MacRitchie Reservoir Park is part of Singapore's largest conservation area and a lush green oasis in the geographic heart of the country. This popular public park, also known as the MacRitchie Conservation Area, is a nature lover's dream. It offers visitors wooded trails, scenic views from high above the treetops and numerous opportunities to stay active in or on the water.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the place. Whether you are planning a quiet early morning walk or the whole family for an active day out, here is something for everyone. Keep reading for an interesting list of activities at MacRitchie Reservoir Park and helpful tips for your visit!
Entertaining ways to spend a day at MacRitchie
Hike the MacRitchie Nature Trail
The eleven-kilometer-long hiking and walking trails in the reserve are referred to as the MacRitchie Nature Trail. Depending on the pace and condition, it would take about four hours to complete the entire lap. Unless you're ready for a long hike (and the sweat you'll be carrying), the main path has been split into smaller, separate lanes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. You can check a map of them Here,
More detailed maps with a complete list of trails are available at each park entrance and at regular intervals along the trail. I suggest taking a picture of the first card you come to with your phone and using it as a guide. But if you are worried about getting lost, do not do it. All trails are well marked and well traveled, so accidental hiking in the forest is quite difficult.
To reach the MacRitchie Nature Trail: There are several starting points for the nature trail, one of the most obvious is the starting point near the main visitor center next to the reservoir. However, if you want to look at all the other places on this list, the starting point is best located at the Venus Drive car park. A few trails start at the entrance to Venus Drive, but the Venus Loop Trail, linked to the Venus Link Trail, is the one you want to jump on.
Read more: The Botanic Gardens: Singapore's tropical garden paradise
Go over the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk
The MacRitchie TreeTop Walk, suspended between the Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang hills, is a suspension bridge about 30 meters above the ground. Those brave enough to cross the bridge will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding nature reserve and the nearby Upper Peirce Reservoir.
The TreeTop Walk is free for visitors, but if your knees wobble due to elevation changes, you can skip it. Between the height and the fact that the bridge itself wobbles when many people are on it, it can be a little scary for those of us who are prone to acrophobia. Going early is best when you are at the fence. The bridge is pretty crowded at lunchtime. Because it's just a one-way street, it can sometimes take a while for you to get over it until everyone has finished their selfies before continuing.
The TreeTop Walk is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is via Ranger Station on the Peirce Track.
To get to the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk: Due to its location deep in the park there is no quick way to the bridge. You will walk a great deal, no matter which direction you go, but I recommend starting from the Venus Drive car park on the aforementioned Venus Loop Trail. This leads to the Squirrel and Drongo paths before reaching the Terentang Trail and finally the Peirce Trail. Alternatively, you can take the Venus Link Trail directly to the Pierce Track. (This saves some time, but is not quite as picturesque.)
Enjoy the views from Jelutong Tower
An alternative place to take a bird's-eye view of MacRitchie is the Jelutong Tower. The Jelutong Tower is a lookout tower with several different decks at different heights. It is also a perfect place to observe the animals that settle in the surrounding trees at close range. (Aka, bird watching and monkey watching.)
Personally, I think both of them are worth a visit, but if crossing the suspension bridge seems a bit too precarious to put yourself in a situation, you'll probably like the Jelutong Tower much better. It's more stable and not nearly scary to stand on, but there are a lot of ridiculous stairs to climb. Luckily, there is always another deck level to stop and catch your breath when you start turning.
How to reach the Jelutong Tower: After crossing the TreeTop Walk, you will be directed to the Petaling Boardwalk, as you will not be able to turn around. Follow this path until he cuts the sime track. (The Sime Track takes you back to the Venus Link Trail where you started.) At this intersection, take the Petaling Trail for a short while until you see the Jelutong Tower hidden in the trees next to the path.
Stroll along the promenades
MacRitchie's promenades are some of the best places to go for a walk in the reserve if you are just looking for a walk, not necessarily a hike. All promenades run along the reservoir and offer a beautiful view of nature and the water. Benches scattered along the boardwalks provide exceptionally quiet places to recover from the bustling areas of the reservoir.
The MacRitchie Nature Reserve has two main preamble sets: the Jering Boardwalk and the Chemperai Boardwalk west of the main visitor area, and the Prunus Boardwalk and the Petai Boardwalk to the east. My favorites are the two in the West, but if you have time to explore them all, you will not be disappointed.
How to get to the promenades: As you walk in through the main entrance of the visitor, you can easily see signs for the promenades on the way to the water. Alternatively, coming from the Jelutong Tower, take the Golf Link Trail (watch for indecent golf balls) until you reach the Jering Boardwalk. Continue and you will reach the Chemperai Boardwalk before entering the park's main visitor area. From here, simply follow the signs to Prunus Boardwalk.
Splashing around on the submerged path
I suppose that's more for kids than adults, but I'll call it – it's obviously fun to splash around on the submerged path anyone, Take off your shoes, roll up my trousers and get in!
If Singapore suffers from a dry spell, the submerged path will probably not be very … submerged. In that case, head to the zig-zag bridge instead and drive dizzily along the reservoir. The bandstand in this way often has cool things to offer. (We once saw an amazing photo exhibition in Singapore.)
