The Monks’ Mill
The Monks’ Mill, whose building is well preserved, belonged to the local Carmelite monastery that continued to operate it until the early 20th century. The water that drove the mill was carried by aqueduct from the Ein Yivka spring some two kilometers to the east. On arrival it dropped from the roof of the building on to the paddles of the wheel via a funnel designed to concentrate and strengthen its flow. The mill consists of two storeys, each of which contained two grinding systems, i.e., two paddled wheels and two sets of millstones. Today the building serves as a restaurant and guest house; bookings should be made ahead of time.
Mount Alil Mill (Marfuqa)
The Marfuqa or Mount Alil Mill dates back to the Ottoman period. It too is a water-driven funnel mill, and it is located about 1,200 meters to the west of the Monks’ Mill. The building’s foundations reveal the archeological remains of a sugar mill that operated at the site during the Crusader and Mamluk periods.
The Mount Alil Meander
Amid the twists and turns of Tzippori River the long meander this waterway performs around the north of Mount Alil, which juts out into the gully on a spur of cliff to the south, is notable for its beauty. Geological opinion is divided as to the explanation for this particular bend in the river, but the commonly accepted explanation is that the Tzippori River once flowed directly westward, until the slope above slipped down and dammed the riverbed. The abundant waters behind the blockage accumulated until they formed a lake that eventually forced its way out further to the north, creating the riverbed we know today.
The Solelim Recreation Area
This wayside recreation area was created by KKL-JNF some 500 meters to the south of HaMovil Junction, on Route no. 77. It is equipped with wooden tables, a disabled-accessible picnic area, biological toilets, running water and barbeque facilities. A tranquil spot surrounded by oak trees and lush vegetation, this is an excellent place to stop for a break, as it is wheelchair accessible and ideal for a picnic, or an enjoyable nature walk.
The Tzippori River Footpath
Towards the end (or the beginning, depending which direction we’re coming from) of the Scenic Trail, KKL-JNF has provided another beautiful woodland walk – the Tzippori River Footpath, which extends for a kilometer near Kibbutz HaSolelim. The path, which is paved and suitable for both walkers and cyclists, leads deep into the woodland, providing visitors with a tranquil green forest experience. KKL-JNF has constructed the trail in such as way as to make it accessible in its entirety for people with mobility limitations.
The path begins in the Tabor oak woodland before winding along a forest of conifers. Along the way we come across the remains of a Roman road, ancient farming devices, a cave, and more. To return to our vehicle, we can either retrace our footsteps along the paved track or follow the white dirt road that encircles the forest. Another possibility is to start the walk from Shimshit, which is not far from Tzippori, the most important Galilean city during the Second Temple Period and the time of Roman rule. The Sanhedrin moved here when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi presided over it. Archeological excavations at Tzippori have turned up a wealth of material: a synagogue, a theater, the cemetery of the Tzippori sages, the tomb of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, an impressive waterworks and Roman villas with fine mosaic floors. The Tzippori site is now a national park, and there is an entrance fee.