Best scenic running routes in Singapore to keep every runner sated and motivated
The long run
Amid circuit breaker measures, getting up from the couch to attempt an at-home workout might be a struggle. There's no doubt, being confined indoors is tough for anyone, even if you're that ambitious fitness buff on Instagram. Except it doesn't have to come to a crashing halt altogether. A change of scenery can work wonders to lift your spirits and at the same time, your physical stamina. Because technically, we're still lawfully permitted to head outdoors for a quick jog — with social distancing regulations in place of course.
Singapore is home to some of the best running routes in the world. From concrete pavements overlooking the CBD skyline views to trotting along pristine green lands of local parks, we have rounded up our top picks for the best running routes in Singapore with fantastic scenery to gawk at. Who knows, in our current climate, anti-runners might actually start to favour sprinting outside.
Established in 1859, Botanic Gardens is one of the most stunning locations to get your run on. Not only is it rich in history with a collection of heritage spanning over 150 years but it also houses the National Orchid Garden with over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrid orchids on display. Whilst you break a sweat, stop to admire numerous attractions like a swan lake with — you guessed it — elegant swans showing off. And whilst you reach your step count, take a moment to admire the spectacular waterfall of Ginger Garden. Above all, Botanic Gardens is home to numerous extensive running routes. We're talking 74-hectares. Hence, if you're ever in need of some fresh air and blood circulation, head on down to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
East Coast Park
Ask almost every Eastie where their favourite place to run is and their answer will almost always be East Coast Park. A standout hit among locals and tourists alike, this park is all about the distance with its paved flat path. Constructed along the park, its 21km route frontlines stunning beach views and lush greenery along the pavement. After a long strenuous run fest with the beach wind in your hair, satisfy your growing munchies in the restaurants and eateries just around the corner.
Gardens By the Bay
Looking to spice up your running routine with picture-perfect scenery to gawk at? Gardens By the Bay is an obvious choice. This iconic landmark needs no introduction — a must-see attraction among tourists and locals alike, Gardens By the Bay is on a league of its own. Spanning over 100 hectares of land, this nature park harbours numerous indoor gardens and conservatories. However, the best time to experience running in this hotspot is at night. Picture illumining lights, soaring Supertrees and a refreshing night breeze to cool off — tough to beat, hands down.
Fort Canning Park
One of the most convenient places for runners, this well-known park is located right off Singapore's buzzing shopping district — Orchard. Apart from its accessible location, Fort Canning Park has a backlog of history predating Singapore's colonial era. Going on a simple run here can turn into a full-fledged excursion, exploring its war remnants. What's more, Fort Canning Park is one of the few places in Singapore with hills, resulting in a one-of-a-kind hilltop reservoir views of the city skyline. And seeing as the trail is largely uphill — with plenty of slopes and uneven paths to manoeuvre — there's no better time than now to take on a more challenging run.
Punggol Waterway Park
Set in a peaceful quiet area, Punggol Waterway's domestic waterfront is a 14km trail made for fitness junkies and leisure seekers alike. Frequented by families and friends, its stunning bridges cast along the river offer up staggering backdrops for a quick photo op. There's a riverside walk if you're into a moody, dim-lit jog; otherwise, you can opt to admire the golden hour sights whilst you navigate across Punggol Waterway's scenic trail.
Work from home got you feeling restless? Head on down to MacRitchie Reservoir, its 11km terrain is bound to relieve some tension. Take your pick amongst the various trails available including Chemperai Trail, Jering Trail and Prunus Trail — to name a few. It's easy to see why so many athletes bank on MacRitchie as their go-to outdoor exercise hub. Start out on a brisk boardwalk that leads into the forest on a dirt track, putting your thigh and calf muscles to work. And after a puff-inducing run, relish in the iconic TreeTop Walk's scenic beauty — the ultimate sweet relief to cap things off.
Bedok Reservoir Park
For those that have never been, let us paint a picture — 88 hectares worth of pure land, 14,000 moisture-loving plants to admire and protruding platforms that grant you a crystal-clear view of Bedok's shoreline. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, one single run around its 4.3km reservoir loop will set you in good stead for your mind, body and soul. God knows we need it.