How to get to the submerged path: The submerged path, the zig-zag bridge and the bandstand are all within sight of each other in the visitor area. If you go over the main entrance and walk towards the water, you can not miss it.
Kayaking in the MacRitchie Reservoir
Beginners and experienced water sports enthusiasts can go kayaking in the reservoir. The first thing I thought when I heard that was You let people kayak in the country's drinking water ?! But do not worry, it will be treated before it comes through your faucet.
The water in the reservoir is quiet and therefore an ideal place for beginners to learn to kayak. There are even specially designated areas (pay attention to the yellow buoys) only for beginners. Advanced kayakers are welcome to explore outside the buoys. Even if you do not plan to kayak yourself, it's fun to go to the reservoir near the visitor area and watch the pros race.
Rent kayaks at Macritchie Reservoir: Kayaks can be rented for a fee from Singapore Canoe Federation. The kiosk is located next to the reservoir at the eastern end of the main visitor area near the fishing area. You do not have to book in advance. Current rental rates can be found here Here,
Find monkeys on the trail
Long-tailed macaques are the most common monkeys in Singapore. There are about 1,500 of them across the country and all live in the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. I'm just having fun. But it definitely feels that way. It will not be difficult to spot them when you walk the trails, and even in areas where you would not expect them (like the toilets – Huch).
After an unfortunate incident with monkeys in Thailand, I now always stay at least 100 feet away from monkeys, which in my opinion is generally a pretty good advice. So does not a monkey eat anywhere to find it? These little people are moving surprisingly fast, so it's best to pack away water bottles and snacks.
Suppose you do not hold food in your hand and stay away from it. The monkeys in MacRitchie will probably ignore you completely. So you can easily watch how stupid they are. The babies are my favorites, but they are also the least predictable. So do not be surprised if you crouch down to take a picture, and only one stands with his hand on your knee next to you. (I was pretty proud of myself for not shouting, but frankly, just because I was frozen with fear.)
Where to Find Monkeys in MacRitchie: It is very likely that you will discover a few on the TreeTop Walk, which is scary. Heights + wild monkeys? No thanks. But the only place you are guaranteed to find groups of them is the Prunus and Petai promenades. From the main visitor center, head east along the reservoir until you see the signs for the promenades, then follow the path. It will not be long before you cross with these furry little ones
In the Mushroom Cafe you can eat a snack
Unfortunately, there is no picture for this picture because I never remember to take a picture when it comes to food. However, if you are looking for a tasty place to have lunch, go directly to the Mushroom Cafe. Every time we come here and want to stay longer than a few hours, we eat here. The Mushroom Cafe serves delicious local dishes such as chicken curry, nasi-lemak and laksa. The prices are as good as the food.
How to find the Mushroom Cafe: The Mushroom Cafe is located near the main entrance of the Amenities Center. There you will also find fountains, showers and a relaxation area.
Tips for visiting the MacRitchie Nature Reserve
How to reach MacRitchie: Unfortunately, there is no MRT station nearby, but it is also super easy to take a bus. The closest stop to the Venus Drive car park is one of the two Flame Tree Park bus stops (53071, 53079) on Upper Thomson Road. If you prefer to head to the main entrance, take a bus instead to the MacRitchie Reservoir bus stop (51071) on Thomson Road. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from the Orchard area in Singapore. If arriving by car, parking is available both at Venus Drive and at the main entrance.
What to wear: I'm pretty sure the misting up of Singapore in residential areas causes all the mosquitoes to run straight to MacRitchie. So if you want to hike and put on these little bloodsuckers, I recommend wearing long pants and long sleeves. If you take shoes on one of the wooded trails, you should wear sneakers. Some of the trails are quite steep and there are a lot of stairs to climb after the TreeTop Walk.
Please bring: A refillable water bottle, There are water fountains around the park where you can get water, and in Singapore it is absolutely safe to drink tap water. Insect repellent. The worst are the mosquitoes on the wooded trails, but they also like to frolic on the promenades on the water. Mosquito repellent is a must. suncream, In Singapore, the sun is strong, and thanks to the humidity, you'll probably start to sweat. So wear a sunscreen that has been developed for athletic performance.
Bring also cash. The Mushroom Cafe and the Singapore Canoe Federation do not accept credit card payments. If you need to rent a locker while kayaking, you might also want to carry a few 1-dollar coins with you.
Clean up after yourself. I think that's probably self-evident, but please pick up your garbage. It's so bad for the environment and wildlife if you leave it alone. Not to mention that Singapore has very strict casting laws. If you get caught in a mess, you'll face heavy fines.
Watch out for boars. Monkeys are not the only wild animals that you can observe on the jungle trails. These guys are far less comfortable with humans than the monkeys. If they see you, they'll probably run away, but if they do not, keep their distance.
The opening times at MacRitchie are from 7 to 19 o'clock. However, certain areas in the park, such as the TreeTop Walk and kayak rentals, have shorter hours of operation. It is best to check the website before you leave.
Read more: 6 activities in the Labrador Nature Reserve in Singapore
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