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Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek

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Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek
When you’re in mixed company, moving at different speeds, how do you ensure no one feels they are holding the others up?
I found my answer: one of the best walking trails for seniors is the Lower Peirce or Upper Peirce trail. Back in the day, not many knew about the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park.
There would be a handful of families having a picnic on a Sunday when the gates were open and cars were allowed in.
Grading the walking trails by level of difficulty from Level 1 (Easy) to Level 5 (Treacherous), I was satisfied with my happy compromise.
Lower Peirce is Level 1 running into Upper Peirce (Level 3.5 at dips in the road). And if you are tired from the trekking, the Casuarina Road and Jalan Leban eateries are within striding distance.
Part 1: Lower Peirce Boardwalk (Level 1/5)
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Lower Peirce Trail Map
Map of Lower Peirce Trail
Bordering Lower Peirce Reservoir, the forest along the Lower Peirce Nature Trail forms a part of the 3,043 hectares of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This is one of the oldest walkable nature trails.
The Trail now sports a fresh look with all the boardwalks completed, so you can listen to your music or podcasts while trekking without having to worry about uneven terrain or cyclists.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Lower Peirce Trail scenic
Scenic Lower Peirce Reservoir
Lower Peirce can be approached by car or walking via the start of the PCN just off the Upper Thomson Road intersection with Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 (475m).
Monkeys will keep you company on this walking trail so you may want to carry a stick as your precautionary magic wand to shoo them away. Generally you can just ignore them if you have a food-free backpack.
It would be a good idea to visit the toilet adjacent to the carpark at the entrance to Lower Peirce Reservoir as this is the only one on the walking trail.
If you do not wish to start at the PCN, you can alight at the bus stop opposite the Jalan Leban Food Centre and walk in via the landed property.
Children’s Playground on higher ground
After you walk in from the carpark, and if your grandchildren are with you, they can scramble up the slope to a delightful children’s playground.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Park Bench
Savour peace on a park bench
You can proceed to enjoy the peace and calm of the Lower Peirce Reservoir as you sit on the park benches to take in the tranquility.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Mindfulness walk
The Mindfulness Walk
Then continue trekking on the boardwalk that hugs the coastline. This is the Oncospermum Trail, a serene stretch that’s great for a mindfulness walk.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Bamboo trail
A peek into serenity near the bamboo trail
At the confluence of the Oncospermum Trail with the Bamboo Trail, continue inland on Bamboo to the Cathea and Hevea trails.
Here, there is a manageable short flight of wooden steps to navigate.
Along the nature trail, I looked out for the interesting friends of the forest highlighted on the information boards.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - The Furry Natives
The Furry Natives
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - Fussy Feeders
Fussy Feeders
These boards are aptly titled: “The Furry Natives”, “Serpentine Grace”, “Fern-nomenon”, “Dragons and Giant Lizards”, and “Fussy Feeders”.
Look out for the different varieties of ferns dating back 360 million years, the Long-tailed Macaques, the Malayan Colugo, the Oriental Whip Snake or the Sumatran Flying Dragon.
Eventually I saw the light at the end of my walking trail as I exited at the Jacaranda Entrance-cum-Exit.
Heading left, I arrived at the alternative parking near Casuarina Road. This would be the place to park if your destination is the very-pleasant Old Upper Thomson Road Walking Paths.
Part Two: Old Upper Thomson Road Walk (Level 1)
A designated walking and cycling path makes this a safe stretch for trekking. Those who remember the grand prix races of the 1960s will be familiar with this twisting road. I felt I was walking on history!
This was the stretch called “The Snakes”. The narrow road with its challenging features made the 4.8km circuit a difficult one for racing. Over time the circuit was deemed unsafe and in 1973, it ceased to be used for racing.
To liven up your trekking tales, you can tell your friends that today the stretch bordering Lower Peirce Reservoir is said to be haunted by the spirits of drivers who lost their lives on the road.
Some seven drivers died in accidents over the 11 years when the Grand Prix was held here.
Part Three: Upper Peirce Reservoir (3.5/5 in parts)
Midway along Old Upper Thomson Road is the entrance to the Upper Peirce Reservoir.
Enjoy An Easy Walk Along the Lower Peirce and Upper Peirce Trek - V-shaped turn
A peek into scenic serenity near the Bamboo trail
The Grand Prix Circuit at Upper Thomson is well known for its “Devil’s Bend”, a V-shaped turn that challenged both car and racer. It used to be located at the entrance to the Upper Peirce Reservoir. I could see why it was treacherous.
Trekking to Upper Peirce Reservoir involves negotiating dips or troughs along the way. A couple of these had steep ascents. Cyclists generally end up pushing their bikes.
Tracing the history of the former racing circuit, I navigated the “Long Loop” and “Peak Bend”, before turning around where the walking trail met Upper Thomson Road.
I headed back to Casuarina Road which was also part of the history, with the “Circus Hairpin” being a dangerous turn at the Yio Chu Kang Road intersection.
Within the hour, one can trek to Upper Peirce Reservoir and back from the old Upper Thomson Road, adding some intensity to the workout. It’s a pleasant 10km walking trail to and fro.

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