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Cycling route in Ben Shemen Forest

Bicycle tracks

Cycling route in Ben Shemen Forest

Family attractions in the area: The monkey park, Israel Thailand Friendship Building, Neot Kedumim.

Ben Shemen Forest covers 21 square kilometers and is near the town of Modi’in. Ben Shemen is considered the largest green area in central Israel, and it contains dirt tracks, which are mostly singles, picnic areas, a monkey park and even a traditional Thai temple made of wood that was built at the site as a gift for the People of Israel from the People of Thailand for Israel’s 50th anniversary and to commemorate the friendship between the two peoples.

In recent years, Ben Shemen Forest has become an attraction for mountain cyclists and motorcyclists. During weekends, the site is full and it is very difficult to find parking in the Mitzpeh Modi’im parking lot. The Jewish National Fund has developed many cycle paths in the forest that are marked throughout their way in blue and red, departing from Mitzpeh Modi’im. The route is approximately 30 km long, but can be shortened or rides restricted to the blue single, which is shorter and easier.

How to arrive:

From Highway 1 (Jerusalem - Tel Aviv), leave at the Ben Shemen Interchange eastward towards Modi’in. About 2 km from the interchange, there is a right turn entering the forest and Mitzpeh Modi’im. 


Route length: About 30 km (one may take the short route of 8 km, marked in blue, the Herzl Single)

Difficulty level: Medium

Recommended cycling seasons: summer, winter, autumn, spring

Cycling type: Circular cycling in the forest trails, singles and sandstone paths.

Ascents: About 300 meters cumulative climb.

Route is suitable for: Challenge cycling for experienced cyclists (not for beginners)

Technical level: Medium (white paths for XC cycling combined with a smooth single).

Physical difficulty level – medium 

Description of the route: 

Departure is from Mitzpeh Modi’im, connecting to the blue marked cycle path marked that is also called Herzl. Follow clear, convenient path marking to the meeting point with the red marked single, which is called Anava. At this stage, one separates from the blue marked trail and joins a red marked one. Climb to Gimzo Mound, a mound with an ancient history of Jewish settlement followed by an Arab period. From the height of the hill, one may observe Latrun, Lod Valley and on the horizon Herzliya too. If you have come at sunset, you can enjoy a breathtaking view. It is strongly recommended to take a brief stop at this site to enjoy the landscape. Follow the red trail marking and pass through waypoints such as the Regev ruins, an ancient site that is on the hilltop, where you can find remains of ancient buildings, open water cisterns and a unique 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape. We pass by Ligad Center, which is a large commercial center, and cycle in Wadi Gimzo. There, the red trail meets the blue one again and we continue back to Mitzpeh Modi’im.


Difficulty - MEDIUM

Jerusalem Area
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