Israel National Trail

The Israel National Trail, (Hebrew: שביל ישראל‎, Shvil Yisra'el) is a hiking path that was inaugurated in 1995. The trail crosses the entire country of Israel.[2] Its northern end is at Dan, near the Lebanese border in the far north of the country, and it extends to Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel on the Red Sea, a length of 1,015 km (631 mi).[3][4]

PikiWiki Israel 12132 Geography of Israel
Israel Trail marker on a tree

The trail is marked with three stripes (white, blue, and orange), and takes an average of 45-60 days to complete.[5] It does not enter the Golan Heights or the West Bank.[6]

The Israel National Trail has been listed in National Geographic's 20 most "epic trails." It is described as a trail that "delves into the grand scale of biblical landscapes as well as the everyday lives of the modern Israeli."[7]

Since January 2016, the Israel National Trail can be explored on Google Street View. Israel National Trail on Google Street View.

Israel National Trail
Israel National Trail part 1DSCN4249
Hikers on the Israel National Trail
Length1,025 kilometres (636.9 mi)
TrailheadsNorth: Dan, South: Eilat
Hiking details
SeasonEarly spring[1]
MonthsNovember to May[1]


The Israel National Trail (INT) is the brainchild of Avraham Tamir a journalist and hiker who hiked the Appalachian trail in the late 70's and Ori Dvir, hiker, educator and one of the founders of The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). The INT is over 1000 kilometers long and is marked, managed and maintained by The Israel Trails Committee which also blazes, marks and maintains the 15,000 kilometers of hiking trails all over Israel. The Israel National Trail was officially inaugurated by then President of Israel, Ezer Weizmann in 1994. One of its purposes is to give Israelis a way to experience the entire breadth of the land firsthand. The various sections of the trail have been added progressively during this development.

Israel National Trail-EN
Route of Israel National Trail

In 2003 a portion of the trail was diverted from the Sharon and now runs along the coast. The reasons for the change were the development of Highway 6, avoiding the security risk of walking along the Green Line and the desire to add to the trail sections with city and sea views.

According to statistics compiled in 2010, only 4 out of 10 hikers complete the entire trail.[5] Recognizing this, the planners divided it into smaller sections that can be hiked separately. Some sections can be completed in day trips or over the weekend.[8]

Because the southern section of the trail passes through many isolated areas, hikers cache supplies of food and water at designated points on the trail before beginning the hike or pay for supplies to be delivered.

Hikers can seek help from "trail angels". For example, at Kibbutz Yagur, a soldier leaves the key to her room for hikers who need a place to sleep and a farmer in Hadera forest offers sleeping quarters in exchange for a day's work.[9]

Awards and recognition

In 2012, National Geographic magazine included the trail on its best hiking trail list. It was praised for "connecting to something that often gets lost in all the headlines: the sublime beauty of the wilderness of the Middle East." According to the magazine, "the joy of the trail is meeting the Israelis hiking it, and spending some time in small kibbutzim where local people take hikers into their homes."[10]


Israel National TrailDSCN4628
Hikers on Israel Trail

The Israel National Trail may be described in sections as follows.

Sand Mountains of the Negev in southern Israel
Israel National Trail coast of Mediterranean
Coast of Mediterranean
Israel National Trail east Wadi Dishon
Eastern part of Wadi Dishon

Naftali Ridge and Ramim Cliffs (Upper Galilee)

On the eastern slopes of the Ramim Cliffs (Matzoc Ramim) in the Upper Galilee are several dirt roads and walking routes, springs and observation points overlooking the Hula Valley. The Israel National Trail is marked here by afforestation roads and views of planted forests and natural undergrowth. The area ranges from a deserted sandstone quarry above Kiryat Shmona, at the height of 280m above sea level, southward towards Yesha Fortress (Metzudat Yesha). In the autumn, the trail is rich with rain-forecasting flowers, especially types of crocus and early blossoming cyclamens.

