Snir Stream Nature Reserve

This recommended circular family hike is by the Senir Stream in the Hula Valley close to Kiryat Shmona. Most of the hike is easy, but some parts are slightly challenging, including a short distance in a shallow part of the river and another part climbing on rocks with the help of handholds.

The Jordan River has 3 mains sources. About half its flow comes from the Dan River, while the Senir and Banias (Hermon) Streams provide about a quarter each. The Senir starts in the Lebanon Valley in Lebanon, where it is known as the Hatsbani. Its river bed is 60 Km long, although it is dry for much of the way. The amount of water flowing is very dependent on the season. The rivers join up at Sde Nehemia.

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THE HIKE

 

Time: 1½ hours.

Distance: Just under 3½ Km.

Type of hike: Circular.

Difficulty: Most of the trail is on easy paths. However, there is one section of the hike that goes through a shallow section of the stream. It is usually up to one’s ankles. You will need some suitable shoes for the water. If you are using different shoes for dry land and water, some plastic bags for when you take them off can be useful. Walking sticks can also be helpful for this part of the hike. There is a part of the hike that uses handholds in the rock, but they are mainly for balance rather than climbing on.

Directions: Enter “Snir Stream” into Waze and click on “Snir Stream Nature Reserve.” This will bring you to the entrance to the park and then to the parking lot.

Admission: This is a site of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Summer hours are Sunday to Thursday and Saturday 8.00 to 5.00 pm and Friday and holiday eves 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. Winter hours are Sunday to Thursday and Saturday 8.00-4.00 pm and Friday and holiday eves 8.00 am-3.00 pm. Be sure to obtain a brochure with a map (also available in English). Their telephone number is 04 695-0064. This is their website. 

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THE HIKE

  • From the parking lot, take the paved path marked “To the trails.” This will bring you past a store selling hot and cold drinks and supplies, and then WC’s. There is a wading pool here suitable for children that has a pretty waterfall. Nearby, there is a shaded picnic area with picnic benches.

  • Follow the sign to the “Senir Stream.”  Turn left where you see a red arrow on a rock. You will soon come to the stream. After passing the Travertine Waterfall, there is a section walking in the water. There are small boulders in the stream and you will need to walk carefully. Once you have completed this, there is no further walking in the water. After this is a section climbing on some rocks and there are handholds to help you keep your balance.

 

  • The path then separates from the stream. After meeting the stream again, the path turns towards a revolving gate. Turn left after passing through the gate in the direction of the sign that indicates “Back to Senir Stream picnic area.” This part of the hike passes by reeds and then orchards. It brings you to the park entrance and then the parking lot and your car.

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