Reserves - Streams - Around the Sea of Galilee

Meshushim Stream Nature Reserve

Type: Family trip; entering the water; observatory

Information: There is an entrance fee to access the Meshushim Stream Nature Reserve. Access to the pool route is permissible until two hours prior to when the site closes. Some of the paths are accessible for physically-challenged visitors.

Along the route:  A number of hiking routes and lookout trails through the Meshushim Stream Nature Reserve are available, and then there is the magnificent Meshushim Pool surrounded by impressive hexagonal basalt rocks. ("Meshushim”).

The Stream & Pool Trail- a trail leading to the Meshushim Pool on its eastern side, parallel to the Meshushim Streams flowing ravine - including a climb with the aid of pegs, to the banks of the stream. A hike of about 45 minutes.
Lookout Trail - a short, circular route of about 15 minutes, to enjoy the spectacular vistas of the Golan Heights, and the Meshushim and Zavitan streams. Suitable for walking with children strollers and wheelchairs.
The Dolmen Trail - a short, circular route leading to the Dolmen, a monument of huge basalt stones built by ancient Golan dwellers. Combines well with the lookout trail.
The Trail from Meshushim Stream to Zavitan Stream - a long route for fit hikers. The trail features steep inclines and declines as it crosses the Mershushim Stream and Zavitan Stream ravines, ending up at the Yehudiya camping site.

How to get there: The entrance to the Meshushim Stream Nature Reserve is from Road #888, north of Had Nes, which terminatesat a supervised camping site.

In addition: The original trail is relatively short and suitable for families. You may want to add a number of short detoursto it, to enrich the experience. It is important to set out with enough water, since none is available along the route.

 

Gamla Nature Reserve 

Type: History & archeology; panorama; families.

Information: Entrance fee.

About the route: The reserve provides a unique combination of vistas, nature and historical remains. There is an observation point looking out over nesting colonies of various types of raptors, some of which are quite rare. Remains of the ancient city of Gamla are a short walk away, including the architectural structure of the oldest known synagogue in the world. An additional observation point looks out over impressive waterfalls and canyon streams. At 51 meters, the waterfall at Gamla Stream is the highest in Israel, and it flows throughout the year.

How to get there: At MaaleGamla Junction, turn from the Road #92 (which circumscribes the Sea of Galilee) onto Road #869. Drive past Moshav Maale Gamla and Moshav Kanaf, continue to Daliyot Junction and turn left onto Road #808. Drive for three km and turn left at the Gamla Nature Reserve sign.

In addition: A tour among the remains of the ancient city of Gamla. Recently, a narrow road was inaugurated, by means of which it is possible to reach the remains by bus - but only when coordinated in advance.

 

Magrase Nature Reserve

Type: Wading through water; families.

Information: Entrance fee; some of the trails are accessible for physically challenged visitors; on Saturday and Jewish holidays entrance is on a space available basis.

About the route: Magrase is a nature reserve at the Daliyot Stream Estuary, at the southern tip of the Beit Saida Valley, by the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The hiking route, known as the "wet trail,” passes here through ice cold pools of water on the banks of which grows a rich variety of foliage - willow trees and nerium oleander in particular - and enables visitors to see a variety of creatures, like softshell turtles and semi-terrestrial crabs. A visit to Magrase includes a 40-60-minute hikein water that isn’t too deep (no higher than about 90 cm), which makes the adventure suitable too for young children or even infants in baby slings. It’s advisable to come equipped with shoes for walking through water, or sandals.

There is a dry route as well, which does not include wading through water and is suitable for touring in winter.

How to get there: Drive along Route #92 (which circumnavigates the Sea of Galilee) and turn west at the MaaleGamla Junction roundabout. Drive along the asphalt road, following the signs leading to Magrase.

In addition: It is assumed that the name Magrase(based on the Hebrew word "garus,” which means crushed or ground) is derived from the flour mills that used to operate there, or perhaps because of the thin, ground silt deposited in the lake stream נחל לאגם.estuary. There are WCs and dressing rooms at the start of the Magrase Trail, as well as drinking water and a shaded picnic area.

 

HaZakai - Meshushim Stream Estuary (Beit Saida Nature Reserve)

Type: Wading in water; families; medium level of difficulty; circular.

Information: Free of charge; not in winter; it is recommended to contact the Nature & Parks Authority before setting out, to make sure that the route is open and accessible.

About the route: HaZakai is the lovely Meshushim Stream estuary, which slows its flow and empties into the Beit Saida Valley before reaching the Sea of Galilee. The route - best suited for when the weather is warm - takes three-four hours to complete, depending on how long it takes to navigate the ice cold water, and there are places where swimming through deep lagoons is required, against a background of untamed, shaded nature. The estuary is surrounded by a rich assortment of verdant foliage and a variety of fauna living near the water. It is forbidden to remain in the park after dusk.

The route is signposted in green and marked as #1 on the trail map.

How to get there: Turn west following the signs, at MaaleGamla Junction, in the direction of the Magrase Nature Reserve. At the fork in the road where it meets a trail marked in green, turn right (west). Drive for about 250 meters until arriving at a bus parking lot on the left. The route begins and ends here.

In addition: In the past, it was possible to begin the route at the intersection of trails adjacent to Yehudiya Junction, but part of that trail is not maintained any longer and most of it is blocked. Therefore, the only way to access HaZakai is via the Magrase access road. Bringing your own drinking water is a necessity, so are walking shoes that are good for wading through water and that support the feet. Do not bring equipment that you do not want to get wet.

Reserves - Streams - Around the Sea of Galilee

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