Weekend: Windsor Nature Park Trail

After our recent outdoor visits to nearby nature places, I’m starting to like this arrangement and planned to visit all the nature trails in Singapore this year. Last week, we started with the Henderson Waves to Forest Walk. For Nature Trail Walk #2, we decided to head to the Treetop Walk in MacRitchie.

We had been to the Treetop Walk many many years back when we were newly married couples so we remembered there was a car park near it, so we need not go through the entire MacRitchie catchment area to reach the place. Alas, things had changed a lot since then.

When we arrived at Venus Drive Car park and saw a new sheltered drop-off point, it didn’t look at all like what we remembered. The signboard showed that we are a LONG way off from the TreeTop Walk. The road which was near the walk is closed off to visitors due to the Singapore Island Country Club. Everybody has to start from this point.

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I was a bit disheartened looking at the map because we are at the tip of a small part and needs to walk all the way in to the TreeTop Walk via a long trail. Route 6 orange trail indicated 3-4 hours and is moderate/difficult! Will we be able to do it with 18-months-old Ling?

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In the end, we decided to carry on and explore Windsor Nature Park first since we were already there. Had a positive mind to just keep on walking and see how far we could make it. We also need to start training for our overseas hike, so this was a good opportunity.

By the way, there were toilets right at the entrance and a sheltered compound a few walks in front.

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We began our walking trail slowly, taking pictures and looking at the huge variety of plants and pond animals.

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Dar discovered the Elephant Ear Plant he had learnt about in school. We also saw several tadpoles and dragon flies in the pond.

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Walking Trail

From this point on, we started with our nature walk trail, aiming to reach the TreeTop Walk 1.7km away.

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We stopped to look at the first stream we came across, trying to spot fishes. Yup, there was a black fish swimming and several pond skaters, which kept going against the current. The day was very sunny but it was cooling in the forest as the trees shaded us.

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I was glad for the metal boardwalk where I could push the stroller along with one hand and held my camera with the other. Vin gave Ling some fallen leaves to play along the way and carried her sometimes along our walk. Dar kept exclaiming at the towering trees over us. “It’s so tall, it keeps going up, up and up!” We couldn’t even see the top of the trees and where they end.

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We soon reached the end of the Venus Loop where there was a choice of two walking trails. To reach this point, we took around 15 minutes and that was after many stops along the way to observe plants and take photographs. The Squirrel Trail seemed shorter than the Venus Link so we chose to go towards the right.

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Squirrel Trail

From this point on, the paths were no longer just board walks. We encountered stone steps to stone paths and a gap with a stream passing through. There was even a small waterfall splashing into the stream on the muddy path to our right. Vin had to carry our stroller over when there were stone paths.

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Ling walked most of the time and enjoyed the variety as she loves steps.

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Some plants we spotted along the way, those with heart-shaped leaves, needle-shaped leaves or fern-like leaves. Dar just learnt about Fungi in his Term 2 Science topics and spotted several growing on a log and told us.

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Soon, we reached an interesting natural archway between two trees! They actually built the stone path to fit around them. We were lucky there were no others walking in front or behind that time for us to take a nice photograph! Later on, we saw some really gigantic Elephant Ear Plants with leaves big enough to shelter our heads if there’s rain. (think Totoro…)

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End of Trail / Start of Drongo Trail

We reached the end of this trail again and had to decide on continuing with a boardwalk going upwards or a somewhat steep muddy trail.

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The signboard read that the muddy trail leads to the Treetop Walk and we asked someone coming from there. Vin decided to fold the stroller first before proceeding. Right after he folded it, he overheard someone coming from the other trail (Drongo Trail) that it leads to the Treetop Walk too! Sigh, so we went up the stairs and he unfolded the stroller so it’s easier to push along.

Just when he finished doing it, I heard sounds of rain coming in! Panicking, he scrambled to take out the umbrella but we soon realised the rain didn’t fall on us because we were standing under a thick canopy of trees.

Still, we decided to wait for a while more before going ahead in case it was a passing cloud. Alas, it wasn’t. The drizzle turned to a heavy downpour and we scrambled to cover ourselves while strapping Ling into the Tula carrier. It took quite a while getting her into it and we got ourselves somewhat drenched as the rain was too heavy. Many people walked past us to go back along the trail to the shelter at the entrance. Having no choice, we had to abandon our plans to continue and headed back too.

It was faster going back and we reached the shelter with a crowd of people, waiting for the rain to stop. We decided to head back home because Dar was quite drenched from sharing the small umbrella with Daddy. We didn’t want them to catch a cold (should have brought raincoat for him).

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When we went towards the drop-off point, we discovered the tiny shelter wasn’t adequate. Why couldn’t they build a bigger one when there was so much space beside it?

While waiting for our hired vehicle to come and standing with a crowd, we were drenched again. The wind kept blowing the rain through the open sides towards us. We also had to queue to get into the vehicle due to the small shelter. Finally, we gave up waiting because the people in front took their own sweet time to get in. We had to walk out to our hired vehicle with an umbrella, getting more drenched in the process.

Overall, we weren’t fully prepared for wet weather (it was so sunny!) doing this walking trail in Windsor Nature Park, MacRitchie Nature Reserve. We would need to be better prepared with more drinking water, snacks and wet weather items such as a waterproof backpack, some wet bag to protect our stuff, bigger umbrellas and rain coats.

We would definitely be back again to continue the Drongo trail to reach the Treetop Walk.

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