Kadesh Ili stream and Yesha fortress (Upper Galilee)

The bottom of the canyon is hard limestone, and the path lies in the shadow of the treetop canopy. (Note: The lower part of Kadesh Stream (Nakhal Kadesh) is for fit walkers only.) Elsewhere along the Kadesh Stream, hikers can climb rock steps up the stream's southern bank to view the ravine from above. The trail continues to Yesha Fortress, to the burial structure of Nebi Yusha and on to the exit point.

Meron stream's parking lot to Ein Zeved and Shema ruins (Upper Galilee)

Elijah's Chair in Meron, Israel
Elijah's Chair on Mount Meron

A circular trail on the eastern slopes of Mount Meron. The trail climbs upwards from the parking lot through Meron Stream and Meron Ili Stream, Ein Zeved, "Elijah's Chair" (Kisse Eliyahu, a pillar of rock resembling the shape of a seat), the Shema ruins and back to the parking lot. Part of the trail has regular trail marks and the walk down past Elijah's Chair has Israel National Trail marks only. During spring you can see a variety of rich blossoms including orchids. Towards summer, different flowers appear and color the area yellow. The raspberry fruit ripens at the end of the summer.

Mount Tabor (Lower Galilee)

As it says in the book of Jeremiah, "as Tavor among mountains", the presence of Mount Tabor is highly visible. The trail takes hikers up the Tabor and around the monasteries on its peak, near the remains of ancient walls, corner towers, places, exposed antiquities, spring blossoms and of course, views to any direction from the sides of the mountain. The "mountain surrounding" road at half-altitude (around 250-350M above sea level) created by the Jewish National Fund provides an impressive view.

Tzippori stream (Lower Galilee)

The Tzippori stream (Nahal Tzippori) trail segment covers one of the geographical areas least familiar to many travelers. This area of gall oaks (known in Hebrew as "Alon HaTavor" - Tabor oak) also features birch trees and carpets of blossom in winter and spring. Along the trail are streams of flowing water, improvised water pumps, a castle named "The Monks Mill" (Takhanat HaNezirim), and the remains of another impressive gristmill at the Alil ruins (Khurbat Alil).

Ma'apilim/Nakhash stream (Carmel)

A walk through Nakhash Stream provides an almost complete representation of the Carmel's hidden treasures: From the top of the trail and while walking down the ravine, you can see an impressive view of the Northern Coastal Plain and the Galilee. The path exits near Kibbutz Yagur. You can also see a vertical karstic hole, the "Arbutus Curve" (Icul HaCatlavim) and at the end of the trail, the Haganah slik (hiding place for weaponry) in Yagur. "Nakhash" means "snake" in Hebrew. The name is derived from the Arabic "Wadi al Hia". Nowadays, the stream is called "Nakhal Ma'apilim" after the illegal Jewish immigrants who secretly arrived at the Mediterranean shore during the time of the British mandate.

After this part, the Israel National Trail continues through the Sharon plain, Gush Dan, and Shephelah areas, which are not mentioned among the 12 sections.

Shayarot Range (Judean Mountains)

The trip to the Shayarot Range (Shlukhat Shayarot) provides views down to the Coastal Plain and up to the Judean Mountains, hundreds of kilometers of mountain dirt tracks, walking routes, caves, and an abundance of flowers in the spring. The trail passes through the "Burma Road", or "Sheva Road". Here you can climb to the military posts overlooking Highway 1, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, used by Palmach soldiers of the Harel Brigade in their battles on the road to Jerusalem during the Israeli War of Independence. From here there is a two-day site trip to Jerusalem via the Jerusalem Trail.

Yatir ruins to Dragot Quarry

This segment of the Israel National Trail goes from the Yatir ruins (Khurbat Yatir), one of the Levi cities in the land of Judea on the eastern brim of the Yatir Mountains ridge, through the Yatir Forest, the largest forest planted by the Jewish National Fund, to the Mount Amsha (Har Amasa) nature reserve, which has impressive views and unique plants. It also contains the remains of the Roman "freeway" Ma'ale Dragot.

Mamshit and Mamshit Stream (Negev)

The trail passes through the ancient city of Mamshit, its alleys, churches, remains of stables, houses and administrative structures. You can visit the ancient dams at Mamshit Stream's (Nakhal Mamshit) river bed, walk through the narrow canyon of the stream and see the remains of ancient agriculture. The path exits to Road 206, at the Rotem - Oron intersection.

