Woodcutter Trail no more?

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!

15 Replies to “Woodcutter Trail no more?”

  1. Anonymous

    I went to woodcutters trail today. 2 mins into the trail, we were stopped by 5 npark officer armed with video cam. We were stop n the officers took our particular. A follow up letter will be issue to us. I sure hope it’s a verbal warning only. Therefore I don’t encourage anyone trying the trail. Yes, theres a gate with fences surrounding the entrance. Too bad we have 1 less nice trail to run. So sad.

  2. Tekko Koh

    As a responsible runner, we should not promote running there if it is officially not allow but I like the idea of a petition although I doubt it will work with our pragmatic authorities

  3. Anonymous

    I ran this trail many a times during 2010, starting from Hill View Avenue, going through dairy farm quarry. Now I have a 1 yr old baby, whom I carry with my Ospray baby backpack. I would love to do this trail again. If someone has the latest info. Please post.
    Alternatively we could petition a request letter to Nparks for allowing runners/trekkers and not bikers.

    Wild boar is a myth, there are no animals in that place of a size that would matter.

  4. Anonymous

    Hi there… Just to confirm that now it seems illegal to run the woodcutter’s trail. I saw this trail on Internet and tried to run it last week-end. I started form Upper Pierce Reservoir, but I have been stoped by a Npark guard after running 20 minutes. I told me that it is illegal to run on this trail and threatened to fine me. I asked him why, but he seemed confused, didn’t answer me clearly and threatened to fine me again. So I came back to Upper Pierce Reservoir…

    It’s a shame, it seems to be a very nice trail… It’s very hard to find a trail for long run in Singapore apart from running from MacRictchie to Bukit Timah or running three times the MacRictchie loop!;) Do you have other suggestions for long run in the forest ?

  5. Tekko Koh

    Hi there. When did the wild boars thing surface? According to what I know, the first lot of mountain bikers got fined in April and enforcement has been ongoing since then. I think it has nothing to do with the wild boars but more the destruction of foliage caused by the bikers carving out new routes.

  6. Anonymous

    they just want to set up traps in the trails and kill because its difficult to track down wild boars” home, they cover huge area of territory since wild boar often enter the walking trails and lefted footmarks behind. comeon , nparks why a sudden blocked the area. lower pierce is connecting to upperpierce. theres rumors saying mtb riders enter the helicopter area but I don’t think so , since nparks announced culling wild boars, this happens.

  7. Tekko Koh

    Anonymous 1 – Sure it doesn’t stop the runners from going in but it sure gives runners a bad name if they are caught.

    Anonymous 2 – I don’t know how much the fine is and I certainly don’t want to find out first hand

  8. Anonymous

    do u know how much is the fine for entering the central catchment area? I have saw the sign board put up since july 2012. no entry except authorize personnel.

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