MacRitchie Reservoir

Weather :

Timings : Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - Sunday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Open on Public Holidays

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore Overview

Positioned at 181 Lornie Road, the MacRitchie Reservoir Park forms a part of the water catchment system of Singapore and is a Mecca for nature admirers as well as sports fanatics. Covering an area of 12 hectares, the park is a hidden gem located coyly amidst pristine surroundings and offering a respite to the Singaporeans who treasure it immensely. Since MacRitchie Reservoir is situated close to the city centre, it is a favourite spot where one can indulge in a variety of activities like bird watching, kayaking, canoeing and hiking as well.

A perfect spot to get a panoramic view of the MacRitchie Reservoir is Jelutong Tower which is an observatory built with many decks. However, be prepared to climb multiple stairs to reach the top of the tower. Other noteworthy features not to be missed at MacRitchie Reservoir are the submerged pathway, zig-zag bridge as well as the bandstand. For the foodies, there is the famous Mushroom Café, a haven for tucking in yummy bites, particularly nasi lamak and chicken curry. It is located at the Amenities Centre and offers a much-needed break from all the adventure.

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MacRitchie Reservoir Treetop Walk

A freestanding suspension bridge hanging about seven stories above the forest floor, the Treetop Walk is the main attraction at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. It spans a total of 250 metres from Bukit Peirce to Bukit Kalan, the two highest points in the park. Visitors can enjoy terrific views of the forest canopy and have a bird-eye view of the waters of the reservoir.
Timings: The Treetop Walk is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and closed on Mondays.
Cost: Admission is free.

MacRitchie Reservoir Treetop Walk
The Treetop Walk at MacRitchie (Source)

MacRitchie Reservoir Trail

MacRitchie Reservoir has six different hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty.

Route 1 (Green) Distance: 3km, Approx. walking time: 1 hour, Trail grade: Easy
Route 2 (Purple) Distance: 4.8 k, Approx. Walking time: 2 hours, Trail grade: Easy
Route 3 (Blue) Distance: 10.3 km, Approx walking time: 4-5 hours, Trail grade: Moderate to difficult
Route 4 (Yellow) Distance: 11 km, Approx. walking time: 4 hours, Trail grade: Moderate
Route 5 (Pink) Distance: 9.5 km, Approx. walking time: 4-5 hours, Trail grade: Difficult
Route 6 (Orange) Distance: 7 km, Approx. walking time: 3-4 hours, Trail grade: Moderate to difficult.

Please note that once you're on the trails, there is no place to buy or refill water, the only refilling station being at the entrance of Treetop walk. Carry adequate amount of water, wear proper footwear and meticulously follow the maps, while here. In case of wanting to organise a hike with 30 or more people, an application needs to be submitted to the park's official website in advance (at least a month before the preferred day of hike). The maximum number of persons allowed into the nature reserves is 100, per day. So, if your quota has been met for that day, you may be required to change your day of preference.

MacRitchie Reservoir park Singapore
Boardwalk at MacRtichie Reservoir Park (Source)

Things to Do at MacRitchie Reservoir

Bird Watching -  a blissful way to pass some time!
Being the gateway to the nature reserve, MacRitchie is a haven for bird watching. 8 feathered friends of the MacRitchie Forest are the Red Jungle Fowl, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Asian Red-eyed Bulbul, Greater Coucal, Abbott's Babbler, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Van Hasselt's Sunbird, and Forest Wagtail. If lucky, you'll cross paths with long-tailed macaque monkeys and flying lemurs.

Water Sport - to have a fun-filled day
Those that love doing water sports would find MacRitchie Reservoir intriguing as there are several sporting activities one can partake here. Some of these are kayaking and canoeing. Paddle boating is another interesting option for those with families and kids. These sports can be done, both by amateurs as well as professionals. 

Hiking tours
Hikers flock to the park for it offers gorgeous trails that span many kilometres. These are usually hiked during cross country runs. Typically, 100 hikers are allowed to hike on any given day, and one needs permission as well as reservation before embarking on a hike. 

Walking Trail - through pristine surroundings
MacRitchie reservoir offers an 11-kilometre walking trail that takes walkers through lush green terrain.  While, walking, do expect to meet and greet macaques that are an attraction here. All one needs to do is get themselves registered for a walking tour and embark on an educational trip all along the way.

Kayak & Canoes Renting

Kayaks and Canoes are available for rent at the Paddle Lodge, which is a 5-minute walk from the MacRitchie Reservoir bus stop. Kayaking in the reservoir can give you a brand new perspective about the nature reserve through the shoreline while engaging yourself in recreational sports.

Kayaks are available daily from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Sit-on-top kayaks cost SGD 15 per hour, and closed-deck kayaks cost 20 SGD for two hours. The Paddle Lodge accepts only cash for its rentals. Locker fees are SGD 1 for small, and SGD 2 for large.

The rentals need to be paid with exact change. Please note that there are no washrooms in the Paddle Lodge, so if you need to use one, there's one near the parking lot.

MacRitchie Reservoir Singapore
Boats at MacRitchie (Source)

How To Reach MacRitchie Reservoir

Bus: Bus numbers 852, 855, 156, 157, 166, 165, 162M, 162, 132, 130, and 93 operate to reach the reservoir. The closest bus stop is 51071. 

MTR: Marymount is the train station situated nearest to MacRitchie Reservoir at a distance of 1 kilometre. From here, visitors can either take a 10 - minute walk or travel by buses 52, 74, 165, 852 and 855. 

Car/Taxi: If wishing to take private cars, there is a car parking lot at the reservoir. Also, rentals are available from Changi Airport to the reservoir. Its located at a distance of 23.5 kilometres from the reservoir.

Tips

  • Visitors should remain on the designated trails for their own safety, and to avoid getting lost in the forest.  
  • There are numerous endangered species of plants and animals in this nature reserve. If a person doesn't take a designated route, their activity can affect animal movement, or result in trampling on endangered plant saplings. A penalty of a fine up to SGD 2000 may be charged to anyone who enters or leaves any part of a nature reserve which is closed or restricted.
  • There are no toilets except at the centre.
  • Bring mosquito repellent.
  • Watch out for monkeys - do not imitate them, have eye-contact or feed them. Don't carry plastic bags or carrier bags, as they know they contain food and will snatch them.
  • Refrain from wearing shorts and sleeveless tees. The reservoir is home to a large population of mosquitoes and this makes it essential to wear full sleeved shirts and long trousers or pants. One must also wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Carry water bottles that can be filled up from taps and fountains at the park. 
  • Carry cash as some places like The Mushroom Café do not accept credit cards. Cash is also needed to rent lockers when doing kayaking.
  • Do check the timings when visiting the reservoir as some of the attractions here have different timings to operate. 

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