The Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve
Shmurat Teva Yaar Yehudiya in the central Golan Heights covers 66,000 dunams (16,500 acres) and five main streams: the Meshushim, the Yehudiya, the Daliyot, the Zavitan and the Gamla, all of which flow down to the the flat Bethsaida Valley and Lake Kinneret. My family and I chose this classic attraction for our vacation hike.
Important! Stop at the information center to get the latest on the condition of the trails in the reserve and find out the rules visitors must follow. There has been a rock-slide several years ago and the trails have been altered. Some of the trails have shoulder deep water (for and adult) and small children are prohibited. The information center keeps account of each visitor to ensure that no one remains on the trail at night. I must say that the guide that spoke with us was so polite and so pleasant. He helped us choose the best itinerary for our mixed aged group. Thanks to him we all made it home safely.
Trails: There are at least 8 different trail itineraries in the Reserve from 2 hours to one full day. Difficulty ranges from Moderate to Strenuous. Believe me, even ” moderate” can be difficult if you are not in shape, as some members of my family learned yesterday. However the shorter trails are perfect for kindergarten children with adult supervision, again according to my experience. The trails are open all year, however summer can be very hot. During the winter the information center recommends only the outlook on Zavitan Falls. Those are my grandsons, below, jumping into the pool in the first photo below.
If you are ready for a hike in real “nature” you will love this reserve. Don’t forget water, hat, sun screen and hiking shoes!
Directions: The reserve is located off the Yehudiya-Hushniya road (no. 87) 7 km east of the Yehudiya junction, approximately 5.5 km south of Katsrin.
The following video show you how students from the USA enjoy The Hexagon Pools on Nachal Zavitan:
- April-September 8 A.M.-5 P.M.
- October-March 8 A.M.-4 P.M.
- Fridays and holiday eves: 8 A.M.-3 P.M.
- Last entry two hours before above closing hour
Phone: 04-696-2817; 04-696-3043
- Adult: NIS 22; youth: NIS 10
- Israeli senior citizen: 50% discount
- Student 19 NIS
- Group rate (over 30 people): Adult: NIS 19; youth: NIS 8.
- *The entrance fee to the Meshushim Nature Reserve is the same as the entrance fee to the Yehudiya Nature Reserve.
- *Discounts may be available; inquire at the reserve.
There is no lifeguard at the Zavitan pools.
Overnight camping: NIS 50 per adult; NIS 40 per youth
Canteen: A kiosk is open during the day.
Toilet: Public toilets clean at the information center.
You can meet some interesting people at the Hexagon Pools in Nachal Zavitan:
Meshushim Nature Reserve
The Meshushim Reserve is part of the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve. The length of the tour is 20 minutes down to the pool and 30 minutes back to the parking lot. Additional trail to the Zavitan Stream ending at the Yehudiya parking lot: a 4-6 hour walk. Do not start out on this trail after 11 A.M. The best season is fall, winter, spring.
Swimming in the pool: There are no lifeguards and the water is deep and very cold. Jumping into the water is dangerous and prohibited.
Directions: The entrance to the reserve is from road 888 along an unpaved road north of the community of Had-Nes.
Pets: Only leashed dogs may be taken on the trails. Dogs defined as dangerous must also be muzzled.
The Meshushim Pool’s hexagonal basalt column is an extraordinary natural phenomenon.