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Tue 14 Jun 2005

Nature trails - not always a walk in the park

Category : nature

A few days ago, Channel News Asia highlighted the difficulty some visitors experienced during the long walk to the Tree Top Walk (see their report below). This provoked a rather caustic reponse from blogger Atypical Singaporean [link], a post that was highlighted by both Tomorrow.sg and SingaporeSurf.

The idea of providing "more concrete paths" in an already besieged forest can easily be resisted. Instead, first time visitors can heed the response of Jasmine Loo, whose family sensibly turned back after realising they were unprepared - "I will get better prepared for that in future.""

Getting to the Tree Top Walk is a good way for the novice to discover the demands of a jungle walk. The trail begins in MacRitchie Reservoir Park, and the first leg through MacRitchie Nature Trail should take an hour at a comfortable pace. That is enough time to safely discover if you are up for the long haul. And if really exhausted, there is the option to hail a cab at the Singapore Island Country Club!

"Visitors want Treetop Walk to be more accessible." By Rita Zahara, Channel NewsAsia, 12 June 2005.

The Treetop Walk is no walk in the park, say Singaporeans who are asking for the trail to be more user friendly. Many are asking for it to be more accessible to the elderly and to families with young children.

After more than an hour of hiking and with the Treetop Walk still nowhere in sight, the Loo family decided to head back. The children were exhausted, and they were running low on water.

Jasmine Loo said, "On this type of journey we need more water than food. So I will get better prepared for that in future." Added Peter Loo, "We have to stop here and maybe I have to go back and take my car and pick them up."

The Loo family was not the only one that came unprepared for the rough terrain and long walk. Said Kelvin Wong, another hiker on the trail, "A lot of young parents have to bring the stroller to put the babies in. It would really help if we have more board walks, more concrete paths so that we can push the baby the larger part of the way, rather than carrying him or her plus the stroller."

Eight-year-old Patrick Kok said, "It's fun but I also think that they should make the route a little bit shorter."

When one takes in the view from the Treetop Walk suspension bridge, one momentarily forgets how strenuous the walk up can be.

There is some consolation: NParks tells Channel NewsAsia that it is planning a shorter trail for those who prefer to take it easy.

In the meantime, if you really want that view from the top, you'd better come prepared. - CNA /ct

Posted at 10:20AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news