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Israel National Trail Part 4- Nachal Dishon to Mount Meron

Hiking tracks

Israel National Trail Part 4- Nachal Dishon to Mount Meron

Segement 4 – Nahal Dishon to Mount Meron

Distance: 14 km

Water along the trail: There is water available at the Mount Meron Field School (Rashbi’s grave), and at the gas station at Meron junction (500 meters off of the trail).

Trail angels: Mount Meron Field School, the “pipe” at Nahal Zivon

Camping: Pisga camp site

Description:

The trail begins alongside route 899, ascending south from Avivim junction towards Yiron and Avivim. One kilometer north of the junction is a wooden sign indicating the entrance to the Nahal Dishon nature reserve. Follow the wide dirt trail alongside the road and Nahal Dishon.

Between mid-October and mid-November, the saffron flower blooms along the slopes of Puah Mountain (visible on your left, to the southwest). The saffron is a beautiful flower from the iris family. It has a lovely orange-yellow hue that resembles an egg yolk. If you visit the region during this month, look for this wildflower. Continue to follow the trail and cross the road to its southern side. After about three kilometers, the trial turns left and passes by Ein Aravot. Years ago, bathing in the spring was permitted, but today it is fenced off. Walk around the fence to reach the south side of the road. You will now see a red trail marker, indicating the continuation of the trail. The trail crosses Nahal Dishon several times, making it a rather wet experience in the wintertime. Several hundred meters after Nahal Dishon connects with Nahal Gush Halav, you’ll reach a cattle fence. Follow the trail for another 300 meters to enter the Bara’am Forest nature reserve, leading into a small grove of terebinth trees, which is a wonderful place for a picnic breakfast and a cup of coffee.

Follow the red trail and when Nahal Zivon meets Nahal Dishon, bear right to reach Nahal Zivon. This is one of the loveliest portions of the Israel Trail. The shade of the large trees growing alongside the stream and the moss-covered stones make the trail pleasant and cool. The roots of the trees form stairs to help you climb up the river channel. The trail leads to a clearing and intersects with a trail marked in black. Turn left and continue following the red trail. At this point, the Meron mountain ridge, one of the highest peaks in Israel, becomes visible, rising 1,208 meters above sea level. There is a trail leading around the peak of the mountain, offering glorious views of the Upper Galilee. Several holy Jewish and Druze sites are located at the foot of the mountain. The trail leads to route 89. Cross the road and look for the trail markers on the other side. Continue to follow the red trail until you reach the Israel Trail marker once again. This will take you up the mountain, through an oak tree grove and towards the Mount Meron Field School. Follow the trail to the Hamama ruins, where a black trail begins and leads to the peak of Mount Meron.

Water is available near the ruins of Hamama. From here on, you will be following the black trail markers along an uphill trail. It is not very steep and there are plenty of places to stop along the way and rest in the shade. The vegetation along the trail is dense and includes terebinth, oak and occasionally even red-trunked arbutus trees. You’ll pass by the Neriya observation point which features a well-marked sign that explains exactly what you are looking at. From there, you can see the Nahal Dishon channel, Kibbutz Sasa, the Golan Heights, the villages on the northbound road, and a large portion of the trail that you have just hiked. The black markers on the trail meet up with the red trail markers and there are now two options. You can turn right, leave the Israel Trail and hike down a short but steep trail leading to the end of the route, or you can turn left towards the trail along the Meron mountaintop, circle the mountain and add an extra half-hour to your hike. The trail ends at the Pisga camp site.

Difficulty - EASY

North
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