Tuesday 23 November 2010, by Wolf
Not much can be found about the Woodcutter’s Trail in the Internet. In fact, i have been searching for it for a while and could only figure it out on the second attempt. To my knowledge it is the only trail cutting the Central Catchment area in the East-West axe.
I think it is totally uncharted and an "unofficial" trail. For this, it is surprisingly well "marked"; i.e. it is large enough not to lose the trail somewhere in the middle. In fact, it seems to be used by bike amateurs, as i can judge from the tire traces in the mud.
Absolutely remote and wild, this track is a must for runners who like the greenery. You might not encounter a single person all the way!
How to get there:
By public transport: There is no MRT station nearby - you got to come by bus off Upper Thomson road (bus numbers 163, 167, 169, 855 or 980).
It is better to start from the East end, from the Old Upper Thomson Road; at least the first time. Reason is, at the West end the track bifurcates into many smaller tracks, so i can just guess it will be difficult to find the right entrance from that side. Get off Old Upper Thomson road towards the the junction between the Upper and Lower Pierce Reservoirs. However, do not follow this road till the end. The entrance to the Woodcutter’s trail is almost not visible from the road : the best sign is a panel with a skull and "entry prohibited" on it : pass under that panel on the right side of the road and after some dozen steps in the bush you will find the "real track".
The map below should facilitate the searching...
By car: There is a parking lot at the recreational areas between the Upper and Lower pierce reservoir. This is as close as you can get. Now; the track is not a loop so you need to run it two-way to get back to your vehicle : almost a half-marathon. Careful, there is a car gate at the park entrance, which closes relatively early (7pm). If you don’t get out by this time, then you’ll have to come back next day to fetch your vehicle!
The track: It’s in the - real - jungle. Relatively flat in total, i goes up and down here and then. Towards the East end you have a spectacular (small) river crossing : you have to balance on a wooden plank or do some other acrobacy to get over it; otherwise you might get wet. There are some other obstacles along the way, like fallen trees or smaller waterways but not that serious as the above. In any case, it is a real adventure trail.
The length can be a challenge, depends where you stop; but if you go for the end-to-end; it will be 11-12km; almost all in the green; far away from all car noise and other civilisation.
Water point: None unless you want to try some forest rain water..