Bicycle trip in Ha'Sikma restored

Region: South, Trail Duration: 2-5 Hours, Starting Point: Highway 40 south of Moshav Ahuzam, Ending Point: Kibbutz Dvir (Dvira), Trail Type: Cycling
Source: Ministry of Tourism
Region: South
URL

A pleasant ride through the loess and kurkar hills in the heart of the northern Negev, between endless fields of wheat and blossoms of red anemones and yellow chrysanthemums. Start at Tel Keshet, pass through the slopes around Nahal Shikma and reach the beautiful little canyon of Nahal Sad and Tel Nagila. After that, you will be immersed in the amazing flowering of the Horbat Porah Nature Reserve, and end by riding along the Shikma Stream: northward down the stream on the circular trail, or southward up the stream - on the Israel trail.

How to Get There: take Route 40 from Kiryat Gat to Be'er Sheva. Two kilometers south of the entrance to moshav Ahuzam, between kilometers 220-221, you can see a small but prominent mound on the right. This is Tel Keshet. Here the trail begins.

Israel Trail and the Circular Trail

[1] 0.00 (west): A junction between Route 40 and the road marked in blue with the colors of the Israel National Trail. Ride towards the small mound opposite - Tel Keshet.

Tel Keshet

0.30 [0.30] left (southwest): a junction in the road splitting at the foot of Tel Keshet. Continue with the blue signage on a wide and comfortable road that runs between agricultural fields. Continue riding straight.

Nahal Shikma

[2] 2.70 [2.40] straight (south-west): a junction of roads before the Shikma river channel. Cross the channel. The channel is muddy for many weeks after the rain, so you can expect to get dirty. Continue only with the marking of the Israel Trail (the blue trail turns north to Tel Hasi).
3.10 [0.40] left (south): a junction where the Israel Trail meets with the wide road marked with red. Ride the red road between wheat fields from horizon to horizon.
6.50 [3.40] left (southeast): A junction marked with red and black. Turn to the black road.

Nahal Sad
[3] 6.50 [1.00] left (north): junction. Turn to a blue marked trail and ride over the right bank of the beautiful narrow canyon of Nahal Sad. It is possible to ride the road above the channel, or on a narrow, blue-marked single running parallel to the road, adjacent to the stream channel. At the end of the canyon, the blue trail faces the east and joins the road with which you continue.
8.60 [2.10] right (southeast): branch. Continue on the blue trail.
9.60 [1.00] right (south): branch. Climbing on Tel Nagila.

Tel Nagila
[4] 9.90 [0.30] right (south): Tel Negila. The mound has been inhabited since the Chalcolithic period, about 6000 years ago, and until the Iron Age about 3,000 years ago. An important find that was discovered on the hill was a pottery fragment from about 3,500 years ago with an inscription in proto-Canaanite handwriting, from the earliest finds in the country. Remains of a large building from the Mamluk period (13th-14th centuries CE) that probably served as a khan for hospitality. Stop to observe and rest under a wide tamarisk tree and slide back to the blue trail.
10.20 [0.30] Straight (southeast): branch. Move to a trail marked with black.
11.10 [0.90] left (southeast): branch. Continue downhill with the black path.
11.50 [0.40] left (northeast): split. Turn to the trail marked with green.

The Turkish Train Bridge
[5] 12.50 [1.00] right (southeast): remains of the Turkish railway bridge on Nahal Shikma. It is recommended to lay the bike down, cross the fence and take a look at the bridge and the stream. From here continue on an unmarked road that winds to the right and is adjacent to the pine forest.
13.80 [1.30] left (northeast): split. A road marked in black on the dam at

Nahal Shikma.
14.20 [0.40] straight (east): split in the stream channel. Continue up the road to the marked green path. The blossoming hill to the left is the Horbat Pura Nature Reserve, which is so magnificent in its flowering in winter and early spring.

Splitting Point – Continuation of Israel Trail
[6] 14.80 [0.60] right (south): Highway 40 (Kiryat Gat - Be'er Sheva). You will ride with the markings of the Israel National Trail on a road parallel to the highway on its western side.
15.70 [0.90] left (east): underground passages on Highway 40, marked with the colors of the Israel Trail. Pass the two parts of the road and continue east on the other side.
[7] 16.60 [0.90] right (south): Railway. Cross the tracks on an underground bridge and immediately follow it on a wide road with the marking of the Israel National Trail. Ride parallel to the train tracks.
19.10 [2.50] left (southeast): the junction of Nahal Shikma with the railroad tracks. From here ride on the west bank of the stream, parallel to the winding channel. Many eucalyptus trees grow along the channel, and their shadows are a rare and sought-after commodity in the surrounding open fields.
25.60 [6.50] right (south): branch. Leave the riverbed and ride towards the road and toward the large barn buildings of Kibbutz Dvir, which you will see opposite.

