A fantastic hike that has it all. Water flowing all year round, a beautiful crusader fortress, great views, and lovely Mediterranean forest.
|Best||Nov - May|
KZIV STREAM (Nahal Kziv)
Kziv is the longest stream in the Galilee, with the broadest drainage basin. It flows from the Mount Meron, west to the Mediterranean Sea. It used to be in the past a perennial stream. However, the Israeli national water company pumps most of the water from its bigger springs. During the summer and fall, only short sections have flowing water. During winter and spring (and especially after heavy rainfall), water flow is much stronger and flows all along. In our hike, we will walk along the most attractive section of the stream, that has good water flow all year round. There are a few small pools, suitable for wading and plenty of magical picnic spots near the water. Nahal Kziv is also the first day of the famous Yam le Yam (sea to Sea) trek
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- Starting Point: Parking lot at the intersection of the ‡Red‡ and ‡Black‡ trails (1).
- Start walking on the ‡Red‡ marked dirt road. After about 1.5 Km, the dirt road ends, the ‡Red‡ marking continues on a narrow footpath.
- Soon you get a fantastic view on the Monfort Fortress. The trail goes down and climbs back and enters the fortress (2).
The Monfort fortress in one of the finest examples of fortified crusader structures from the 12th century crusader state period. It was built by the Teutonic Order (Catholic German order founded in Acre in 1190). The fortress is built on a narrow and steep ridge directly above the Kziv stream in the Western Galilee region. The spot was populated first around 1100 as a farm without any special importance. During the 3rd crusade, around 1220 the German knights of the Teutonic order turned it into a significant fortified location. In 1271 following a siege, the Mamluk Muslims conquered the fort, later demolished it, and leaving it in ruins until today.
- After visiting the site, continue down, following the ‡Red‡ trail until you reach the riverbed of the Kziv Stream (3).
- Turn right and follow the dirt road with ‡Green‡ markers. After about 1300 meters you will reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ trail (4).
Attention! At this point, the dirt road continues straight. Turn right with the Green markers which are now a footpath that follows the stream. If you miss the turn and continue on the dirt road, you will miss the best part of the hike!
- The trail is passing now very close to the water and crosses the stream several times. When the water level is low, you can stay dry by crossing on big stones. However, when it’s high, you will get your feet wet. (We recommend to bring extra shoes or a pair of sandals for this section).
- The landscape is like paradise, with huge trees, crystal clear water, and plenty of spots for a picnic.
- After about 1.5 Km, you will reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ trail (5).
- Ignore it at continue with the ‡Green‡ trail for about 400 meters until you reach a beautiful, open rocky area (6).
- On the right (south) bank, Ein Tamir spring is seeping from a cave. You can walk into the cave with a flashlight.
- Retrace your steps back to (5). Turn left and start climbing out of the creek on the ‡Black‡ trail.
- After about half a kilometer of climbing, you will reach a junction with a ‡Blue‡ trail (7).
- You can either continue straight with the ‡Black‡ markers for another 1.5 Kilometers until the starting point, Or you can add a 2 Km side-trip to a fantastic viewpoint on the Monfort castle.
- For the side-trip, follow the circular ‡Blue‡ trail. When the path reaches the end of the ridge you get an amazing view of the castle and the surrounding Galilee mountains.
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