The Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve has much to offer those seeking to escape the city without leaving it
TREKKING does not always have to be difficult.
Some excursions can be leisurely enough that you can drag your young children along too.
Last weekend, I decided to visit a lesser known park in Kuala Lumpur, after having driven past it numerous times.
This is the Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park or better known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.
It has two entrances, and I opted for the one located along Jalan Raja Chulan as it has an open-air car park next to it.
Although I had to pay the jaga kereta uncle RM10, this was still cheaper than the parking fee at KL Tower at the other entrance.
It only took a minute’s walk to reach the gates, where my friend and I spotted a group of students and tourists in front of the information centre.
The centre was closed for renovation, so I proceeded to the staircase behind it as directed by the arrows on some posters.
There was a map of the 9.73ha forest near the starting point of the main trail, but rain seemed to have smeared it over time, leaving it slightly blurry.
We made for the top of the hill, and there we came upon the much-talked-about canopy walk.
The 200m aerial bridge is a regular tourist stop, but usually only sees a handful of local visitors.
While enjoying the lush greenery, I stumbled upon several information boards placed at each canopy tower.
However, you have to use the QR code reader on your handphone to read the short descriptions of the plants spotted from the towers.
As we continued our walk, we gradually climbed higher and higher. The highest point is at 21m.
When we came to the end of the canopy walk, we found we had arrived at the foot of KL Tower. Instead of taking a break, we decided to look at the list of trails one could take.
A group of expatriates with children was just starting off their journey, so we followed them into the Jelutong Trail, then took the Suboh Trail next to it.
It led us to the Convent Bukit Nanas school.
As we stood behind the fences of the park, we admired the colourful facade of the building.
Feeling adventurous, we made a U-turn to the next trail, Penarahan.
The trek took us past the Bamboo Walk and a campsite.
You could take a break or organise a picnic here as many benches and tables are placed under the lush bamboo trees.
Before calling it a day, we took the Merawan trail, which was rather interesting.
Information on 11 species of plants, complete with descriptions and pictures, are carefully placed along this trail. And you don’t need to scan the QR code to read them either.
The trails at the park range from 300m to about 500m each. And they are fairly easy for people of all ages.
All you need to do is wear comfortable clothes and a pair of sport shoes.
Do bring your own water bottle as there are no food stalls in the park.
It is said that the park has about 223 tree species and 12 species of animals, including bats, civet cats, squirrels, monkeys and rats.
It also harbours 25 types of birds.
The Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park is open daily from 8am to 6pm. Entrance is free.