Recently I posted a trail run at the infamous Woodcutter Trail. Subsequently I got a message from somebody who tipped me off that the Nparks had started to clamp down on “illegal” entry into the reserve where the Woodcutter Trails is located.
How true was the above? A quick dug by another friend soon confirmed the worst fear. Indeed Nparks had clamped down on entry into the trails, put up new signages and even fined bikers! Some bikers even had a dialogue with Nparks, Nature Society and other related parties to break the impasse but it seems like it was no good.
So Woodcutter and even Butterfly and Scorpion Trail is now out of bound to everybody. After so many years, why did Nparks suddenly decided to enforce the “rules”? To me it was deja-vu all over again.
A few years ago, runners could run from MacRitchie Reservoir to Upper Peirce Reservoir via what was known as Killer Hill and the SICC golf course. Then one day runners were disallowed ostensibly for their own “safety”. It was a big shock to everybody since nobody had been injured by golf balls in the many years that they have been running that route. But what caused the closure was a group of gangster had went there and beaten up some golfers which prompted the SICC to take the action to close off the access. My post about this here.
So is it the same case with Woodcutters and the rest? Apparently, the real reason was that somebody who went there posted a photo of the helicopter landing site and that incurred the wrath of the SAF who pressured Nparks to keep bikers and hikers and runners out. Sighed!
So it all boils down to responsible usage of the facilities and not to abuse it. On my runs in the trails, I often see discarded isotonic drink bottles and gel packaging. These are items that must have been dumped by runners, hikers and bikers. Then there are damaged trails where bikers forced their way through to carve out “new routes”. All of us as users of these facilities should and must learn to use the place responsibly and be accountable for our actions. If we do not collectively do this, we will soon find ourselves without a trail to run. Already there are many complaints from the public about the overcrowding at MacRitchie Reservoir and how runners are forcing hikers off the trail. If we don’t moderate our behaviour, one day we may even find runners ban from MacRitchie as well. Let’s hope that day will not happen!