Colorful Nahal Betzet National Park
The two sections of Nahal Betzet described below are incredibly beautiful, although they must once have been even more beautiful before much of the stream disappeared when its water was used for irrigation. However, pumped water is now introduced into a small part of the stream bed. Two hikes are described. One starts from the parking lot at Kibbutz Elon, descends to the spring and walks along part of the stream bed. This hike is more than adequate to appreciate the beauty of this area. The second hike starts from the parking lot at the Daniela Ruins close to Garanot Hagalil and proceeds along the stream bed to Kibbutz Elon. Thus, it also covers the area of the first hike. This is obviously a longer hike and you will need to figure out how to get back to your car.
SHORTER HIKE FROM KIBBUTZ ELON
Time: About 2½ hours.
Type of hike: There and back the same way.
Difficulty: Initially an easy paved path but with a significant incline from the kibbutz down to the spring and then an easy footpath by the stream.
Directions: Enter “Elon” into Waze. Continue straight through the kibbutz until you come to the parking lot for the park There is a café close to the parking lot, although it is only open at popular times. There are also WCs here. There is no park office or admission charge.
Public transport: There is a moderately frequent bus service directly to the kibbutz. Enter into Moovit "Elon."
The pool at Nahal Betzet.
SHORTER HIKE FROM KIBBUTZ ELON:
From the parking lot, take the paved path down to the stream.
On reaching the stream bed turn left towards the spring. You will soon come to a natural pool that can be used for swimming. Its depth is up to about an average adult male’s waist. You may wish to shorten the hike and stay here, but continuing further along the stream is much recommended.
Go in the opposite direction along the stream on the blue-marked trail in the direction of the sign Betzet Stream. It is recommended to continue along Nahal Betzak until it meets the dry river bed of Nahal Sharach. Depending on the season, this path can be extremely colorful because of the oleander bushes.
Return to Kibbutz Elon the way you came.
The path to the spring and pool of Nahal Betzet from Kibbutz Elon.
LONGER HIKE II FROM DANIELA RUINS TO KIBBUTZ ELON
Time: About 2½ hours.
Distance: 6 km.
Type of hike: One-way.
Difficulty: Slightly difficult.
Directions: Enter into Waze “ חרבת דנילה.” The turn-off to the ruins from Route 899 starts a very short distance to the east of the entrance to Granot HaGalil, on the other side of the road. There is a parking lot and picnic benches at the end of the turn-off.
Public transport: There is a moderately frequent bus service to the turn off to Daniela Ruins from Route 899. Enter “חורבת דנעילה” into Moovit.
HIKE II. FROM DANIELA RUINS TO KIBBUTZ ELON ON
Proceed along the blue-marked trail to the dry river bed of Nahal Sharakh. The entire route is a gradual descent and mainly shaded. The nahal bed is dry and without a lot of vegetation. There is some climbing over boulders in this section, although this is not difficult.
Shortly before meeting up with Nahal Betzet there are caves that can be explored. However, this is not permitted from November 1 to March 31 when the bats are hibernating. A sign advises entering with someone who is familiar with the cave. You will be using handholds in the cave.
On meeting Nahal Betzet the views are much prettier as there is dense foliage along the river bed. Depending on the season, this can be extremely colorful because of the oleander bushes.
After about an hour hiking along Nahal Betzet, you will come to the sign to Kibbutz Elon. From here, you can either continue a short distance along to the river bed to the pool or go directly up to the kibbutz.
Ascend the paved path. Go through the two gates. Three hundred meters from the last gate is a kiosk for hot and cold drinks, although this is only open at busy times.
You will now need to get back to your car. This should not be difficult. There is a factory in Kibbutz Elon close to the kiosk that has traffic. There are also hikers leaving who should be able to take you east along Route 899 to the entrance to Granot HaGalil, and if you are lucky, even to the ruins. From the entrance to Granot HaGalil it is about 800 meters to the Daliyot ruins. Also, the same bus service goes from Elon to the turn off to the ruins and vice versa, although you will need to get your timing right.
Note that Keren Kayemet LeYisrael has prepared a very nice, well-marked, circular footpath to the ruins. These are Roman, Byzantine and Mamluke and include a building for pressing olives. The trail starts at the parking lot and is red-marked. It takes about 20 minutes there and back and is a distance of 0.7 Km.
Map of trail along Nahal Betzet
To follow your location on your smart phone, click on https://israelhiking.osm.org.il/share/Wc9PdUy7zz and click on the black box with a cross at the top left of the map and it should change color to green. It is not necessary to download the free app unless you wish to.