[8] 25.90 [0.30] left (east): Meeting with road 3255. Ride along the side of the road towards Dvir and Lahav.
[9] 29.00 [3.10]: Kibbutz Dvir. This is where the Israel Bike Trail ends.
Continuing on the circular route
[6] 14.80 [0.60 left (north): the Kiryat Gat-Be'er Sheva highway (40). Ride along the road along the black marked signage, and after 100 meters turn left and immediately right (northwest). Continue on the black marked trail and ride towards a huge and beautiful Acacia tree. (15.40)
16.00 [1.20] right (north-west): a road branch on the edge of the pine forest. Ride the black road, which winds down moderately to the right of the pine forest.


The Pura River
17.80 [1.80] straight (north): A meeting with Pura River channel and a high voltage power line. Ride under the high voltage line.
18.40 [0.60] left (south-west): branch. Cross the Turkish railroad tracks. 
[10] 19.00 [0.60] right (north): Nahal Shikma channel, at the foot of Tel Nagila. Ride on the right bank (east) of Nahal Shikma, on a tractors road that runs between the fields and the riverbed. The road "disappears" sometimes under the fields, and in these segments you can ride the narrow path between the cultivated field and the vegetation of the edge of the river.
23.00 [4.00] straight (north): A line of pine trees and cypresses crossing the path. Continue along the stream to the right of the line of Eucalyptus trees.
[2] 23.80 [0.80] right (east): branch. Ride on the blue marked road also with Israel Trail markings back to the starting point.
[1] 26.50 [2.70] meeting point of Highway 40 and the Israel Trail, south of Moshav Ahuzam. This is where the circular route ends.

Products specifications
Region South
Trail Type Cycling
Starting Point Highway 40 south of Moshav Ahuzam
Ending Point Kibbutz Dvir (Dvira)
Difficulty Level Easy
Difficulty Level Medium
Suitable for Children Yes
Interest Areas Archeology / history, flowering, nature and landscape
Hiking Maps and Topographic No. 12 , South Ha'Shfela and margins Hebron
Trail Length 29 Km
Trail Duration 2-5 Hours
URL http://goisrael.gov.il/tourism_heb2/Tourist%20Information/Tracks/Details/Pages/Shikma%20River.aspx
Accessibility No
Trail Outline Straight
Best season Winter
Best season Spring
Suitable for Picnics Yes
Drinking water Not Available
Parking Yes
Bathing Waters No
Precautions Drive carefully

A pleasant ride through the loess and kurkar hills in the heart of the northern Negev, between endless fields of wheat and blossoms of red anemones and yellow chrysanthemums. Start at Tel Keshet, pass through the slopes around Nahal Shikma and reach the beautiful little canyon of Nahal Sad and Tel Nagila. After that, you will be immersed in the amazing flowering of the Horbat Porah Nature Reserve, and end by riding along the Shikma Stream: northward down the stream on the circular trail, or southward up the stream - on the Israel trail.

How to Get There: take Route 40 from Kiryat Gat to Be'er Sheva. Two kilometers south of the entrance to moshav Ahuzam, between kilometers 220-221, you can see a small but prominent mound on the right. This is Tel Keshet. Here the trail begins.

Israel Trail and the Circular Trail

[1] 0.00 (west): A junction between Route 40 and the road marked in blue with the colors of the Israel National Trail. Ride towards the small mound opposite - Tel Keshet.

Tel Keshet

0.30 [0.30] left (southwest): a junction in the road splitting at the foot of Tel Keshet. Continue with the blue signage on a wide and comfortable road that runs between agricultural fields. Continue riding straight.

Nahal Shikma

[2] 2.70 [2.40] straight (south-west): a junction of roads before the Shikma river channel. Cross the channel. The channel is muddy for many weeks after the rain, so you can expect to get dirty. Continue only with the marking of the Israel Trail (the blue trail turns north to Tel Hasi).
3.10 [0.40] left (south): a junction where the Israel Trail meets with the wide road marked with red. Ride the red road between wheat fields from horizon to horizon.
6.50 [3.40] left (southeast): A junction marked with red and black. Turn to the black road.

Nahal Sad
[3] 6.50 [1.00] left (north): junction. Turn to a blue marked trail and ride over the right bank of the beautiful narrow canyon of Nahal Sad. It is possible to ride the road above the channel, or on a narrow, blue-marked single running parallel to the road, adjacent to the stream channel. At the end of the canyon, the blue trail faces the east and joins the road with which you continue.
8.60 [2.10] right (southeast): branch. Continue on the blue trail.
9.60 [1.00] right (south): branch. Climbing on Tel Nagila.

