Upper & Lower Peirce Reservoir guide
With all the time that we’ve spent cooped up at home, it’s no surprise Singaporeans have gone outdoor-crazy. From the Green Corridor to Punggol Waterway Park, we’ve started to rediscover many of the green spaces within our purportedly “nature-less” island. If you’re looking to fill your next free day up with some greens and blues, try Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoir.
There are plenty of refreshing sights to see in the extensive area, from overseas-like waterfront views to quiet sunrise spots you’ll need to hike to reach. Below is an all-in guide for revisitors and first timers alike:
Lower Peirce Reservoir
You won’t be the only one that’s wondering if the name’s a typo. It isn’t. The reservoir was named after Robert Peirce, a municipal engineer in Singapore in the 1900s. Lower Peirce was also commissioned in 1912, making it the second oldest reservoir in Singapore.
Fun fact: Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoir used to be connected but a dam was built in the 1970s to expand the reservoir to meet our country’s need for clean water.
Walk or jog along the 900M-long waterfront boardwalk
The 900M-long Lower Peirce Trail takes nature lovers through the prettiest areas of the park. The two trailheads – Casuarina and Jacaranda entrances – begin near a bus stop and guide hikers on a flat and well-paved trail through one of Singapore’s last remaining mature secondary forests.
Image credit: @ffonglee
Squirrels, macaques, skinks and monitor lizards can be spotted along the way, but be sure not to feed them as it’s against park rules. After wandering through the forest, see the towering trees make way for a stunning view of Lower Peirce Reservoir. Continue on a peaceful walk along the boardwalk by the water’s edge and you’ll wind up near the other end of the park where the car park lies.
Image credit: @amemiyachan
Getting there: The nearest bus stop is a 5-minute walk away from Casuarina and Jacaranda entrances. Buses that take you there are 163, 167, 169, 855 and 980. Alight near Sembawang Hill Food Court.
Catch the sunrise at park’s pavilion
Image credit: @sgthroughlens
A panoramic view never fails to start the day right and for that reason, set your alarm clock early to head down before sunrise. IG tags will tell you that the Lower Peirce Pavilion is one of the best places to catch the sky in stunning colours at the crack of dawn. While you can’t enter the pavilion itself, you can still head down the bridge to get 360-degree views of the pretty reflections on the water surface.
Go fishing with a view
Image credit: @yongyichuaaa
Prawning may be a popular leisure activity these days, but if you want to sit back, relax and feel like you’re in Animal Crossing, fishing is what you’ll want to add to your to-do list here. This is one of the few places in the country where you’re legally allowed to cast a rod.
Just like swiping through dating apps, a good catch is rare but feeling like you’re on a countryside vacation is well worth it in our books.
Upper Peirce Reservoir
Image credit: @shirley_hellotitty
Upper Peirce Reservoir is the less accessible but larger park of the two, with great views thanks to the forests and Singapore Island Country Club surrounding it.
Head up the park’s hill for panoramic NZ-like scenery
Image credit: @cloud_blue_journey
New Zealand’s stunning lakes are what may come to mind when here, and one way to best enjoy the open space is by heading up the hill to look over everything below. Come by in the morning where the landscape is often covered in a dreamy morning mist.
Nearby is also the reservior’s dam where many come to take I-made-it-here selfies.
Find a lesser-known viewpoint a short hike away
Image credit: Celestine Koh
As avid hikers may know, having to work for that sunrise view makes it all the more sweeter. About a 1KM walk away from the park, Upper Peirce Reservoir Viewpoint is one that you’ll have to work up a bit of sweat to find. Avoid coming too early or staying too late as the area is not well-lit when the sun is down!
Location guide to the viewpoint
Image adapted from: Google Maps
Getting there: From Upper Peirce Reservoir Park, head up Old Upper Thomson Road and turn left into a nameless road. Follow the directions here.
Spend a day at Upper & Lower Peirce Reservoir
The route leading to Upper Peirce at sunrise
Image credit: @cuppa_moments
While looking for new activities to spend those remaining ALs on, look no further than the duo of Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoirs for a sunny day out. You can visit each park individually, or combine both visits with an extensive 4.5KM-long hike that’ll take you past Thomson Nature Park as well. Get the route map here.
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