The beautiful Nahal Zippori to Ein Yivka
This is a beautiful circular walk or hike in the western Lower Galilee along Nahal Zippori. The first 25-minute section is on a tayelet, a flat paved walkway, and is suitable for a stroller or wheelchair. Half the hike is on the Israel National Trail (Schvil Yisra'el).
Nahal Zippori is a 32 Km stream that winds between the rolling hills of the Lower Galilee that begins by Zippori and drains into the Kichon River. It is fed by a number of springs and there is usually flowing water even in the summer. Flintstones and pottery found in the valley indicate that this area was inhabited from prehistoric times, as far back as the Neolithic period from about 8,000 BCE. After the Bar Kochba revolt and the resulting Jewish immigration to the Lower Galilee, there would have been Jewish settlements on many of the surrounding hilltops.
Time: : Just over 2½ hours.
Distance: Approximately 8½ Km.
Type of hike: Circular.
Difficulty: Very easy.
Directions: Enter into Waze “Ras Ali” and click on “Ras Ali טיילת נחל ציפורי.” This will bring you to the parking lot for the tayelet.
Descend from the parking lot to the tayelet, which is a paved pathway. This section takes about 25 minutes one-way and is a distance of approximately 1 Km. The tayelet ends at a water mill.
The many areas of grass along the river are usually green whatever the season and can be used for picnicking, as can the expanse of grass by the mill. The water mill, which is now deserted, is one of many water mills constructed along the river. It was built by Druze from Daliat-El-Carmel and subsequently bought and operated by Carmelite monks in the 1800s. Water was channeled from the Yivka Spring several kilometers away (to be visited) to operate the mill, which had two stories and two mills.
For the circular hike, continue along the Schvil Yisrael by crossing the stream on the concrete blocks just after the mill. This will take you into the hills overlooking the river. Follow the markings for the Israel National Trail (Schvil Yisra'el) and after about 80 minutes (from the beginning of the hike) you will come to Ein Yivka. It has a quite a large pool and at a depth of about 50 cm can be used for swimming.
To return, it is possible to go back along the Israel National Trail (Schvil Yisra'el). However, for variety and to save about 15-minutes it is advised to make this a circular trail by returning on the paved road on the opposite side of the river to the Schvil Yisra'el trail. This will take you to the end of the tayelet by the Carmelite water mill, and from here it is a 25-minute walk back to your car.
The Carmelite watermill, now deserted.
Ein Yivka is deep enough for kids to swim in.
II could not resist photographing this field close to the stream.