The hike will lead us to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, to the natural world of the Agamon Hula, and to the magnificent view of Mount Keren Naftali, which ascends 500 meters above the valley.
Access: A 5km drive from Tiberias to the north, along the Sea of Galilee (Route 90), leads us to the entrance to the settlement of Migdal, and at the entrance to the settlement stands a dirt road, marked "Israel Trail." Travel on the trail for about 1/2 a kilometer and at the end, the Ein Nun pool, the road turns right and reaches the parking lot to the spring.
Ein Nun, which stems from the old colony of Migdal, is a pleasant surprise. The Kinneret Drainage Authority rehabilitated the site and turned it into a truly charming place.
Ein Nun is a fertile spring. The most visible feature is the large square pool, whose sides are made of basalt stones. From the pool comes a canal that draws its water along the little stream of the Nachal Nun River. A short walking path passes by the side of the stream. After about 200 meters, by a beautiful boulevard, the path crosses the stream and returns on the other side to the square pool. This portion is also part of the "Israel Trail".
The square pool and canals were built in the 1920s, after the farms of Migdal were sold to private individuals. The great eucalyptus tree was planted in those days. In its shadow is a picnic table.
The spring has a longer history. It seems that the residents of Migdal during the Roman period (1-3 centuries CE), situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee 1.5 km away, were already using the spring water to irrigate their fields. The round pool, built next to the source of the spring still remains. The pool, 30 meters in diameter, is hidden slightly by the vegetation on the banks surrounding it. It was built to raise the water level in the spring, so that the spring water could be streamed into the fields of the aqueduct, whose remains are still visible on the side of the stream.
The name Ein Nun refers to the Aramaic name of a tower - the Nunya Tower, which means the fish tower.
The Jordan estuary and the trail around the Sea of Galilee
Access: From Migdal we will return to Route 90 and continue north. At the Kfar Nahum junction turn right on the road leading to the Arik Bridge and to Katzrin (Road 87). From the entrance to Kfar Nahum National Park you drive another 4 km and right before the Arik Bridge turn right and park in the shade of the eucalyptus grove. The Jordan River is about 50 meters away.
The eucalyptus grove is one of the entrances to the "Kinneret Trail". The trail is marked with purple trail markings. The idea was to walk around the Sea of Galilee on a foot path was by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel in 2003. The development of the trail was done by the Kinneret Drainage Authority and the Kinneret Towns Association. The path is intended to restore to the public the right to travel freely along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and to become familiar with nature and the landscape, historic sites and the values that the lake represents. When completed, the trail will encompass the entire Sea of Galilee, for about 60 kilometers. So far, 45 km have been marked.
This place is called the Jordan estuary to the Sea of Galilee, but we must admit that this definition is quite elusive. The Jordan estuary to the Sea of Galilee changes its place according to the water level of the lake. In recent years, the Sea of Galilee has been low and the Jordan estuary has been "moving away" from here. The exposed area is covered with tamarix trees. When the Sea of Galilee is full, the Jordan estuary is very close to here.
From the eucalyptus grove it is worth walking a little further on the Kinneret Trail. At the southern end of the grove is a green barrier and beyond it is the path. A few minutes' walk through a deserted palm grove leads to a staircase that climbs to the right. The stairs rise to a beautiful view of a large pool, which collects the water of Ein Yatzur. Around the pool grows a huge tangle of vegetation. In the winter there are water birds and in the summer there are nestlings of small herons and birds of song in the thicket. The eucalyptus trees that grow near the pool are used in the winter as accommodation for the large cormorant
Access: at the end of the lookout we will return to the vehicle on the same route that we came. Return to Kfar Nahum junction and drive north on Route 90 towards Kiryat Shemona. The entrance to the Hula Valley is located 4 km north of the entrance to the Hula Nature Reserve, between kilometers 457-458. The visitor center is located near the parking lot.
History - In 1934 Yehoshua Hankin purchased the concession to dry the Hula Valley. In the big valley there were about 8000 acres of swamps and a large lake, which had an area of 3500 acres. The main water supply of the swamps and the lake was the Jordan River.
