The Banias River (Hermon Stream) is one of the 3 tributaries of the Jordan River. It is not the biggest in terms of waterfowl, nor in terms of length. However, it is the “wildest” and the most scenic of the three. Refreshing water and plenty of shade make it a great summer escape. However, in winter, the water flow is much more impressive.
90% of the people visit only the paid areas of the reserve and that area gets crowded. Our hike will take out of the paid area into the more secluded sections of the river. A great hiking day at any time of the year.
For additional general information on Banias Nature Reserve here.
Begin with a tour of the Springs, Banias Ruins, and the Pan Temple. (information on these landmarks here)
When done, start following the Blue trail downstream along the Banias.
You will reach after a few minutes the restored watermill.
There are plenty of magical spots for picnicking by the water.
After about 2 km, you will reach the observation point that overlooks the Banias Falls from the top.
A few meters after that, the trail descends to the riverbed, crosses the stream and reached a junction with a Red trail (2).
Turn right and follow the Blue trail to reach the foot of the Banias Falls.
Retrace your steps to the junction and at the junction, follow the Red trail.
After a short distance, you will meet the “Hanging Trial”. A short, exciting section of trail hanging from the cliffs of the gorge above the water.
The trail is “One Way”, so you need to continue on the Red trail until you reach the entrance to the “Hanging Trail” (3).
More information on the waterfall and hanging trail here.
Start following the Black trail downstream.
After 100 meters, you will reach a “one-way” gate that marks the end of the paid area of the Banias reserve. (After you pass it, you cannot go back!).
About 250 meters further, you will see an unmarked trail branching left towards the riverbed. Go down towards the stream. It leads to a beautiful picnic spot by the water where there is also an old Syrian tank that fell here in 1967. That tank’s ruin adds to the atmosphere of the place.
Continue downstream on the Black trail for about 1 Km until a junction with a Red trail (4).
Branch right onto the Red trail that passes near the water stream with many possibilities for pleasant resting spots.
After about 1.5 Km, the red trail meets again with the black dirt road. Follow the Black dirt road on a bridge across the Hermon (Banias) river and up to moshav Shear Yashuv.
At the end of the marked trail walk through the moshav until the exit to the main road #99, where there is a bus stop.