Top 5 Water Hike Trails in Israel
Israel has many hike trails which go through streams offering some relief from the heat as you hike. These water hike trails are usually free and sign posted so that you can follow the colored lines painted on rocks to show you the route. For these hike trails wear good walking shoes or sandals that you don’t mind getting wet and a swimming costume or clothes to change after completion of the hike. You’ll have a good time following the many streams which criss-cross Israel, keeping cool and enjoying the gorgeous countryside. These wet hike routes are great attractions for families with kids.
Majrase National Park, Israel. Photo credit: © Doron Nissim. Published with permission of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority
Ein MaboaEin Maboa or En Fawwar spring runs through the Wadi Kelt (Prat River) riverbed carrying water from the Judean Hills near Jerusalem to the Jordan River. This is a very easy hike, in fact, there is hardly any hiking involved at all; rather the fun is in swimming in the spring pool. Each day an underground karstic cave fills up with subterranean water and only when the cave is full does it empty into a pool where the water remains for about 20 minutes before continuing on its journey.
From the car park walk about 300 meters to an old British Mandate-era pumping station. Water flows out of the spring at this point into a pool which would have been part of the pumping station. After about 20 minutes the pool empties as the spring water continues on its course. In this area, you can see the remains of ancient mosaics on the ground. A few meters downstream you can see the remains of an ancient aqueduct.
This water trail follows the last part of the Meshushim Stream which flows from the Yehudiya Nature Reserve into the Sea of Galilee. The walk takes about 3 hours and much of the trail is in the water. This is not a loop trail so if arriving in one car you will have to make the walk back to your starting point after completing the route.
The river is quite wide and about knee-deep with gorgeous green trees and vegetation on both sides protecting hikers from the sun. At some points along the trail there is deeper water so bring water wings if you are with children who can’t swim. If the trail is too long for you it is possible to exit the water trail at several points and follow the road back to the parking area. The Majrase is another water trail running parallel to the Zaki Trail.
Yehudiah Waterfall, Israel. Photo credit: © ShutterstockNahal Amud ׂׂׂ(Amud Stream)
This is a challenging trail in northern Israel when taken from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean but you can also do a small section in a couple of hours. The most popular section is Nahal Amud not far from Safed. The trail goes alongside the stream with several points for jumping in along the way. This is a perennial stream that runs through a valley from Safed and empties in the Sea of Galilee but there are several points of entry including Meron where there is a parking lot and the start of a circular 4km route.
Nahal Kziv (Kziv River)
Together with the Monfort Trail, this is one of the most beautiful trails to follow in Israel. Meandering through the green Galilee following a perennial stream and passing by a Crusader Fortress, mountains, and a spring tunnel. There is an easy 6km circular route that requires some climbing towards the end but is suitable for all ages.
Amud Stream National Park. Photo credit: © Afiw Bkreia. Published with permission of the Israel Nature and Parks AuthorityThere are other trails here that are not circular. You can enter the ancient spring tunnel (Ein Tamir) if you want but be sure to bring a flashlight. The Spring Tunnel ends in a dead-end so you have to double back to get out. This is a wonderful place to see wildflowers especially in spring (April-June).
Nahal HaShofet (Shofet River)
This water hike takes you through a landscape of HaZorea Forest and the greenery of the Ramat Menashe Biosphere Reserve in the Mount Carmel area. It is an easy hike suitable for the whole family and can be completed in 1-2 hours. Part of this hiking trail is fully disabled-accessible. The water flows in this stream year-round starting near Kibbutz Ein HaShofet, joining the Kishon Stream southeast of Kibbutz HaZorea. There are several routes you can take but the most popular one is a circular route.
Mount Carmel, Israel. Photo credit: © Manu Grinspan. Published with permission of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority