with trails and boardwalks through secondary forest and along the
Over 100 ha of
primary forest still flourish in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve
today, particularly around MacRitchie. Rubber trees, remnants of the
plantations there in the 19th century, can still be seen along the
fringes around MacRitchie.
There are boardwalks skirting the edge of the scenic MacRitchie Reservoir
and walking trails through the forest. They range in distances from
3 km to 11 km. Interpretative signboards along the boardwalks allow
for a self-guided tour along the fringes of the MacRitchie forest.
MacRitchie Walking Trails
Route 1 (Green) about 1.5-hour walk Trail grade: Easy
Route 2 (Purple) about 2-hour walk Trail grade: Easy
Route 3 (Blue) about 4 to 5-hour walk Trail grade: Moderate to difficult
Route 4 (Yellow) about 4-hour walk Trail grade: Moderate
Route 5 (Pink) about 4 to 5-hour walk Trail grade: Difficult
Check the NParks website for
latest status of trails. Trails are sometimes affected by landslides,
tree falls or other developments.
Let a guide really show you the forest!
Going on a tour with a volunteer guide is the best way to see and
learn more about this special forest. Check the NParks
website for the latest information on guided walks.
History of MacRitchie Reservoir
Before the early 19th century, most of the island was covered in primary
forest. Between 1820 and 1870, a substantial portion of virgin forest
was cleared to develop the island as an important trading post. Prior
to this, many Chinese planters had also worked the land for timber
and the cultivation of crops like gambier, pepper and rubber. By 1886,
only 10% of the original forest cover remained.
MacRitchie Reservoir is Singapore's first reservoir, built in 1867-68.
The development of the Reservoir brought the forest devastation around
the area to a halt. The forest around the reservoir was protected
as a water catchment reserve. The forests surrounding the other two
reservoirs, Peirce and Seletar, were also protected when these reservoirs
were developed later.
articles about MacRitchie
guides and references
View from the Summit: The Story of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve,
Shawn Lum and Ilsa Sharp (eds.), 1996
Green Map Singapore Environmental Council, 2000.