Cycling around the Reservoirs at Central Catchment area

Cycling around the Reservoirs through Old Upper Thomson Road was on my wish list. Imagine the green views, the old road and the picturesque water and flora.

YouTube video : My escapade to the reservoirs

 

Maybe do not think about the FUN Upper Peirce Reservoirs slopes first.

You can cover 3 reservoirs in under 3 hours. If add Springleaf and Thomson Nature Park, that would be at least 5 parks or reservoirs. Adventures Buffet!

This blog post will share the attractions at each park or reservoir. You may jump down to end of page for link to more photos on our Fanpage album.

Those cycling from Sengkang and Punggol can do a clockwise Bishan Park-Lower Peirce – Upper Peirce- Upper Seletar- Springleaf -Lentor Avenue – Yishun Dam and home. Loop should be around 50km.

Cycling Sengkang to Peirce Reservoir

Photo below, I love the cycling tracks under Ang Mo Kio MRT viaduct (same as Bukit Batok). The pavement offers connectivity and shade.

Bishan Park

Although Sakura tree no more (Refer Nparks’ March update link), there are still plenty of visual attractions at Bishan Park.

I used to go long-kang fishing with the kids when they were younger (Blog Bishan Long Kang fish).

Next, cross Upper Thomson road to explore Lower Peirce Reservoir.

Refer to Google Map below, I had wanted to explore (1)Lower Peirce, (2)Upper Peirce and (3)Upper Seletar Reservoirs.

By all means, detour and explore scenic Springleaf Nature Park and Thomson Park too.

Did you notice Macritchie Reservoir is a mere 5km from Lower Seletar Reservoir? More corners to explore and photograph.

Lower Peirce Reservoir

Lower Peirce Reservoir is easier to access compared to Upper Peirce Reservoir ( It is about 1.5km and 3km by bus and walking, respectively.)

Lower Peirce Reservoir’s scenic offerings are not inferior and there are plenty of reflections too. Pose away.

Cycling around the Reservoirs
Cycling around the Reservoirs

Do follow the winding trails and hug the nature. Boardwalk will let you walk along the water fringe.

Head North along Old Upper Thomson Road, and you will hit junction of Casuarina Road.

Do take note of opening hours for Nature Parks. We want the animals and insects to rest too.

It seems like we can still use the Park Connector, but the gates to the reservoirs will be locked.

PCN for joggers and cyclists, and one-way road for vehicles. I prefer to cycle on the road as it is less crowded.

Follow the meandering Old Upper Thomson road to explore nature up close. You will be connected to the reservoirs, and new Thomson Nature Park too.

Can you imagine how Grand Prix used to drift the hairpin turns in the 1960s?

No more racing on this road, but we are using 2 wheels for Cycling around the Reservoirs.

While cycling or jogging along Old Upper Thomson Road, you can detour and explore the trails at Thomson Nature Park.

Upper Peirce Reservoir

I noticed a detour (Meeting Point 7) at the entrance of Upper Peirce Reservoir. For those who relish a path (and mud) less traveled.


The slopes will take away your breath, literally. Fringed by marvelous green slopes and canopies, it is no joke to cycle up the slopes (x2 times!).

The monkeys will cheer you on :p

But the views are worth the sore calves! Cloud reflections bounced off the reservoir surface. The water is so clear we can see the bottom of the reservoirs.

This spot is super popular for fishing. I am just curious why otters do not navigate to these inland water bodies?

Loves these reservoir pockets of nature. Fresh air providing a respite from Urban landscapes. Awesome instagrammable shots.

Exit Upper Peirce Reservoir, and head towards Upper Seletar Reservoir.

If you start from Springleaf and head towards Bishan direction, you will encounter more slopes (Gut feel maybe 15% more).

Do take note of this “bef SLE” Bus stop. You might not see the steps at night and fly off! This Bus stop is right after you exit Old Upper Thomson Road. Be careful.

Heading towards Upper Seletar Reservoir, you will pass by new MRT line Thomson East Coast line. This is Springleaf station.

