6 (Free) Hidden Parks In Singapore You Need To Explore
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
22 August 2022
Did you know that Singapore has more than 350 parks and four nature reserves? But if you like solitude, check out these hidden parks that still aren't on most people's radars:
The 3.23 hectare Hampstead Wetlands Park is a hidden rustic sanctuary in the industrial Seletar Aerospace Park area. Although small, the Hampstead Wetlands Park looks like a lush English garden with a pond, boardwalks and a nature trail. It's the perfect environment for plants, birds and other wildlife that inhabit freshwater ecosystems. This green park is a perfect example of how the natural wildlife habitats are cooled naturally to reduce the impact of climate change. Habitat islands provide birds and other wildlife with shelter, nesting spots and resting grounds away from human disturbances and predators, while wetland plants help remove sediments from surface run-off when it rains, thus acting as a natural filter.
Ann Siang Hill is more than just shophouses and a rich history into the lives of Singapore's early immigrants. For a quiet respite, climb up to Ann Siang Hill Park, located at the end of Ann Siang Road, and look out for the many different species of trees - specifically, tamarind, cinnamon, nutmeg and breadfruit trees. 78 Club Street, Singapore 069447
Did you know that there is a mountain bike park in Singapore that meets international standards for mountain biking competitions? Situated on the Western end of Pulau Ubin (a 10-minute ferry ride away from Changi Point Ferry Terminal), the 45 hectare Ketam Mountain Bike Park is the first biking park in Singapore that meets international competition standards, featuring 10km of mountain bike trails. The Park caters to cyclists of different skill levels with Blue Square trails for beginners, Black Diamond trails for middle-skilled cyclists while Double Black Diamond trail is for seasoned mountain bikers. The park is also a great place for non-cyclists, as at its highest point, Ketam offers a bird's-eye view of Pulau Ubin and rarely seen views of Ketam quarry (around which the bike park is built).
One of the best hidden spots to catch beautiful sunsets, Rower's Bay Park is located at Lower Seletar Reservoir. Its name actually stems from the reservoir's popularity with kayaking and dragon-boating enthusiasts. Rower's Bay Park also forms the first phase of the planned 150km Round Island Route (RIR), which will connect parks around Singapore so that you will eventually be able to cycle around the entire island. But for now, enjoy the boardwalk and wetlands filled with exotic plant species to provide a habitat for native wildlife in the area – in particular, look out for dragonflies, the grey heron and copper-cheeked frog.
This 17.3-hectare nature park in Bukit Panjang borders the Central Catchment Reserve as a green buffer, linking the Bukit Panjang Park Connector to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The Park also features a 2.5km jogging and cycling track, and boasts rich wildlife thanks to its important ecological linkage between the nature reserves and forested areas in the West. Visitors can look forward to high biodiversity in the Park, including a diverse species of plants and 37 different bird species (including the Olive-backed Sunbird, Flameback Woodpecker, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Long-tailed Parakeet). Animal lovers can look forward to seeing the Long-tailed macaques, squirrels, monitor lizards and many others too!
On the other side of Zhenghua Nature Park lies the 81 hectare Chestnut Nature Park, Singapore's largest nature park to date and the first nature park in Singapore to have separate mountain biking and hiking trails. What makes it even more cool is the fact that this 81-hectare nature park has been planted up with native tree species such as the Braided Chestnut trees, Singapore Walking-Stick Palms and the Jelutong. These native tree species will allow animals to thrive by improving the ecological connectivity between green spaces so that animals may move around safely. Visitors to Chestnut Nature Park can look forward to a range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking and bird watching.
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