trail)

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Everyone loves food, and what better way to explore Singapore than with nostalgic local delicacies? The Central Urban Loop, better known as the Makan Trail, begins in Toa Payoh and ends in Serangoon, traversing some of Singapore’s most iconic heartland towns and parks, including Punggol Park and Toa Payoh Town Park.

Exploring is hungry work, so it’s just as well that this route passes a few of the country’s most famous hawkers: the Circuit Road Hawker Centre, the Hainanese Village Centre and the Upper Boon Keng Road Market and Hawker Centre. Mushroom minced pork noodles, fried oysters, prata, vegetarian bee hoon and satay are just some among the innumerable treats to try as you go. This trail also links the Eastern Coastal Loop to the North East Riverine Loop, for anyone having too much fun to go home just yet!

Length of trail: 15.6km, manageable on a single trip

North East Riverine Loop

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Did you know? While small and densely developed, Singapore boasts a robust marine ecosystem. Test your observational skills along the less traveled but more peaceful North East Riverine Loop. This trail takes you through the quieter estates of Buangkok, Sengkang and Punggol, and out toward the natural oases that are Punggol Beach, Punggol Promenade and the Lorong Halus Wetland.

Turning through the mud with its long scythe beak looking for crustaceans, look out for the whimbrel, a marine bird commonly found in Singapore’s wetlands and mudflats. Tall, long-legged herons are also often visible on the banks of shallow canals and at the coasts, waiting for fish. Lucky early morning visitors may even get to watch families of playful otters sharing fish as they make their way through our water bodies and out for a hunt.

Length of route: 16km, manageable on a single trip

Western Adventure Loop

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Aptly named, the Western Adventure Loop features something for everyone. The entire trail links 8 parks and may be a little long to cover in a day, so families can choose from a variety of activities available along it, like bird watching at the Bukit Panjang Park Connector, mountain biking at the Dairy Farm Nature Park and an interactive history walk at the Hillview Park Connector.

Length of route: 23km, can be divided across several visits

Tips for PMD riders

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With this much deliberation surrounding the use of PMDs in Singapore, the rules can be confusing. Let’s work through them together.

Where can’t you ride your PMD? These would be the pedestrian-only paths, demarcated with a ‘no-riding’ sign, typically seen at bridge crossings. Even cycling is not allowed here.

PMDs are however allowed on footpaths and shared paths. Take note that while footpaths aren’t labelled, they bear a speed limit of 10km/h. Shared paths are labelled under this name, and also as Cycling Paths or Park Connectors (PCN), and bear a higher speed limit of 25km/h. Shared paths are commonly found in parks across Singapore, and it’s likely you’ll be riding on these most of your journey.

Another important thing to note is that bicycles and PMDs are forbidden for use in Nature Reserves, and at certain other locations along our routes, such as the Coney Island Park Boardwalk and throughout most of Jurong Lake Park. If these places are on your itinerary, it’s best to walk.

Even with this many rules, accidents can happen. Add an extra layer of protection to you, your loved ones and those around you as you explore Singapore, with specialised PMD insurance plans such as ePROTECT personal mobility that cover accidents involving yourself and others, with options for covering damage or theft of your device. Find out more here.

More reasons to love Singapore

When they said ‘Garden City’, they weren’t kidding. Singapore’s beauty lies not least in how seamlessly nature and development have been stitched together, and we can only do these efforts justice by enjoying them to their fullest. With these many new things to see, the country’s small size no longer holds as an excuse for boredom! We wish you and your loved ones all the fun in the world discovering this side of life in Singapore this National Day long weekend.

Information is accurate as at 1 August 2019. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

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