Derech Hapesalim is a lovely trail in the Zora Forest near the city of Bet Shemesh. Along Route 44 off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway 1 you will find a collection of artworks of the Sculpture Road (Derech HaPesalim in Hebrew), a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) route through the KKL-JNF Presidents Forest (Hanasi Forest). In the 1990’s, when artists from the former Soviet Union immigrated to Israel. The Sculpture Road is lined with environmentally friendly artworks sculpted by Israeli artists, veterans and immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Some of the works blend into the existing landscape, while others emphasize the region’s historic past. One work, for example, portrays the heroism of Samson, while another consists of spikes of rock arranged in the shape of a comb – perhaps a reference to the comb wielded by Delilah the Philistine, who was the cause of Samson’s downfall.
The marked trail twists through lovely stretches of pine trees, so there is much shade along the route, with occasional park benches situated in pleasant spots. Bring a picnic lunch and eat at one of the many benches and tables on the route. This is a perfect day trip for you and your family. Bring your lunch along and eat it in one of the quaint picnic areas. The circular trail begins in the Presidents Forest and ends in the Presidents Forest. The trail type can be either walking (2-3 hours) or by vehicle. The trail is easy, suitable for children. Parking is free. Drinking water is available. There is no campsite. Don’t forget walking shoes, hat, water, and sunscreen.
Most of the trees in the President’s Forest are terebinth, pine or carob, planted soon after the establishment of the state in order to provide employment for new immigrants. Carob trees are evergreen and are the only trees in the region that flower in October.