Mitzpe Ramon and Makhtesh Ramon (Negev)

The town of Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev region is a meeting place for artists, a station for people going down south to Eilat, and a base for visitors to Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater). Ibex roam free on the cliffs, and the colors of the crater change at different times of the day.

Kisuy Stream and Ovda Valley (Negev)

Near Ovda Valley (Bik'at Ovda) are dunes of sand as in the Sinai. Ancient remains include temples, ritual locations and interesting structures near the sides of the roads. From the modern settlement of Shakharot, there are views to the Arava desert.

Shkhoret Stream (Eilat Mountains)

On the route are sandstone geological formations such as the "Amir formation" and "Shkhoret formation". You can see element rocks, sorts of granite in streams (or wadis) that undermined in their predecessors' sediment walls, desert plants and perhaps even representatives of the local fauna. Different shades of sandstones, the granite and its shapes and dark colors, plaster ornaments on the rock and colors galore, all of it there in the Eilat area.

The Israeli Trail is featured prominently in Israeli author David Grossman's 2008 novel "To the End of the Land." In that story the mother of an Israeli soldier takes to the trail to occupy and distract herself while her son is engaged in a military operation.

See also


  1. ^ a b Schnitzspahn, Doug. "World's Best Hikes: Epic Trails". National Geographic. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  2. ^ "Israel National Trail". Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  3. ^ National Geographic names Israel National Trail as one of world's best, Haaretz
  4. ^ Google Street View cameras to bring Israel National Trail alive, Jerusalem Post
  5. ^ a b Porcupines, Emperors, and the New Middle East, Eretz Magazine
  6. ^ Hasson, Maya (May 12, 2010). "Hiking the Israel National Trail". MSNBC. Associated Press. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Udasin, Sharon (August 13, 2012). "'National Geographic' calls Israel Trail 'epic'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  8. ^ Hiking the Israel Trail
  9. ^ Israeli Life: Country Road, Take Me Home
  10. ^ National Geographic names Israel National Trail as one of world's best, Haaretz

Further reading

  • Green, Aryeh, My Israel Trail, Cedar Fort, 2018, isbn 978-1462122011
  • Pex, Judith Galblum. (2007). Walk the land : a journey on foot through Israel. Greeley, CO: Cladach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9759619-5-7.
  • `Saar, Jacob; Henkin, Yagil (2016). Israel National Trail and the Jerusalem Trail (Hike the Land of Israel). Eshkol Publishing. p. 184. ISBN 978-9-6542046-6-8.

External links

Coordinates: 31°23′52″N 34°51′41″E / 31.39778°N 34.86139°E

Beit Hanania

Beit Hanania (Hebrew: בֵּית חֲנַנְיָה, lit. House of Hanania) is a moshav in northern Israel. Located close to the south edge of Mount Carmel close to Zikhron Ya'akov, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 902.

Dan, Israel

Dan (Hebrew: דָּן) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the north of the Hula Valley, at the foot of Mount Hermon, it falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 736.

Derech HaTeva

Derech Hateva (Hebrew: דרך הטבע‎) is an educational organization in Israel that integrates nature hikes and Jewish learning.


Drijat (Arabic: دريجات‎; Hebrew: דריג'את‎), also known as Draijat, is an Arab village in southern Israel. Located in the Negev desert near Arad, between Kuseife and the Yatir Forest, it falls under the jurisdiction of al-Kasom Regional Council. In 2017 its population was 1,153.

Enrico Brizzi

Enrico Brizzi (born in Bologna, November 20, 1974) is an Italian writer. He is best known for his debut novel Jack Frusciante Has Left the Band, which is so far the only one translated into English (along with other 23 languages). It also inspired the same name Italian movie in 1996.

