Ein Migdal is one of the largest springs in Spring Valley Park - Park HaMaayanot. Half of its waters are captured directly at source, while the remainder flows along the famous Nahal Kibbutzim stream. The name Ein Migdal (“Tower Spring”) perpetuates the memory of Kibbutz Tel Amal (now called Kibbutz Nir David), the first Tower and Stockade settlement, which was founded on December 10th, 1936.
Nahal Kibbutzim makes its way through the park for almost 1.5 kilometers before flowing into aqueducts that carry it to the fields of the Jezreel Valley. The upper reaches of the river constitute the nature reserve mentioned above. The limpid waters of the river and springs provide habitats for large colonies of underwater plants, of which the most common is hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), easily recognizable by its segmented leaves. The nature reserve further upstream supports riverbank vegetation that includes reeds, Jordan tamarisks (Tamarix jordanis), southern cattail (Typha domingensis), northern pampas grass (Saccharum ravennae), brambles and golden samphire (Inula crithmoides). In damp areas beyond the banks sea rushes (Juncus maritimus) and rare plants including the bulrush (Scirpus litoralis) and brookweed (Samolus valerandi) are also found. The river is also home to endangered plant species, such as great fen-sedge (Cladium mariscus).
The high hill to the south of Nahal Kibbutzim, which is topped with a three-storey concrete tower, offers a wonderful view of the area. The tower was built in 1939 to provide protection for Kibbutz Nir David after three of its members were ambushed and murdered nearby. The tel has not yet been excavated.
Near Tel Shukha evidence of the site’s prehistoric past was found in the form of flint and stone tools and implements hewn into the rock. The pieces of obsidian – volcanic glass originating in Asia Minor – were of especial interest, as trade in such precious materials is evidence of the importance of the site. These and other artifacts are on display at the Museum of Regional and Mediterranean Archaeology in Gan HaShlosha National Park.
Ein Shokek is a spring that emerges into a large and beautiful pool filled with clear water and surrounded by shady trees. A modern aqueduct, known as “Minus 100” because its starting point is one hundred meters below sea level, is fed by the spring. The stone wall beside the spring forms part of a pool that once collected the water and channeled it to two water-driven flour mills. Nothing remains of the upper mill (Tahunat al-Jawsaq), which was close to the dam. Of the lower mill (Tahunat al-Ashraf), which was situated about 350 meters downstream along the Ein Shokek waterway, considerable portions can still be seen. The abundant flow of water from the spring was used to drive three pairs of millstones. There would appear to have been a pool at Ein Shokek all the way back to Roman times.
Ein Shokek and the other springs in the valley are frequented by the local wildlife, which includes wild boar, jackals, foxes, swamp lynxes and porcupines, all of which find cover amid the dense vegetation.
This is a large spring in the shade of an attractive eucalyptus grove where KKL-JNF has provided a pleasant recreation area. The spring water is collected in a large pool about forty meters in length and half a meter deep.
In wintertime the fishponds between Ein Shokek and Ein Moda are worth a visit. Even those who are not lifelong bird-lovers will find it hard to resist the sight of this waterfowl paradise.