Routes within the forest
There are a number of routes through the forest
- A short route marked in red: This route begins at the Wildflower Nature Reserve (see below), from which we descend a flight of steps and a convenient path amid young pine trees. If we are lucky, we shall catch a glimpse of hyraxes among the rocks. The path leads to the Paratroopers’ Memorial, where there is a well organized recreation area equipped with tables. On the way back, we can either follow the same route as before or ascend for some 500 meters southwards along the riverbed, through shady woodland, in the direction of Moshe Dayan Street.
- An intermediate route: We enter the eastern entrance gate and walk along the vehicle road until we meet up with the Hyrax Trail, which is marked in black. On our way downhill, we can observe young trees that were planted in 2004 with the help of local residents; these include terebinth (Pistacia palaestina), carob, stone pine and Mediterranean cypress. When we reach the Forest Trail, a broad dirt path marked in green that leads along the gully, we turn westwards to the left and head for the KKL-JNF recreation area at the Paratroopers’ Memorial. In the flowering season, the edges of our route will be gaily decorated with eastern groundsel (Senecio vernalis), cyclamen and asphodels. After around twenty minutes, we reach a junction where paths meet, and turn right towards the Paratroopers’ Memorial. From there we go uphill along a path marked in red, heading back towards the Wildflower Reserve.
- A long route marked in green: This is the Forest Trail, which leads to the eastern part of the woodland parallel to the gully (Wadi al-Hafi). Along the way we can get an impression of the variety of trees in the forest, and especially of the Mount Atlas pistachio trees in the copse to the south of the trail. In this part of the forest, we can also see gazelles frolicking about, and we observe how the landscape is changing and opening up, the farther east we proceed. This route takes us for a distance of around one kilometer until we reach its easternmost point. Here, we turn left on to a path which branches off to the northwest. We continue for around 300 meters, following the green markings, until we meet up with an asphalt road where we turn south along the dirt track that descends back towards the main gully. From there, we continue westwards along the Forest Trail back to our starting point at the Paratroopers’ Memorial. Those of you who are interested are invited to look out for a flat rock on the way back, where traces of animal activity that took place in the distant past can still be observed in the form of fossils scattered over the rock.