January 25, 2015

Lower Peirce Reservoir - Trails, Stairs and a Traffic Free Road (2.5km) (9km)

Beautiful cool morning at Lower Peirce Reservoir
The start of 2015 started with a Bang! A gunshot that heralds legions of work held back by the chains of the year end festival. It has been non-stop working week-days to week-ends for the first 2 weeks. The 3rd week of Jan me saw me down with a severe cold, thanks to over exhaustion and my running stamina is totally busted by a week of bed rest.

This weekend, I finally got some time to clock in a short recovery run and to draft this post. I got a whole back log of posts piling up and it is time to start clearing them!

This week, BBG, Lazy Girl and me headed to Lower Peirce Reservoir to explore one of the most well regarded running spot in the North. Without doing any research on the routes, we headed to the extremely small carpark of Lower Peirce Reservoir Park along Old Upper Thomson Road. To our horror, the carpark was totally full and we spied at least a dozen other vehicles parked along the road. There were also quite a number of runners & cyclists gathering at the toilet by the road junction warming up in preparation of their run. After driving up and down along Old Upper Thomson Road for 10 mins, I spied a small slot by the side of the road and managed to squeeze my car between the other vehicles.

We spied a huge group of senior folks practicing Taji right at the entrance of the Lower Peirce Reservoir Road and that activity probably explained the reason why the carpark is so packed. We took the left fork heading towards the Singapore Island Club hopping to find a trail to loop around the reservoir bu our efforts were hampered by a gate 300 meters south from the entrance. Turning back we headed into the trail to the small trail to the North.
The gathering point for runners at the Car Park

Healthy Living but Crowded Carpark!
The Southern trail toward SIC blocked by a gate
The Northern Trail. Nice over the water broadwalk
After my experience with the nearby Macritchie Reservoir, I had a feeling that the trail will be a up and down cardio exercise through the secondary forest around Peirce Reservoir and my fears were totally founded. Not only were there slopes and low hanging tree branches, there were lots and lots of steps.
Great for cross-country runners but certainly a No No for Unfit Runners. Take
the left fork for the longer trail

NPark guide to the Lower Peirce Trail

Into the Woods we go

Map of the surroundings
After a short 1km walk in the woods, we exited along Old Upper Thomson Road. I was pretty disappointed that there is no developed road around the reservoir and it seems like the only way to run around the reservoir is to run along the Old Upper Thomson Road. The whole entire distance from the carpark at Lower Peirce Park to the Northern area of Upper Peirce Reservoir is around 3-4km depending on whether you explore the side roads around that area. Knowing that my body is still weak by my week long flu, I decided to take it easy and pace along the Old Upper Thomson Road. Along the way, I encountered many other runners doing the 9km Peirce Reservoir running route and a horde of cyclists which I had to jump aside to let them past.

The trail exit at Old Upper Thomson Road
Along Old Upper Thomson Road
Even though I did not go far, Big Bone Guy (BBG) completed the whole stretch of the Old Upper Thomson Road and took a loop back along Upper Thomson Road and the total distance is around 8.75 km. There is a slight up slope along Old Upper Thomson Road but you will be rewarded by a down slope run along Upper Thomson Road. We pretty much enjoy the traffic free run along Old Upper Thomson Road and there are so many good breakfast spots around the area, that we swear to come back to explore the area further. Meanwhile, we will advice any runners to avoid the trails inside the parks if possible if you dislike stairs. 

Breakfast at a HK cafe beside Casuarina
Curry Restaurant

My extremely short 2.5km run

BBG 8.75km run

Location: Lower Peirce Reservoir, Singapore


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