National Geographic notes the Israel National Trail (Shvil Yisrael – שביל ישראל)
National Geographic magazine named the Israel National Trail (INT) one of the “World’s Best Hikes.” The special section focuses on 20 “epic trails,” or hikes that capture the essence of a location’s history and culture. The INT, a 620-mile trail that extends from southern Israel all the way to its North, was highly regarded for its breathtaking natural splendor as well as its historical context.
“Beyond the immense sense of history and breaking news, the trail powerfully connects to something that often gets lost in all the headlines—the sublime beauty of the wilderness of the Middle East,” the magazine writes.
Is the Israel National Trail (Shvil Yisrael) the Best Trail in the World?
Completing the challenging INT is no small feat, so it’s appropriate that it finds itself sharing pages in NatGeo with other inspiring trails, including the International Appalachian Trail; the Yoshida Trail on Mount Fuji, Japan; the Great Himalaya Trail of Nepal; and Scotland’s West Highland Way.
The magazine says the INT is best for “long-distance hikers with a love of both ancient and contemporary history.”
But perhaps NatGeo’s best piece of advice for the INT is at the end of the article, and should come as no surprise for most Jspace readers: Accept the trail’s hospitality.
“The biggest blessing here comes in the form of ‘trail angels’ along the INT who give a helping hand and often offer a place to stay free of charge to thru-hikers.”
Seven members of the Israel National Trail Data Project hiked 144 miles of the INT’s southern section, from Mitzpe Ramon to Ein Netafim near Eilat. The hike represented an effort to gather GPS data on the trail for a backpackers’ data book. This video is a short introduction to the trail and shows footage from the Negev Desert. And no, not all of the Israel National Trail is as desolate as what you’ll see in this short film. 🙂