The Foresters’ Fortress (Metzudat HaYa’aranim)
Location: Yatir Forest
Description: The Foresters’ Fortress was inaugurated on April 19, 1967, and was intended to serve as the headquarters of the professional staff of Yatir Forest and as a residence for the forestry workers and their families. The ceasefire line between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan passed near the forest in those days and therefore the building was built as a fortress, in a high place with a command of its surroundings (687 meters). The Foresters’ Fortress continues to serve the workers of Yatir Forest, although they do not live in it. The place also serves as a field and forest center for educational activity and learning about the environment.
Visits to the fortress are permitted for groups only and must be coordinated two weeks in advance by email.
Israel Trail hikers are invited to arrive in the daytime, without coordinating a visit, to fill up on water or charge their cellphones.
KKL-JNF has built many camping sites near the fortress and on the Yatir Forest road. From the fortress you can drive in a private car on the eastern scenic road of Yatir Forest, which affords a view of the Judean Desert and Arad Valley.
How to get here: On Route 316, which forks north from the Shoket Junction–Arad Junction road (Route 31).
Forester's House lookout in Yatir Forest. KKL-JNF Photo Archive