My son was not around during the second week of last school holiday as he went for a trip to an island with his dad and brother (boys trip), but still, I have the itch to go somewhere. Having my sister’s kids with me, I told them to put on something sporty and follow me for a hill walk at Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve (re-branded as KL Forest Eco Park (Taman Eko Rimba KL), by the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM) in November 2009.)
KL Forest Eco Park is one of the oldest permanent forest reserve in the country. It covers an area of approximately 11 hectares and is the only remaining tropical rainforest in the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur. It was gazetted in 1906 and was formerly known as Bucket Weld Forest Reserve. In 1934, it was gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve and Bird Sanctuary. In 1950, a pristine section of about 5 hectares was gazetted as a Virgin Jungle Reserve. KL Forest Eco Park functions as a Green Lung as well as a recreational area for city dwellers. Here we can see the rich variety of flora that flourishes within the forest includes rare herbs, creepers, ferns, climbers and giant bamboo grasses.
For a city dweller who lives in KL/Selangor for 30 years, it was a shame that I have not made the effort to visit the forest earlier. If I made the effort in the 80s to visit the place, I would’ve the chance to take the cable car ride, to see the forest from bird’s eye view.
Anyway, we took the Raja Chulan entrance, not knowing that there are actually another 3 entrances to the park; one at Jalan Ampang (after the junction to Sultan Ismail and Kg Baru; at Wariseni Gallery), one at KL Tower and another one at Jalan Bukit Nanas.
Starting off at Jalan Raja Chulan main entrance, we took the Sindora Track where it leads to forest trails, camping site, KL Tower and Wariseni Gallery. There’s a tiled steps as well as old steps. If you wear hiking boots, you can take the old steps but for safety reason, we took the tiled one. Right before we climbed up the steps, we visited the Herb Garden and Wild Orchid House; there was not much to see here. The Wild Orchid House was locked and we could not enter to see the orchids.
Along the walk, we got ourself educated with tree names. There’s Kelat, Meraga, Petaling and many more. I assume that Petaling Jaya or Petaling Street were both named after Petaling tree. Petaling tree is considered commercial as the the timber is used house posts and other heavy construction purposes such as bridge bearers for logging roads and railways, foundation piles, fence posts, flooring and tool handles. Other than that it can be utilised for pallets, boxes, and crates. The bark is used medicinally and the seeds are edible.
Trees at KL Forest Eco Park.
After about 20 minutes-walk up the steps, we saw the entrance from KL Tower. We took a few minutes rest to catch out breath. Well, it was more me catching my breath. The two kids were quite fit.
KL Tower entrance to the park.
After that we walked along one of the forest trails; Penarahan Trail that leads to Hopea Track. The Penarahan Trail measures at 150m and took us about 15 to 20 minutes. Along the trail we got to see more trees that we haven’t seen before. Here are some photos I took along the walk at Penarahan Trail and Hopea Track.
We walked about another 150m along Hopea Track before reaching Bamboo Walk and a secret garden!
My nephew, Danial, posing at giant bamboo trees at Bamboo Walk.
The secret garden!
Well, the secret garden is actually a camping site called Dataran Hijau. It is a garden decorated with gazebos, garden tables and seats, flowers, not to mention more trees! I think this is a good place where you can bring your family for a picnic. Not sure whether picnicking is allow here; a question that I will ask the Forestry Department later.
Later we walked along the Shorea Track to discover a Par Course. A good place where you can stretch your muscles after a long walk.
The Shorea Track took us about 30 minutes (about 300m walk) before reaching the end of the park that leads to Wariseni Gallery (MTC Timber Gallery) at Jalan Ampang.
Canopy of trees. I did not forget to look up.
It was a tiring but overall, a good walk. I think we walked about 2 to 3 hours. We skipped a lot of trails; namely Arboretum Trail, Jelutong Trail and Merbau Trail. Below is my walking map that I drew myself based on the map near the Information Center.:
Click to see larger image.
Here are some information about the park:
Visiting hours: 7.00am to 6.00pm daily including weekends and public holidays.
Entrance Fee: Free
Contact: Forestry Department, KL Lot 240, Bukit Nanas, Jalan Raja Chulan 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03-20706342