With the establishment of the State of Israel, the Government of Israel imposed on KKL to dry the swamps and the lake, and the Jordan River was split into two channels: the lake and the swamps disappeared, the drying added tens of thousands of acres for agricultural cultivation, but in other ways it caused environmental damage. The lake and marshes in the Hula Valley, prior to drying, served as a natural settling basin against the Jordan River and its tributaries. After the drying, nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds flowed into the Sea of Galilee, which was used for fertilizing the fields of the valley.
he drying of the Hula also affected the valley's wonderful flora and fauna. The Hula Valley was the most important resting place for birds migrating from Europe to Africa and back, including pelicans, ducks and herons.
In 1993, KKL was called back, and a year later, the Jordan River's original channel was restored and an area of about 250 acres was flooded in the heart of the valley, the first purpose of which was to contribute to the quality of Sea of Galilee, but also to the new lake, known as Agamon Hula, which led to achieving new heights for nature conservation and tourism.
The Agamon is surrounded by a paved road, about 8.5 km long, the road is flat and comfortable, and passes between the lake, water channels and orchards with parking lots. You can enjoy birding at the observatory, which is located on the lake and see tons of birds. In 2010, the "Water Bird Observatory" was inaugurated - a floating observation point in the middle of the lake, which provides a view of what is happening in the lake from the perspective of water birds.
The Agamon also has a botanical garden that reconstructs a swamp habitat. The garden, which covers 8 acres, has water plants that were once common in the Hula swamps. Among the plants are yellow water lily, floating pads, iris branches, white nymphaea, creeping lipid and succulent buds. Visitors can identify the plant species according to the signs in the garden.
During the months of August and September, the Botanic Gardens receives a huge visit by the magnificent Orange Danube Butterfly. For the proper development of the larvae, the Danube needs a pointed nitric plant that grows in the Hula Valley. The butterflies remain in the reserve until October. When the air cools, the butterflies disappear.
How to visit the Agamon Hula
Visit should take 3-4 hours.
In order to preserve nature in the Hula Valley, and in order not to harm the enjoyment of other visitors, there is no private vehicle entrance to the park area (except for those with a handicapped mark). Parking in the parking lot and walking around the Agamon and its sites - free of charge, except for the payment of 3 NIS per person, designated for the Crane project.
Private bicycle owners are entitled to ride their bikes free of charge on weekdays only (on weekends, holidays, private bicycles will not be allowed to enter the site.)
Rentals - bicycles of various types (for single, couple and family), golf carts and a wagon – available for a fee. There is also a buffet in the visitor center.
Hours of operation: weekdays – 9:00 until 1 hour before sunset. Weekends and holidays – 6:30 until 1 hour before sunset. Tel. 04-6817137
HaElot Parking Lot at Kadesh Valley
Access: From Agamon Hula drive north on Route 90 about 1.5 km and turn left (west) at the Ko'ah intersection. From here climb on Route 899 up the Naftali Range. Past the junction of Yesha and the fortress of Yesha and enter the valley of Kadesh, which is cultivated entirely as vineyards and orchards. About 100 meters after the turn to Yiftach, you will find the parking lot on the left and the HaElot parking lot next to it.
The parking lot is located in the shade of a giant Pistachio Tree. It is one of the most impressive trees in Israel. The enormous trunk, which is almost five meters wide, bears great branches, and the KKL-JNF have implemented a branch support system, so that they would not collapse under their own weight. The shade that this tree creates is big enough to fit 100 people in it. KKL also did this tree another favor and drained the ground beneath, which helps to ventilate the root system.
Summit of Mount Naftali
Access: Drive from the HaElot parking lot back east to the Yesha junction and turn south on Route 886. About 1.8 km south of the entrance to Moshav Ramot Naftali turn east (left) on a dirt road, marked with green. A short 1.7km trip will bring you to its base, which is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Israel.
We left the hours before sunset for observation from Mount Naftali. The view is spectacular: the Hula Valley and the Agamon Hula we visited earlier, spread out like the palm of your hand. The Golan and Mount Hermon complement the wonderful picture and the sun, which is now on our backs, illuminates them and highlights their every note. A great place to finish a day trip.