Singapore Nature: Lower Peirce Trail

On this page: [No nature in Singapore?] [Lower Peirce Trail Photos]


(Squirrel @ Lower Peirce Forest)

Highlights of this Trail:

** A peaceful walk by the water's edge, with rainforest 'music' in the background.

** Animals, including skinks, snakes, squirrels, macaques
(and banded leaf monkeys and flying lemurs, if you are ver lucky).

** Jungle plants and fruits, including figs, jackfruits and pitcher plants.



Myth Debunked! There is Nature in Singapore!

I saw many signboards on the Lower Peirce Trail. One listed the birds that have been spotted here. Another showed pictures of the snakes that were hiding in the undergrowth. Yet another board said that pretty pitcher plants were nearby.

Like most, I was skeptical. But by the time I completed the Lower Peirce Trail, I knew that the National Parks Board did not lie. I was truly amazed to see so much in such a short walk - the Lower Peirce Trail is only 900m short!

In this real jungle surrounded by concrete jungle, there is indeed a lot to see. But you cannot rush. You must walk slowly. You must prick up your ears. You must squint your eyes. And then they will appear before your eyes - the creatures of the forests, the amazing fruits and ferns. Then a 'stick' on the leaf litter will turn into a slender snake! Right before your very eyes.

The Lower Peirce Trail is just a very tiny part of a very tiny area called the Central Reserves. Yet in these 20 square kilometres of tropical rainforests, you may find more plant species than in the whole of North America, and more animal species (over 500) than in the entire Yellowstone National Park (about 400)! If you believe there is no such thing as Singapore nature, think again.

Without further ado, the sights on the Lower Peirce Trail...

Lower Peirce Trail Photo Tour

Lower Peirce Reservoir - Panoramic view from water's edge.
A short walk from the the Lower Peirce Reservoir car park, and you come to this beautiful spot by the water's edge. A great place for an evening run. And to soothe the nerves after a hard day's work.
   
Lower Peirce Reservoir - Nature trail at water's edge.
The start of the Lower Peirce Trail. Let the waters soothe your eyes, and the sounds of the rainforest calm your mind. I cannot understand why people choose to run on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym.
   
Lower Peirce Trail - A jogger labours on. The boardwalks are great for running too.

The sign board says there are 2 species of pitcher plants along the Lower Peirce Trail.

I got very excited.Were the pitcher plants really nearby?

I veered off the boardwalk and and lo, there they were. The pitcher plants! And so many of them! The signboards didn't lie.

   
Pitcher plants on the Lower Peirce Trail.
A cluster of pitcher plants.

These plants eat insects. Some, like the nepenthes ampullaria (left picture) also feed on falling leaves.

Pitcher plants are a sign that the soil nearby is infertile.

To get more nutrients, the plant modifies its leaves into 'pitchers', for trapping water, insects and leaves.

   
A small pitcher plant of the nepenthes gracilis species. Lower Peirce Trail. A young pitcher plant of the nepenthes gracilis species. It is only a little longer than the face of my watch.
   
Full grown pitcher plant of the nepenthes gracilis species. Lower Peirce Trail.
A fully grown pitcher plant of the species nepenthes gracilis - ripened and perhaps nearing the end of its life span.
   
A full grown pitcher plant of the nepenthes ampullaria species. Found on the Lower Peirce Trail.

A fully grown pitcher plant of the nepenthes ampullaria species.

Notice the beautiful grain on the surface of the pitcher.

It is very pretty, isn't it?

I was lucky enough to find both species of pitcher plants growing side by side.

Now, are you convinced that the Lower Peirce Trail is worth your while?

   
Figs on the Lower Peirce Trail, a Singapore nature spot.

Figs on a branch arching over the water's edge.

Explains why there are so many squirrels on the Lower Peirce Trail.

   
Wild jackfruit on the Lower Peirce Trail, a Singapore nature spot.
A lone jackfruit? No, this is one among several in a cluster.
   
Staghorn fern in the forest canopy. Found on the Lower Peirce Trail.

An extremely beautiful staghorn fern. Whether you look down, straight ahead or up, there's always a surprise for you.

This must be the biggest staghorn fern I've seen in my life. It is probably more than 1.5m wide.

   
A common sun skink. Found on the Lower Peirce Trail.

I got very excited when I spotted this fellow. I thought I've found the brown tree skink, a rare species.

Alas, I checked and it turned out to be the common sun skink. Nevertheless, a great find for me.

Here, this common sun skink is indulging in its favourite pastime: sun-tanning on a leaf litter. And that's where you may spot him: leaf litter + canopy opening + water's edge.

   
Elegant bronzeback - a snake commonly seen on the Lower Peirce Trail.
Elegant bronze back, a close up shot.

This was a real treat at the end of my walk.

An elegant bronzeback (aka slender brown snake) leapt onto the boardwalk and stared curiously at me.

I was quite afraid then actually, not knowing whether it was poisonous. Later, I found out that it is 'mildly venomous'. In other words, it probably has enough sting to kill its prey (e.g. frogs or lizards), but not enough to kill us humans.

If you spot him, don't panic. Just take a deep breath and admire him from a distance. He'll stare at you for a while. Then, it'll just slither away. He's more afraid of you than you are of him.

Lower Peirce Trail - My Take

I had meant to spend only an hour on the Lower Peirce Trail. I ended up wide-eyed in the forest for a good 4 hours. I was a cynic. Now, I'm a believer. There is nature in Singapore, if we look carefully.

Up next, to go on those jogs on the trail, like so many people did. I much prefer the rhythms and sounds of the forest to the work-out music pounding in an air-con gym.

Getting Here


(Map showing the bus stops and the Lower Peirce Trail)

  1. By taxi, to the Lower Peirce Reservoir Car Park, off Old Upper Thomson Road. The Lower Peirce Trail begins here.

  2. By bus, the following buses to Upper Thomson Road:

    • Bus no. 132, 165, or 166
      • From Ang Mo Kio: Stop outside Peirce Secondary School. Cross the road and walk along the slip road called Old Upper Thomson Road.
      • Towards Ang Mo Kio: Stop opposite the Kiew Lee Tong Temple. Walk in the direction of traffic and then onto Old Upper Thomson Road.
      • You will reach the Lower Peirce Reservoir Car Park.

    • Bus no. 163
      • From Yio Chu Kang Road: Stop opposite the petrol stations. Cross the road. Find a small road between the petrol stations. Walk onto it to Old Upper Thomson Road, which is just behind the petrol stations.
      • Towards Yio Chu Kang Road: Stop opposite the Kiew Lee Tong Temple. Walk in the direction of traffic and then onto Old Upper Thomson Road.
      • You will reach the Lower Peirce Reservoir Car Park.

Related to Lower Pierce Trail

More pitcher plants in Singapore



Subscribe: eTour Singapore RSS Button

Find a hotel

Search 20+ websites at once!



***menu.html***