A 250-metre suspension bridge that provides an aerial view of the surrounding forest, the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk is one of the most breathtaking nature spots in Singapore.
And, after being closed for more than a year for maintenance works, it is now open once again. According to the security officer on duty when we visited on 15 December 2021, it was the first day of its reopening.
Connecting the two highest hills in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, those who are willing to make the 3.5 km, 1.5-hour long one-way hike to the TreeTop Walk will be rewarded with stunning vistas of greenery and the waters of Upper Pierce Reservoir.
Overview of the TreeTop Walk
The TreeTop Walk’s suspension bridge connects the 27-metre high Bukit Peirce with 25-metre high Bukit Kalang. At its highest point, it is 25 metres above the forest floor. That is roughly the equivalent of seven storeys high.
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Warning: it is not for those with a bad fear of heights.
The suspension bridge is designed for one-way traffic only. This means that once you enter, you cannot return via the bridge, you will have to make the return journey via the forest path below.
At the start of the 250-metre long TreeTop Walk is a station. Before embarking on to the suspension bridge, it is worthwhile to stop at the TreeTop Walk signboard to read about the facts and figures of the TreeTop Walk.
From the TreeTop Walk suspension bridge, you will be able to observe the various layers of the rainforest. These include, from highest to lowest, the emergent layer (trees that stick out), the canopy, shrubbery and the ground layer.
The water you see in the distance is the Upper Peirce Reservoir.
Specific flora to look out for include the Medang, Pulai and the captivating Rusty Oil Fruit with orangey-red leaves. Reach out to touch the leaves of the Rusty Oil Fruit and feel the lovely velvety texture.
It is easy to get too mesmerised by the shifting bridge beneath our feet and the surrounding views.
But do look out for these signs placed along the whole stretch of the walkway with interesting nuggets of information.
It is important to take note the TreeTop Walk’s opening hours. It is open on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. On weekends, it is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm. It is closed on Mondays, except during Public Holidays. Be sure to arrive when it is open to avoid disappointment after a one-hour trek from Venus Drive.
Getting to the TreeTop Walk
Though sometimes referred to as MacRitchie TreeTop Walk as it is reachable from MacRitchie Reservoir Park, its closest starting point is from Venus Drive at Upper Thomson Road, just before Island Club Road.
From here, trekkers can enter Windsor Nature Park and follow the boardwalks (Venus Loop, Squirrel Trail then Drongo Trail) toward the TreeTop Walk. You will head past quaint freshwater streams and a marshland ecosystem along the way.
Eventually, the trail from Windsor Nature Park joins up with the Terentang Trail.
Along the Terentang Trail, you will find the Ranger Station with toilet facilities. Once you have taken a rest, it is time for the final push upwards to reach the TreeTop Walk.
This being the pandemic and all, there are safe distancing markers in the lead up to the Treetop Walk. Presumably, NParks is expecting a lot of crowds and we also think you should be prepared to wait if you go during popular times.
Follow the Peirce Track and you will make your way up Bukit Peirce to the start of the TreeTop Walk and its suspension bridge.
After Crossing the TreeTop Walk
Once you have crossed the suspension bridge, you will then need to take the one-way Petaling Trail down Bukit Kalang. It is quite a bit of a walk back to the main trail from the Treetop Walk.
The maintenance work that has taken place over the last year is quite visible here. The boardwalks are in better condition than previously.
There are signboards along the way which provide interesting pieces of information of the flora and fauna of the forest.
If you hear rustling in the leaves above, it could be that monkeys are hopping from branch to branch above you.
The Petaling Trail joins with the Sime Track at a T-junction. Here, you have to make a choice.
Turn left and the track will lead you back to Windsor Nature Park and Venus Drive.
Turn right and you can pay a visit to the Jelutong Tower, a bird-watching tower from which you can see the waters of MacRitchie Reservoir. This is a common “side-trip” that people make before making a U-turn and return to Venus Drive via the Sime Trail.
Those who are more gungho can press on along the trail past the Jelutong Tower. The trail leads to MacRitchie Reservoir Park, approximately 4.5 km (1.5 to 2 hours) away.
Whatever your choice, we are sure you will walk out of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve glad to have made the trip to the TreeTop Walk.
TreeTop Walk Essential Information
Type of Bridge: Steel suspension pedestrian bridge with supported approach spans
Length: 250 metres
Length of Central Span: 150 metres
Width: 0.8 metres
Height: 25 metres (about 7 storeys) at the maximum
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9 am to 5 pm; Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 8.30 am to 5 pm; Closed on Mondays, except on Public Holidays.
Last Entry: By 4.45 pm (The gate at TreeTop Walk closes at 5 pm SHARP.)
From Venue Drive, the distance to the TreeTop Walk suspension bridge is approximately 2.5 km.
From MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the distance is approximately 4.5 km.
Remember that the pace of walk on paths and trails is slower than on paved roads. A round trip is about 7 km to 10 km long. Allocate 3 to 5 hours for the trek.
The trail is not suitable for pregnant women, very young children and the disabled.