I just realised Upper Thomson Road stretches from (almost) MacRitchie Reservoir to Springleaf Nature Park (about 9km).

You will pass by Springleaf Nature Park (on the opposite side), turn left into Mandai Road. (Springleaf and Thomson Nature Park are near to each other.)

Go under this underpass to reach Upper Seletar Reservoir. (GPS 1.402488, 103.812526), follow Mandai Road Track 7.

You will have to cycle on the road and up a slope.

Upper Seletar Reservoir

Highlights at Upper Seletar Reservoir would be the Rocket and that Tree. Take more photos.

Climb to the roof for a panoramic view.

Lesser crowds at Upper Seletar Reservoir, perhaps it is less accessible?
MRT will bring more folks nearer to the reservoirs in the future.

Famous Tree at Upper Seletar Reservoir

You can follow the path and cycle towards Mandai Road. This is more convenient compared to cycling in from Mandai Road itself.

I would not recommend this stretch for new cyclists as road is narrow. Just admire the rows of heritage trees forming a “green corridor”.

Springleaf Nature Park

Time to head home. Cross Upper Thomson Road to reach Springleaf Nature Park.

Just follow the river along Springleaf Nature Park and you will hit Lentor Avenue and Lower Seletar Reservoir.

漂亮! Nice Sunset.

Lower Seletar Reservoir

Cycle pass Lower Seletar reservoir, catch the sunset or blue hour.
From here, you are only 10km from Punggol or Sengkang, via Yishun Dam.

Hope you would find our reservoir tips useful. Cycle to enjoy more flora and fauna. More photos on Cycling around the Reservoirs can be found on our Facebook album.

Singapore Reservoir Photos

Do pop by our other related hiking and cycling posts too:

Upper Seletar climb up the Rocket with Yee
Trail running 12km MacRitchie Reservoir
-Macritchie Tree top walk!

-Cycle 70 km East, TMCR (link)
-Cycle 80 km West, Lim Chu Kang(link)
-Cycle to Woodlands and back for 50km (link)
-Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks

* MTB\RoadBike\Foldie selection, & Foldable bike shortlisting
* Follow my family’s cycling experience here .
-Instagram SengkangBabies #skbCycles or #skbHiking

Cycle to Woodlands and Mandai, around 50km

I have blog about cycling to the East and West, this post is about Cycle to Woodlands (about 20 to 25km from Sengkang).

Cycle Sengkang Punggol Park connector

I am training for my Round the Island trip (RTI), which will be around 130 to 150km.

By the time you read this post, I have successfully completed my first 100km target. Click on my Relive Video link on Youtube.

As I stay in Sengkang, I am more familiar with the East and North side, compared to the West side.

Refer map below, cycling route would be anti-clockwise Sengkang-Yishun-Woodlands-Mandai-Yishun-Sengkang.

Cycle to Woodlands
Cycle to Woodlands

Starting from (Point 1) Sengkang Swimming Complex, head towards Yishun Dam. I would recommend (Route 3, Google Map above), as it is 80% Park Connector and 20% pavement. You will loop South of Seletar airport.

Seletar West PC
Seletar West PC

Alternate (Route 2) will bring you through sand and dusty terrain through Seletar North. The pavement is uneven and packed with construction sites (Previous experience looping around Seletar Airport)

Cycling on Seletar North road is not recommended for new riders, due to traffic and plenty of pebbles.

(Point 4) Yishun Dam. Take a breather and enjoy the sight, be it low or high tide.

Yishun Dam
Yishun Dam

Detour. I would recommend Rower’s Bay Park for the fantastic sunset.
This is actually one of the Coast 2 Coast checkpoints.

Sunset at Rower’s Bay

(Point 5) Sembawang Hot Springs. Since we cannot go to Japan or Taiwan for Onsen, this might be your open-air hot spring experience in Singapore.
(Read my Sento experience in Tokyo)

After Yishun Dam, just head North on Yishun Avenue 8 and turn left to Yishun Avenue 7.

