Excursions: It seems like a distant dream, but why not strive?

The closure is suffocating us again, and trips in Israel and abroad seem like a distant dream, but imagine a journey into a hidden world, a kind of charming and hidden fairy forest where we can cross streams, pools of water, see animals and plants just like in fairy tales – ones that not only look Great in Instagram photos, but really magical in reality. Describe to you? Excellent, you should know the streams of fern and swamp in the Western Galilee and find that my description is accurate. If there is a destination you should visit when we leave the quarantine – this is the place.

It is important to note that this is not a circular route, but a route with a starting point and an end point, so it is recommended to prepare with two vehicles, leave one at the end point and then return to the start (following the blue trail). If you travel alone or as a family capsule and can not move two vehicles, you can do the full route and catch a ride with other travelers, or leave the vehicle in the fern park or at the exit point in Kibbutz Ayalon, go down to the river channel and follow in your footsteps – longer route, yes , But really not terrible, especially after such a long time in homes.

Stalactite Cave (Photo: Hadar Yahav)

The full route begins at the Sherech parking lot and ends at Kibbutz Ayalon. It is worth noting that the car park itself has picnic tables, and at some distance from them, in the shade of a plot of pine trees, there are playgrounds for children, so you can start the route (or finish it) with a light meal next to the spectacular view. The parking lot itself is located in the heart of the Jewish Child Forest – a forest planted as part of an operation initiated by the JNF, where children planted the trees dedicated to the memory of more than one million children who perished in the Holocaust. Each child planted two trees: one for him and another in memory of a child who perished in the Holocaust.

Since you’re already in the area, you can enjoy some of the local history and archeological remains at Horbat Danaila. You will find that the parking lot has signage that takes you straight there easily. This is a farm from the Byzantine period with cloth houses, buildings and alleys restored by the JNF and the Antiquities Authority. The many cloth houses indicate the main occupation in the area – growing olive groves for oil. During the 500 years the place remained deserted, the grove took over and completely covered it. “The Disappearing City.” This is a short and easy route, rich in fascinating stories, and circular – which takes us back to the parking lot.

We will go down the path to Nahal Sherech (Nahal Achzav) surrounded by tangled Israeli vegetation – such as oak trees, Israeli elm, laurel, medical birch and more. The trail continues and crosses the creek to the left bank and along it in a pleasant and not difficult walk at all. After walking a little over a mile we will reach our first stopping point at the foot of Fern Cave.

It is a beautiful stalactite cave, but it was determined that it would not be allowed to enter until 1.4, in order to preserve the bat population in the cave, which are in this period in their winter year. Know that even if you do not enter, you can peek (shhh … do not reveal to anyone) from the entrance to understand what treasure is hidden right under our noses.

We will continue on the path to the next goal on our route – A meeting with Nahal Betzet, called in Arabic Wadi Karkara. The stream begins its flow already in neighboring Lebanon and flows into the sea really close to Rosh Hanikra. The stream is known for its many and sharp twists, as it passes through one of the great fault lines of the Galilee. If you are interested in local plants, you should know that on the banks of the creek they grow Shulamit hairs, eastern plane, river hawthorn and more, and many animals roam, from wild boars, foxes to rock face and catching fish – while the catches you can see in abundance, rarely see pigs or Foxes roam the field.

At this point, when the streams meet, we turn left at the split of the paths towards the water sources of the carriage springs. This is a series of springs around which you can stop, especially in summer, take off your shoes and enjoy the flowing water. Please note, it is always advisable to check before dipping in stream water if there is a danger of a mouse, especially in relatively dry seasons.

You will recognize the first spring with the help of the Eretz Israel goddess tree standing next to it, followed by two more shallow but large pools and another relatively small one. In the past, the water from the spring flowed in Peleg Eitan to the pumping institute below Kibbutz Ayalon. Nowadays, water is poured into the pipe.

After wading and relaxing in the shade of the many trees, we will return to the blue path and walk along the sides of the stream in the shadow of the hawthorn and plane trees, with the water flowing into small pools in the background. The path leads us safely to the large eucalyptus grove and further to the pumping pool, from which members of Kibbutz Ayalon draw water for private use. At this point the route is almost complete, and we will continue on the paved road to the area of ​​the kibbutz – to the place where we left the collection vehicles.

Nahal Betzet (Photo: Hadar Yahav)Nahal Betzet (Photo: Hadar Yahav)

the location: Western Galilee.
The nature of the trip: Landline trip, two vehicles are needed. It is recommended to arrive in shoes that are suitable for walking in the water. During the period when the cave is open, it is recommended to be equipped with flashlights.
Duration of the trip: About four hours.
How to get there: The route starts at the fern parking lot. We will reach it from the northern road (road 899), and following the signs pointing north to a dirt road at the end of which is a parking lot (blue trail markings). 

Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.

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