The Kziv River (Nahal Kziv or Horn Valley) flows from Mount Meron in northern Israel, westward to the coast near Achziv. It stretches for 39-km through the Upper Galilee and is part of the popular Sea-to-Sea hike trail. Kziv is Galilee’s longest perennial stream with the largest draining basin. Four streams feed into Kziv-Ein Ziv, Ein Tamir, Ein Hardalit, and Ein Yakim.
The river banks boast ancient ruins and scenic areas. In winter the waters swell from rainfall, and springs add to the volume of water. At a point along the route, Israel’s national water company draws water to supply residents. Further along the river, the company pumps water back into the stream. The river attracts locals and tourists with its abundance of water, lush vegetation, and many attractions along the route.
Highlights along the Route of Nahal Kziv
Along the river banks are wildflowers like the oleander, ferns and Madonna lilies. The surrounding area is dotted with bushes, oak, Platanus trees and Mediterranean woodlands. Several species of animal live close to the river for a reliable source of drinking water. Golden jackals, wild boar, and wolves are among the local wildlife. Nahal Kziv is one of only three places in Israel where the Persian fallow deer lives. Perched above the Kziv River gorge, on a spur of rock, is Montfort, a Crusader fortress.
You can climb up to the fortress remains for stunning panoramic views of the river and surrounding Mediterranean woodlands. On the edge of the river, just beneath Montfort, are the remains of ancient water-powered flour mills. Nearby attractions include the Hellenistic period stone carving of a man 1.78m-high near Abirim Stream. Near Ein Tamir are the remains of a Middle Bronze Age Canaanite fortress (17th-18th century BC) looking down on the water from a clifftop.
Hiking along Kziv River
Nahal Kziv attracts hikers who come to enjoy the water, forests and wildflowers. There are several hike trails you can follow. The most popular is a circular route from the Mitzpa Hila parking area. Other popular Kziv River hike trails include one that begins west of Ma’a lot-Tarshiha. The river runs through Goren Park, which has several scenic trails, recreational areas, and observation points. Most of the Kziv River flows through the idyllic Nahal Kziv Nature Reserve.
Take a dip in the rock pools near Ein Tamir. The Ein Tamir spring gushes out of a 15m-long tunnel which can be entered for a genuine thrill. As you walk along the Kziv River, there are places where you can wade through the water or hike along the river bank. Kziv has earned its reputation as one of Israel’s most popular natural attractions.