Mitzpe Kinneret Lookout and Ein Akub in the Mevo Hama Forest
The Mitzpe Kinneret Lookout in the Mevo Hama Forest provides spectacular views over the southern part of Lake Kinneret. The lookout can also be visited within the context of a very nice short circular hike that starts from Ein Akub, a popular picnic spot.
To visit Mitzpe Kinneret by car, enter “מצפה כנרת מנדל” into Waze. An arrowed sign indicates the turn off from the main road through the Mevo Forest.
At the lookout is a sign identifying the places you are viewing. This includes Kibbutz Tel Kazir below you and Tiberias on the either side of Lake Kinneret. On a clear day you can also see the Upper Galilee, including Mount Canaan, Tzfat and Mount Meron. There is also a recording in Hebrew describing this site and explaining the indiscriminate shelling on the Jewish settlements below from the nearby Syrian village of Tawfik, especially on Kibbutz Tel Kazir. This ended after the 1967 Six-Day War. A recording also tells us about Kinneret Mandel who died in a terrorist attack in Gush Etzion. There are picnic tables, although none of them are in shade.
In the other direction away from the lake, you can make out a British pillbox. This was part of a defensive line built by the British in the Golan during the Mandate period against a possible French and/or German invasion.
Continue a bit further along the Mevo Forest road and you will come to Ein Akub. You can enter “Ein Akub” into Waze. This is a pleasant place for a picnic. It has a spring, but no pool, and no real opportunity for the kids to get wet. There is a very pleasant path around the spring. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables.
A nice short family hike starts from Ein Akub, passes the outskirts of Taufik, visits Mitzpe Kinneret and returns to your car at Ein Akub. This is partially on the Golan Trail, a 120-Km continuous trail from Mount Hermon to nearby Ein Tawfik.
From Ein Akub, take the green-marked trail down the hill.
At the T-junction follow the green markings by turning left and crossing the cattle grid and then turning right. This will take you to the outskirts of the ruins of the Syrian village of Tawfik. In theory, you can continue further in this direction on the green-marked trail all the way to Kibbutz HaOno, but there is little point in doing this. Just after you see two concrete picnic tables on your right is sufficient distance to view Lake Kinneret and turn back.
Turning back, you will soon come to the 4-way crossroads you previously passed. From here you can either return to Ein Akub the way you came or continue along this road. You will pass on your right enclosed fortifications built for cannon, called Emdat Hanivronim, after a similar firing placement in Greece built by the Germans.
This structure was built during the 1968-1970 War of Attrition by the Israel Defense Forces as a response to shelling from north of the Gilad on Tiberias. After Israel returned the shelling, this ceased.
At the T-junction enter the adjacent side road to Mitzpe Kinneret.
When you leave Mitzpe Kinneret, turn left towards Ein Akub. This is the road you came along with your car. Soon you will see your car at the spring.
FOR THE CIRCULAR HIKE:
Time: About 1 hour.
Distance: 2¾ Km.
Type of walk: Circular.
Difficulty: An easy hike along paved or dirt jeep roads. There is a significant incline on the return part of the hike.
Directions: Enter “Ein Akub” into Waze.
Public transport: There is no close bus service to the Mevo Hama Forest.
Emdat Hanivronim is enclosed and cannot be entered.
Circular trail to Mitzpe Kinneret Overlook. To follow your location on your smart phone, click on these words:
Click on the black box with a cross at the top left of the map and this will change color from black to green.