Finding the right cycling spots in Singapore can be a tedious affair if you are not familiar with its areas. Being the 3rd most densely populated country – 5.6 million people sharing a wee land space of just 719.1km2 – it’s little wonder that scarcity of space occurs. Yet woven deep within its neatly-planned districts and well-perimetered forests and parks lie some beautiful and scenic cycling paths that you can spend half a Saturday on, by yourself or with your family. These trails are connected by Park Connector Networks spanning throughout the tiny city-state. With these trails alone, you can conquer almost the whole of Singapore!
Togoparts presents these 5 scenic trails:
1) Pasir Ris-Punggol Cycling Trail
A long and cozy trail extends between Pasir Ris, cuts through the industrial farmways and extensive wetlands of Lor Halus and branches off into Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol. It’s a trail that families have spent long, lazy afternoons on slowly pedaling their metal horses and pointing out the nature sights. Its lanes are also wide enough for three cyclists to go abreast, though that is rarely recommended. Cycling through the wetlands brings you the earthen wafts of trees, soil and the soothing splashing melodies of water. Indeed, Lor Halus/Punggol Reservoir area is a scenic stretch that lies beside the water – despite the clumsy clumps of HDB apartments that have sprung up over the last few years. Cycle far enough, and you get to visit Coney Island which lies between this trail and Punggol Jetty. If you are adventurous, getting to Sengkang from Pasir Ris takes you a good three hours. A smoothly-paved trail, and one you can drift lazily through whilst enjoying plenty of trees and water, not to mention restful conversations with friends and family on your bikes.
2) Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
The Bishan-AMK Park spans a wide open field of 62 hectares. It is also one of the largest urban parks in central Singapore. Originally named Bishan Park, it was opened in 1988 and given a makeover in 2012 to the park we know today. Stretching from Bishan Road to Upper Thomon, Bishan-AMK park sports many well-kept lawns and grassy banks. It’s a heaven of park activities – you can bring your loved ones for a slow bike ride on the wide trails, and catch a dozey wink on the generous supply of benches all around the park when your calves get sore. The open air restaurants located inside the Park offer good sources of food and opportunities for family laughter – should you tire of “grazing” your sights on grasslands.
A naturalized river which feeds into Kallang River runs through the park, so you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy water. There’s also a cool little pond with a pebbled frog-hop trail leading up to it – you tread it as though playing hopscotch.
I’ll leave you with this link to find out more on what you can do at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
3) Changi Village – Coastal Park Connector – East Coast Park
Think of it as one great length – starting from the Eastern-most sweet spot that’s Changi Village (home to one of Singapore’s oldest coasts). Have a meal at Changi Village’s giant Hawker Centre before you set off – food is cheap and the view opens up to scenic grassland. Spot aeroplanes flying low preparing to land at nearby Changi Airport. Then take your young ones over the short bridge connecting Changi Village to Changi Beach Park – this 3.3km-long linear park has stretches of pristine white beach dotted with coconut palms, barbeque pits, park benches and shelters. It is also a popular picnic ground for families over weekends. Bike shops lay scattered around – so do shared bikes. I assume you do have your own bikes, but it’s always nice to have backups, right?
Enter Coast Park Connector, where you can enjoy views and glimpses of beaches as you cycle from Changi Beach Park. This 8km-long route along Nicoll Drive Road gives you scenic views – wild vegetation of casuarinas trees and wild grass on one side, and Changi Airport’s aviation runway on the other. So occupy yourself with spotting low-flying planes that appear at first like stars, then growing specks in the sky as they prepare to enter the airport. This will be the longest stretch you have to cycle without civilization save the occasional passing cyclist. The last time it rained there, I holed up with a friend at one of the rare shelters along the way. To be prepared, bring hoodies along. You never know when the skies decide to play their “water-prank”…
Lastly, East Coast Park! It’ll be redundant of me to explain what can be done here. Find out for yourself: here.
4) Tanah Merah Coast Road (TMCR) Cycling Lane
Tanah Merah Coast Road (TMCR) is the one and only road in Singapore to be generously equipped with a dedicated cycling lane. Vehicles are prohibited from coming onto the lane, spelling extra, boosted safety for yours kids’ fear of predatory buses. Spanning 10-km onward, the cycling lane is marked out by a thick bright red line that divides it from the main road. The lane starts out around the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, curves around the coastline and meanders back to Changi Coast Road, around Changi Ferry Terminal again. Be warned: lots of cyclists-enthusiasts hog the lanes, in large packs during the weekend mornings. Do take care to keep your kids close if you decide to bring your family there. After all, there are no raised barriers dividing lane from road, other than the visceral red line.
Read this article for an in-depth appraisal of TMCR Cycling Lane.
5) Pulau Ubin Ketam MTB Trail
Hidden to the North-East of Singapore lies a rural island that has fostered its own quiet way of life, quite differently from the mainland. Enter Pulau Ubin, a 10.19 km2 (3.93 sq mi) island that carries many abandoned granite quarries. The name “Pulau Ubin” is translated from Malay, which means “Granite Island” in short. Aside from quarries, the star attraction to cyclists here is its Ketam MTB trail, a somewhat rough and rocky trail for mountain bikers.
The plan is simple: pack up some sandwiches, equip plenty of water, pay $2 a person to the bumboat uncle at Changi Jetty and he’ll ferry your family across to the outbound island. Once there, gingerly alight and carry your mountain bikes over the boat to shore. Alternatively, there are several bike rental shops should you not want the hassle of bringing extra goods. Be sure to spot the kampong houses as you venture forth the rural trails!
The Ketam MTB trail itself isn’t that technical, so no fear if you’re an amateur! Be warned however, of the rockier spots – you might wish to bypass them if you are not sure of surmounting them. Get ready to coast down certain stretches at higher speed, and take in the adrenaline rush!