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November 09, 2009

MacRitchie Tree Top Walk

MacRitchie Tree Top Walk 

Tree Top Bridge at MacRitchie Park.

I brought my spouse and three kids to MacRitchie Reservoir to visit its Tree Top Walk recently on a hot weekend afternoon. We parked at the car park off Venus Drive to spend about three leisure hours getting to and from the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk. Even though it was not my maiden trip, I still learned a few things from this nature walk to the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk.

Here are some experiences that I would like to share with my fellow Seen This Scene That readers who may be considering a visit to the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk and suspension bridge.

Stay On Tracks and Follow The Signs
Although Singapore's nature reserve at MacRitchie is small compared to those overseas, it is still safer to stay on well trodden paths and to follow directional signs. Singaporeans have been reported loss in the area especially if new foot paths are created through the rainforest. I also discovered that my cellular phone could not receive any signal on either side of the tree top bridge.

Bring Fluid To Rehydrate
The rainforest provides good shade but it can still get pretty hot. In our humid climate and for visitors who have not been exercising regularly, the physical exertion can drain fluid out of unconditioned bodies.

Take A Toilet Break
Before you 'chiong' (charge up) the hill on your final ascent to the tree top walk, relieve tight bladders at the nearest ranger station. Trust me, you or your kids would not want to experience urgency of urination when crossing the tree top bridge. It could take a long while on the return trek to reach the ranger station again.

Don't Depart From The Ranger Station To The MacRitchie Tree Top Walk With Less than Fifteen Minutes To Closing Time (at 5pm sharp)
If your party consists of enthusiasts at extremes of age (very young or very old) or medically unstable, it can be a very tough walk to the PacRitchie Tree Top Walk. The walk from the ranger station to the Tree Top bridge is the steepest part (and the most taxing) of the entire journey. It will be prudent to give yourself ample time for the ascent. If you arrive late, be prepared to have the gates to the bridge shut in your face.

Bring Mosquito Protection
There are pesky creatures that bite without warning and leave irritating lumpy swellings on unprotected limbs. Even at relatively high altitudes, mosquitoes are everywhere. They seem to be able to cross the Tree Top bridge at will and are fond of accompanying visitors as you trek up and down the hills.

Don't Underestimate the Distance
It is a long trek from Venus Drive car park to the bridge and back. Nparks says it is 2.5 km from the car park to the entrance of the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk, but if you count the distance to cross the bridge and complete a big loop back to the car park, the distance is about 7 km. No wonder my kids complained that the hike felt like it was easily triple or even quadruple that 2.5 km distance. The path consists of unpaved tracks, concrete steps and wooden boardwalks. The ground is uneven and the ascending trails can be rather steep towards the Tree Top Walk canopy.

Keep To The Side of Foot Paths
On my visit, I noticed many cross country joggers pounding the dirt tracks up and down the paths of MacRitchie. To prevent collisions, walk along the side of the tracks.

Do Not Feed The Monkeys
There are monkeys out there around the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk. Remember to avoid feeding them as it is an offence to do so in a nature park in Singapore.

Enjoy Yourself
Finally, do remember to enjoy yourself at the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk. Go at your own comfortable pace and take time to see nature at its most relaxed state. Besides providing good exercise, a track to the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk offers lessons on the rainforest flora and fauna. It can also be an excellent bonding opportunity for the entire family.

Have you done the MacRitchie Tree Top Walk with your family?

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yg said...

hi stst, our noisy group (10 of us) was at treetop walk last saturday. because of some miscommunication or rather non-communication, one of the members in the group started from rifle range link; the rest of us started from the venus drive car-park.
you see more when you take your time in the nature reserve. the last time, i saw a scorpion. this time, we saw a giant millipede, about 13cm long. it was on the track and we almost stepped on it.

Admin said...

hi yg, it's true that to appreciate the nature reserve, one should take time to enjoy the views along the way.

did u manage to meet up with your friend?

I also discovered that the mobile phone coverage was absent at the ranger station, which might pose a problem for anyone lost in the reserve.

Jinghui said...

I had visited the tree top walk some years ago, agreed with u, the route going up can be lengthy and quite tiring. If I recall, there is a shortcut to through the route up and get to the steps faster.

Would prefer to hike around the reservoir route :)


yg said...

hi admin, yes, we waited for the friend, who had thought he was the earliest because there was no one else around, at the ranger station.

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