Brizzi then published Bastogne, translated to French, German and Spanish, and five more novels for major Italian publishers; the most recent in 2005, Nessuno lo saprà - Viaggio a piedi dall'Argentario al Conero, based on a real life experience of a trekking through Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches from the Tyrrhenian Sea coast to the Adriatic sea one.In Italy, he's one of the most popular authors of his generation, and in 1999 he was elected with José Carreras, Ennio Morricone and seven other Italian celebrities to form "the ten quality judges' board" in Italy's biggest music event, the Festival di Sanremo.In 2006 Brizzi walked (and biked) for three months from Canterbury to Rome along the ancient pilgrims' path known as Via Francigena. His reportage was published in issues 30-34 of the leading Italian weekly magazine L'espresso.

In 2008 a new trip brought Brizzi from Rome to Jerusalem, walking in southern Italy on the ancient Via Appia, and in Israel on the Israel National Trail. His reportage was published in the Italian edition of Condé Nast Traveler monthly magazine.

Even Sapir

Even Sapir (Hebrew: אֶבֶן סַפִּיר, lit. Sapphire) is a moshav in central Israel. Located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 728.

Google Street View in Israel

Google Street View began in Israel in April 2012. Israel is the first country in the Middle East to see non-museum Street View. First, on April 3, the interior of the Israel Museum was introduced. Then on April 19, three days ahead of the planned formal launch, Jerusalem and the country's two largest cities, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, along with a number of other landmarks, came public. On January 16, 2013, dozens of cities and towns around Israel, along with some road connections, were added. While seen as a boost to tourism in the country, the feature has also brought up concerns that it could aid terrorists, which have been addressed. The imagery even offers views of some contested april, 2015 google started to take photos of Israel National Trail with a person carrying Google Street View camera called "Trekker", it took 10 weeks of hiking to finish the trail. The tail was publish in street view on 24 January, 2016.[1]

Haifa Wadis Trail

The Haifa Wadis Trail, (Hebrew: שביל ואדיות חיפה‎, Shvil Vadiot Haifa) is a hiking path that extends the Israel National Trail into Haifa. This trail that was formed and maintained by Yarok Balev NGO forms a complete hiking circuit of approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) through the wadis of Mount Carmel.The trail is partially marked, and it takes an average of 3 days to hike it as a whole. It has been opened to the public since April 2014, and was officially launched on March 2015 after actually marking it.The trail passes along cultural and historical landmarks and through national parks around Haifa. It passes near the Bahá'í Gardens, Mahmood Mosque in Kababir, Elijah's Cave, Carmelites ruins, Technion and numerous other sites.

Hiking in Israel

Hiking in Israel is an important component of Israeli culture and tourism. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes hiking in Israel as "a trekker's paradise" with over 9,656 km (6,000 miles) of trails. In May 2015, Google Street View, in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), announced plans to photograph the full length of the 1,100 km (683 mi) Israel National Trail


INT may refer to:

abbreviation for interjection

Telecom & Management SudParis, formerly Institut National des Télécommunications (INT), a French higher education institute

Telecom SudParis, formerly Telecom INT, a French grande ecole, graduate school for engineers

Telecom Business School, formerly INT Management, a French Grande Ecole, graduate business school

Smith Reynolds Airport, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Israel National Trail, a hiking trail that crosses Israel

The Indian National Theatre, a theatre organisation and troupe based in Mumbai, India

an interception in American football statistics

The Interstate Railroad, A former US railroad.

Int Base, the headquarters of the Church of Scientology

Israel National Bike Trail

The Israel Bike Trail is a trail for mountain bikers in Israel. When complete, the trail will extend over 1,200 kilometers across Israel, like the Israel National Trail, from Eilat to Mount Hermon. It will be composed of 27 segments, passing through Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Golan Heights. In December 2014, eight sections, spanning 400 km from Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat, were open for riding across the Negev desert.

Jerusalem Trail

The Jerusalem Trail, (Hebrew: שביל ירושלים‎, Shvil Yerushalaim) is a hiking path that extends the Israel National Trail into Jerusalem.

List of long-distance footpaths

This is a list of some long-distance footpaths used for walking and hiking.