Tel Nagila
[4] 9.90 [0.30] right (south): Tel Negila. The mound has been inhabited since the Chalcolithic period, about 6000 years ago, and until the Iron Age about 3,000 years ago. An important find that was discovered on the hill was a pottery fragment from about 3,500 years ago with an inscription in proto-Canaanite handwriting, from the earliest finds in the country. Remains of a large building from the Mamluk period (13th-14th centuries CE) that probably served as a khan for hospitality. Stop to observe and rest under a wide tamarisk tree and slide back to the blue trail.
10.20 [0.30] Straight (southeast): branch. Move to a trail marked with black.
11.10 [0.90] left (southeast): branch. Continue downhill with the black path.
11.50 [0.40] left (northeast): split. Turn to the trail marked with green.

The Turkish Train Bridge
[5] 12.50 [1.00] right (southeast): remains of the Turkish railway bridge on Nahal Shikma. It is recommended to lay the bike down, cross the fence and take a look at the bridge and the stream. From here continue on an unmarked road that winds to the right and is adjacent to the pine forest.
13.80 [1.30] left (northeast): split. A road marked in black on the dam at

Nahal Shikma.
14.20 [0.40] straight (east): split in the stream channel. Continue up the road to the marked green path. The blossoming hill to the left is the Horbat Pura Nature Reserve, which is so magnificent in its flowering in winter and early spring.

Splitting Point – Continuation of Israel Trail
[6] 14.80 [0.60] right (south): Highway 40 (Kiryat Gat - Be'er Sheva). You will ride with the markings of the Israel National Trail on a road parallel to the highway on its western side.
15.70 [0.90] left (east): underground passages on Highway 40, marked with the colors of the Israel Trail. Pass the two parts of the road and continue east on the other side.
[7] 16.60 [0.90] right (south): Railway. Cross the tracks on an underground bridge and immediately follow it on a wide road with the marking of the Israel National Trail. Ride parallel to the train tracks.
19.10 [2.50] left (southeast): the junction of Nahal Shikma with the railroad tracks. From here ride on the west bank of the stream, parallel to the winding channel. Many eucalyptus trees grow along the channel, and their shadows are a rare and sought-after commodity in the surrounding open fields.
25.60 [6.50] right (south): branch. Leave the riverbed and ride towards the road and toward the large barn buildings of Kibbutz Dvir, which you will see opposite.

[8] 25.90 [0.30] left (east): Meeting with road 3255. Ride along the side of the road towards Dvir and Lahav.
[9] 29.00 [3.10]: Kibbutz Dvir. This is where the Israel Bike Trail ends.
Continuing on the circular route
[6] 14.80 [0.60 left (north): the Kiryat Gat-Be'er Sheva highway (40). Ride along the road along the black marked signage, and after 100 meters turn left and immediately right (northwest). Continue on the black marked trail and ride towards a huge and beautiful Acacia tree. (15.40)
16.00 [1.20] right (north-west): a road branch on the edge of the pine forest. Ride the black road, which winds down moderately to the right of the pine forest.


The Pura River
17.80 [1.80] straight (north): A meeting with Pura River channel and a high voltage power line. Ride under the high voltage line.
18.40 [0.60] left (south-west): branch. Cross the Turkish railroad tracks. 
[10] 19.00 [0.60] right (north): Nahal Shikma channel, at the foot of Tel Nagila. Ride on the right bank (east) of Nahal Shikma, on a tractors road that runs between the fields and the riverbed. The road "disappears" sometimes under the fields, and in these segments you can ride the narrow path between the cultivated field and the vegetation of the edge of the river.
23.00 [4.00] straight (north): A line of pine trees and cypresses crossing the path. Continue along the stream to the right of the line of Eucalyptus trees.
[2] 23.80 [0.80] right (east): branch. Ride on the blue marked road also with Israel Trail markings back to the starting point.
[1] 26.50 [2.70] meeting point of Highway 40 and the Israel Trail, south of Moshav Ahuzam. This is where the circular route ends.

Products specifications
Region South
Trail Type Cycling
Starting Point Highway 40 south of Moshav Ahuzam
Ending Point Kibbutz Dvir (Dvira)
Difficulty Level Easy
Difficulty Level Medium
Suitable for Children Yes
Interest Areas Archeology / history, flowering, nature and landscape
Hiking Maps and Topographic No. 12 , South Ha'Shfela and margins Hebron
Trail Length 29 Km
Trail Duration 2-5 Hours
URL http://goisrael.gov.il/tourism_heb2/Tourist%20Information/Tracks/Details/Pages/Shikma%20River.aspx
Accessibility No
Trail Outline Straight
Best season Winter
Best season Spring
Suitable for Picnics Yes
Drinking water Not Available
Parking Yes
Bathing Waters No
Precautions Drive carefully