Below photo is pre-upgrade from 2015. Only taps, no cascading pond and the kids were still so small.

Old Sembawang Hot spring

Meanwhile, my first foray North was caught in a thunderstorm!

It was too late to U-turn  and the rain might last hours. Totally drenched but huge sense of freedom as no more reservations. Woohoo!

Could barely see JB’s skyline. So near yet so far.

Woodlands Waterfront
Woodlands Waterfront

I did not expect to see so much rubbish across the straits.

If you are taking Marsiling PCN back towards Mandai or maybe Kranji. Take the path on the right side of Block 37 (picture below).

Head South along Marsiling PC followed by Woodlands PC (Park Connector), you will go behind Singapore Sports School and reach this junction (GPS).

Go across SLE and route behind MRT depot. Take note cars exiting/entering SLE travel fast, be careful. Secondly the direction from Woodlands towards Mandai, is packed with steep slopes.

Woodlands PCN
Woodlands PCN

(Point 8) Lastly, Ulu Sembawang is totally dark at night, and eerie 🙂
Otherwise, you should enjoy the climb and scenery.

(fyi, Sengkang to Woodlands, you can only choose cutting across Yishun or Ulu Sembawang)

Go easy on the down slopes as the bends might block your view from runners and visitors.

Scenic Ulu Sembawang
Scenic Ulu Sembawang

Once you reach Mandai, cross the road and cycle towards Yishun, Seletar direction.

I would recommend taking the Park Connector pavement (picture below), the other side of the road is pavement (not PCN), and can be slippery (mossy) and littered with fallen branches.

Mandai Road is famous for leg and lung workout. I would recommend newbies to go in a group (and you do not need to cycle on the road).

Mandai Park Connector
Mandai Park Connector

A few openings provide scenic photo opportunities. Do look out for Pumas and Chinooks from Sembawang Air base.

You are very near to Mandai Zoo and popular T15 trail (not recommended for foldies).

SLE image below. The rain never stopped for the 2nd half of my trip.

If you are only heading towards Mandai (and not Woodlands), you can reach Mandai area via Lentor Avenue too (Take note Lentor Avenue pavement is uneven and narrow)

*If you extend your trip to Pang Sua PCN , you can connect to Choa Chu Kang, Chestnut Nature Park, Bukit Batok etc. You can also hop onto the “Coast to Coast trail” towards Jurong West (Lake Side).

Singapore is that small!

(L-Yio chu Kang and R-Lentor avenue)

Lentor Avenue will run parallel to North-South MRT viaduct. Lower Seletar reservoir forms a nice backdrop (Location of image below).

Lower Seletar Reservoir

Little kids would enjoy the wading pool at this corner, or just walk to the end of the bridge (our old blog post)

Bonus and warning, more leg trainings needed :p

If time and energy permits, you may wish to dedicate some time for the beautiful reservoirs nearby Lentor Avenue or Central Water Catchment.

Blog post – Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks !

Go google MacRitchie, Lower Pierce, Upper Pierce. Exercise caution along old Upper Thomson road, lookout for vehicles, monkeys and sharp hairpin turns.

Springleaf Nature Park and Thomson Nature Park are new. And take note of multiple steep slopes at the two Pierce reservoirs!

Central Catchment reservoirs
Central Catchment reservoirs

Hope you and family will have fun exploring more corners of Singapore. I might try to share some essential upgrades and basic maintenance in the next post.

Do pop by our other cycling posts too:

-Cycle 70 km East, TMCR (link)
-Cycle 80 km West, Lim Chu Kang(link)
-Cycle to Woodlands and back for 50km (link)
-Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks

-Jogging one round Sengkang, Punggol Buangkok PCN (link)
SengkangBabies cycling

* MTB\RoadBike\Foldie selection, & Foldable bike shortlisting
* Follow my family’s cycling experience here .
-Instagram SengkangBabies #skbCycles