Israel National Trail Hiking In Israel
Hikers on the Israel National Trail
Israel is the optimally marked country in the world. It means having the highest ratio between the length of marked trails and the area in square kilometers.
It was only reasonable to create a national trail like the “Camino de Santiago” in Spain and the “Via Alpina” in Switzerland.
The “Appalachian Trail” in the United States was actually the inspiration for the Israel National Trail.
The initiator behind the concept was the late Abraham Tamir, journalist of the “Davar Leyeladim” weekly. He approached already in 1980 Ori Dvir who was then the chairman of the Israel National Trail Committee.
The Trail was inaugurated by the late President Ezer Weizman in 1995 after painstaking and complex work: homage toward the fiftieth anniversary of Israel.
At that time a heated public debate was going on re Highway 6 (intended to be a highway along the whole length of Israel).
Because of this debate the Trail has been often erroneously named The Dividing National Trail. This definition is the farthest from the concept. Perhaps The Unifying National Trail would be much closer to it.
Color markings of the Trail
Since our country is long and narrow one anchor point in the north and one in the south were sufficient to ensure free passage through most regions (despite its being small it is divided into 20 geographical regions!).
The iconic expression “From Dan to Elath” with its nostalgic tinge was evidently present at the planning stage. Thus the trail starts in the north at the sources of the Dan and ends near Taba in the Bay of Elath,
The markings of the Trail
The standard marking of the Trail – two white stripes with the corresponding color of the Trail on the map between them – has been expanded.
Various new markings have been added lately, such as Lake of Galilee Trail, Golan Trail and several local trails.
The marking of the Israel National Trail is stripes of blue, orange and white. The blue symbolizes the sea; the orange is for the desert and the white for the snow on Mt. Hermon.
The orange stripe shows the Trail leading southward to the desert whereas the white points northward leading to its northern end.
About the Israel National Trail
jerusalem hiking trails
The Trail passes in its entirety within the boundary of the Green Line. The layout of the Trail was planned to include several already existing attractive and well-known trails.
Another objective was to touch on sites sacred to different religions.
Since its inauguration the Trail underwent numerous modifications, among them shifting in the Sharon region toward the sea (again because of Highway 6).
Furthermore there is a considerable deviation in the Negev (a 70 km section parallel to the road, 40 km due to military firing range). Yet it does not reach several points, omitting sometimes a whole region.
The length of the Trail
Obviously the modifications have changed the length of the Trail that started at 880 km and today stands on approximately1050 km net. (The actual length is higher by about 10 -15%).
Within the framework of my group trips on the Trail at present we carry out precise gauging by GPS instruments. I will be more than pleased to publish the final result on the web site.
About the Israel National Trail invites you to join us on the Israel National Trail trip. The Israeli Trail offers an unusual and experience tour