Friday, December 4, 2020

Family Day Out at Serene Upper Peirce Reservoir Park

Last Saturday, we planned to take the kids cycling. A few months ago, we visited Lower Peirce Reservoir Park for the very first time and we absolutely loved it! This time we thought we’d check out Upper Peirce Reservoir Park nestled just next to the Upper Peirce Reservoir. 

I've written about the history of the Peirce Reservoir in my last blog entry but I'll reiterate just in case you stumbled here for the first time. The original Peirce Reservoir was constructed in 1922 and named after Robert Peirce, who served as the municipal engineer of Singapore from 1901 to 1916. It was created by impounding the upper reaches of the Kallang River with the construction of a dam.

In 1975, in order to develop new water resources to grapple with Singapore's burgeoning population, a dam was constructed at the upper reaches of the Peirce Reservoir, forming the Upper and Lower Peirce reservoirs. The adjoining parks are touted as the most scenic nature parks in Singapore. Both the Peirce Reservoirs are located near MacRitchie Reservoir and Upper Seletar Reservoir. These four reservoirs together with  the surrounding forests form the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The nature reserve acts as a water catchment for the reservoirs in the area. All of the reservoirs are designated as protected catchments, which means that development is prohibited there so as to preserve the ecological balance in these areas and minimize the risk of pollution.

Upper Peirce Reservoir was officially opened by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1977. Today, the reservoir park is a popular retreat with visitors who enjoy its unique panorama and tranquility. 

On the scheduled day of our family outing, we woke up to dreary weather. The sky was overcast and it was drizzling. The rain map of Singapore looked rather ominous. We swiftly dropped the cycling plan and settled on a hike at Upper Peirce Reservoir Park keeping our fingers crossed that the rain gods would be kind. It was raining throughout the drive and I couldn’t help but think that we should have stayed put at home, snug in bed sipping on a hot beverage 😕 

We had keyed in "Upper Peirce Reservoir" in our car's GPS (in hindsight, we should have entered "Upper Peirce Reservoir Park") and it ended up pointing us in the wrong direction and taking us to a remote nook of the Central Catchment Reserve which delayed us by half an hour or more. I guess the irate chants of “are we there yet??” from the girls were justified! Once we figured out the reason for the unnecessary detour, we felt kind quite foolish to discover that the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park is located neighboring to the Lower Peirce Reservoir Park which we had been to not long ago! 

I'm still not sure why but we mistakenly assumed that the path leading to the park was closed so we ended up parking at the Casuarina car park which happens to be quite far away from the nature park. We ended up going on at least a half an hour long hike along a narrow winding and steeply sloping road while it was still lightly drizzling. 

It wasn't at all bad though - the route was deserted, flanked by lush tropical greenery and we occasionally caught sight of the long-tailed macaques. Most importantly, the kids did not complain about having to walk the distance. In fact, they were full of beans and racing ahead of us! It's safe to say that we got the exercise we had been hoping for! I would recommend this walking route if you have the time to spare. Otherwise, you can park right at the mouth of the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. 

As we were approaching our remote destination, the skies miraculously cleared, a gentle cool breeze was blowing and we were pleased to note that there were hardly any people around. We could absorb the breathtaking sights and soothing sounds unhindered. It was like looking at an gorgeous mashup of different hues of blues, yellows and greens on a canvas of nature. The silence and stillness of the park and reservoir were incredibly relaxing. Not to mention, inhaling lungful's of the fresh crisp air!

The forest surrounding the Lower and Upper Peirce reservoirs is a mature secondary rainforest, with some trees estimated to be over a hundred years old. Rubber trees and oil palms, remnants of former plantations, are found near the reservoir. The nature reserve surrounding the reservoirs has been recommended for bird watching and nature strolls.

How lovely is this spot right? Wouldn't you want to just sit there and do nothing all day? 😀

I had brought along a few things to keep the girls occupied - tubes of bubbles, a ball and a frisbee. But they were not really interested in any of them. They were so taken with the surroundings that all they wanted to do was explore!

There are sheltered rest areas where you can just sit down and soak in the natural surroundings or else, unwind with a good book. I know I always say that in places like these but seriously, this is such a quiet and calming spot to read!

The kids started a self-initiated game of pine cone hunting by the water’s edge and then made a competition out of who could throw it the farthest into the water. They were at it for more than an hour gleefully chuckling at periodic intervals. 

At that moment in time, I honestly felt that there was no other place I’d rather be!

As beautiful as the reservoir looked in the rain-kissed morning light, I'm sure it will look just as nice if not better in the evening during sunset. I would love to come back at that hour. If you are into photography, I recommend you do the same for the lure of some great shots!

Growling sounds from the tummy reminded us that it was time to get going. Hubby generously volunteered to walk back and get the car which gave us girls a little more time at the park. Although we hadn't planned on eating out, we couldn't wait till we got home and so we headed over to Casuarina Curry and greedily tucked into piping hot crispy roti prata.

The morning that started on a bleak note, ended on a terrific one! 

I highly recommend Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoir not only for nature/fitness/photography enthusiasts but also to spend quality family time in the magical natural surroundings. They are ideal spots that grant temporary respite from the typical skyscraper skyline views and to escape from the maddening crowds in Singapore (especially during times like these!). 

If hiking and wildlife sighting is what you are primarily interested in then Lower Peirce scores higher because of the meandering boardwalk trail running through the forest but if it is just nature and some peace and quiet that you crave, then both would fulfil your purpose. 

Note that there is a restroom available at the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park but if you intend to come here for a picnic, then you need to bring your own food because there is nothing available nearby. Be aware that there are lots of monkeys around and littering or feeding the wildlife is a strict no-no. 

Upper Peirce Reservoir Park

Location: Along Old Upper Thomson Road

How to Get There:

By Bus: Service 163, 167, 169, 855, 980.
Alight at the bus stop nearest to the Casuarina Curry Prata shop and walk along Old Upper Thomson Road towards Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. Be prepared for a long walk in and out! Estimated walk in one direction is about 30-45 mins.

By Car : Follow the direction of Upper Thomson Road. Turn left before the traffic lights at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 into Old Upper Thomson Road. Follow the road until you see the entrance of Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. Parking facilities are available at the end of road near the toilet (Free parking). 

Park Information: Park Size: 5 hectares 

Park lighting hours: 7:00 pm to 7:00 am 

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

This is a smoke-free park


Please do not use photos from this post without permission from me


What do you think of this post? You can leave a message to let me know. Thanks!

Please note that I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem inappropriate, offensive, spam or self-advertising. I appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...