One of my favorite places to visit in Israel is a nature reserve suited to everyone – from old to young, and it’s even disabled friendly. Yes, this beautiful site actually has a whole pathway that is 100% wheelchair accessible and the park owners were pleased to say that they achieved this feat and only had to cut one branch of one tree to do so.
Take a short walk or a long one under tall trees and across babbling brooks and rushing rivers see the old waterwheel which used to power a flour-grinding mill and just wander around. All paths lead back to the entrance so no matter which one you take; you’ll always get back to where you started.
The whole park is only 120 acres, but it’s filled with beauty. There are four walks you can choose from, which range from about 30 minutes to a full two-hour trek (depending on your walking speed) but don’t worry about getting tired, with all the springs and pools around, stopping along the way to just look around, enjoy the scenery, snap some shots and wade in the water is of abundance here. And no matter how hot it is the day you visit, you’ll always feel you’re in the shade and able to keep yourself cool. If you ask me what is one spot where every tourist (and Israeli) should visit at least once on any tour to the Upper Galilee, this has got to by my No. 1 choice! My personal preference is to visit in spring (March or April) when the water is at its height after the winter rains and snows on Mount Hermon swell its rivers and streams. Mind you, in summer, they actually turn off the water to many of these sites, and if you go in august, for instance, you may have nothing more than a trickle here – so plan your visit appropriately.
There’s a good-sized car park but you can also get buses to his site and most good tours will stop there. Entrance fees are very reasonable (23 NIS for an adult which is around about four Euros or just under US $6) with discounts for children, elderly and groups (or members of Israel’s Society for the Preservation of Wildlife and Nature). Frankly, if anyone thinks nature reserves shouldn’t cost that much, I can’t agree. With the number of people that go there, this place is so well taken care of, I’d pay double to make sure it stays that way. By the way, there’s a restaurant, snack bar and picnic area near the entrance, but if you take things to eat on your walk, please remember not to litter!
I can’t think of many other places in Israel I’d give a full five out of five star rating, so please don’t think I’m exaggerating – I mean it. Go to Tel Dan – it really is perfection!