Metzudat Koach

This article is about the British Mandate-time police fort. For the depopulated Arab village after which it was named, see Al-Nabi Yusha'.The Nabi Yusha fort, renamed Metzudat Koach (Hebrew: מצודת כ"ח‎), is a police fort built by the British Mandate administration during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine and currently used by the Israel Border Police. The site around the fort contains a stone monument and a new museum (founded in 2014), together constituting the Metzudat Koach Memorial, which commemorates 28 Israeli soldiers who died during the 1948 conquest of the strategically important fort. The fort and observation point is located in the Upper Galilee, close to an abandoned Shia shrine of Nabi Yusha ("Prophet Joshua"). The Hebrew word "ko'ach" (כח) has a double meaning: as a common noun it means "strength", while its numerical value according to gematria is 28, the number of the fallen soldiers.

The Metzudat Koach memorial is currently part of the Israel National Trail.

Mount Arbel

Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל‎, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys.

There are four villages on the mountain: Kfar Zeitim, Arbel, Kfar Hittim, and Mitzpa. The peak, at 181 metres above sea level (380 metres above the surrounding area), dominates the surroundings (much of the area is below sea level) and from the lookout atop the mountain, almost all of the Galilee into the Golan Heights including Safed, Tiberias and most of the Sea of Galilee, is visible.

Netafim Border Crossing

Coordinates: 29°35′56″N 34°52′04″E

The Netafim Border Crossing (Hebrew: מעבר נטפים‎) is a border crossing between Israel and Egypt. It is located adjacent to Highway 12, about 12 km north of Eilat, 1 km north west of Ein Netafim.

The control of the border crossing was handed over to the Israel Airports Authority in 1980; nowadays it is closed. Very seldom it is reopened under special circumstances.

There are plans to reopen the border crossing passage as alternative during festivals, in coordination with the Egyptian authorities.The border line is guarded accurately on both sides, on the Israeli side alongside Highway 12 (one of the two accommodation roads to Eilat) by the Israel Border Police and on the Egyptian side from some army positions.

The border crossing is in the proximity of the Israel National Trail, but not exactly on the route, nevertheless many wanderers, who have lost their way, arrive at the border crossing to drink some water.

Sea to sea trail

The Sea to Sea Trail (Hebrew: שביל מים לים‎, Shvil MiYam LeYam) is a hiking path that crosses the north of Israel. Its western end is in the Mediterranean Sea at Achziv, near the Lebanese border in the far north of the country, and it extends to the Sea of Gallilee, a length of approximately 71 km (44 mi). The trail is marked with different colors in different sections, and takes an average of 3–4 days to complete.The trail was very popular among youth organizations in the 1950s and 60s.The Hebrew Scouts Movement in Israel has been organizing the Sea to Sea hike every year during the Passover holidays, for 14 years old Scouts since 1919.The first part of the trail climbs from the Sea of Gallilee through Nahal Amud to the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai grave on Mount Meron. This section of the trail is part of the Israel National Trail. The second section of the trail goes from Mount Meron through Nahal Kziv to Ma'alot-Tarshiha. The third day of the hike follows Nahal Kziv to the sea.


Thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is to hike an established end-to-end long-distance trail with continuous footsteps and completing it within one calendar year.

In the United States, the term is most commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail (AT), the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), but also refers to other end-to-end hikes. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy defines a through-hike as one completed within a twelve-month period; this definition is used by many groups.

Other examples include the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Via Francigena in France and Italy, the Lycian Way in Turkey, the Israel National Trail, and the Great Divide Trail (GDT) in Canada. Thru-hiking is also called "end-to-end hiking" or "end-to-ending" on some trails, like Vermont's Long Trail or New York's Long Path and Northville–Placid Trail.

Section hiking, on the other hand, refers to hiking a trail one section at a time, without continuity and not necessarily in sequence with the other sections or within one hiking season.

Tzur Hadassah

Tzur Hadassah (Hebrew: צוּר הֲדַסָּה, lit. Rock of Hadassah) is a community settlement located in the Jerusalem Corridor, located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Jerusalem, at an altitude of 755 meters above sea level, located on Route 375 west of Betar Ilit, about one kilometer west of the Green Line. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Tzur Hadassah is the largest settlement in Israel that does not have a local authority status. It falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 8,182.

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