Nahal Kziv and Monfort trail are among the most beautiful trails of Israel. Add to it an ever-flowing stream, a spring tunnel, a Crusader fortress on the mountainside and plentiful of Galilean green and the result is a trail that must not be missed!
There are many ways to enjoy a hike in Nahal Kziv', and I advise you to take the 6-km circular route [3.7 mile]: although the rough climbing at the end is quite demanding, it is suitable for the whole family. The best season for this trail is at the hot season, because trails that don’t have the chilling pools like those of the Kziv Stream might be less agreeable. Don't forget to bring swimming suit with your or extra clothes to change and a flashlight in case you'll want to enter the Ein Tamir spring tunnel.
How to Get There
1. A circular trail (6 km) [3.7 miles] – this trail begins and ends at the same point and it fits for hikers with only one vehicle. Turn north at Route 89  to Meilliya and Mitspe Hilla. Near the entrance to the Mitspe continue straight to a dirt-road . Drive on this road an additional 200 meters [656 feet] until you arrive to a parking lot on your left. From this point track the trail that descends to the stream; its mark in the marking trail map [the 1:50,000 SPNI mapping system] is black.
2. First option for a non-circular trail (6 km) [3.7 m] – At Beztet Junction drive east to Kevish Hatsafon (Route 899 – The North Road). After driving for about 12 km [7.4 mile] you’ll come to a signpost indicating right to Park Goren. At Park Goren, follow the signs until the Monfort Observation Point . The trail starts from this point. Drive the other vehicle eastwards, adjacently to the stream bank; at the place where the road turns left, continue directly on the dirt-road for another 200 m [650 feet] to a point  above Ein Tamir (marked blue in the marking trail map).
3. Second option for a non-circular trail (6 km) [3.7 miles] – this route starts next to Ein Ziv. From Route 89, turn north at the western entrance to Ma'alot-Tarshiha . Follow the road that goes down towards the stream until a point which is impassable for further driving  next to a Mekorot water pumping station. Leave the second vehicle at the end of your route, at either point  or , as was explained above.
4. A difficult-level hike (25 km) [15.5 miles] – starting point is at the Druze village of Hurfeish. The trail starts next to a plaza at the northern entrance of the village and winds along the stream until Moshav Avadon.
(Starting point according to Trail 1) – Take the black-marked trail that descends from the parking lot northeast. (Note the additional dirt road which is also marked black but heads westward toward the sea). The starting point of the trail allows for a spectacular view of the Kziv Stream. With its 20 km of windings, the Kziv Stream extends from the western side of the Meron Mountains until its estuary north of Nahariya. During winter the rainfall is drained into the Kziv Stream. Then the stream is fed by flows of more springs that emanate alongside the bed of the stream. Currently, Mekorot (the Israel National Water) pumps most of the water of the main spring of the Kziv – the Ein Ziv – and boosters it for the water supply of the dwellers of the western Galilee.
The footpath will take you down toward mitspe Hila, one of the Mitspim that were built during the eighties in an effort to populate the Galilee with Jews. The flora that grows alongside the trail, and especially its varied trees that belong to the Mediterranean forest, is consisted of the Palestine oak, terebinth tree, Syrian Maple, sweet bay, Syrian maple, Grecian strawberry tree and Italian buckthorn.
During the last days of winter and beginning of spring you’ll meet with the varied species of the season, as for example crown anemone, turban buttercup, and Florist's cyclamen. Towards the end of spring try to locate the florescence stalks (scapes) of the bristly hollyhock, and note the blossoming of the sage-leaved rock rose, Cretan rock rose, thorny burnet, red cudweed, wild carrot and the plentitude of other seasonal flowers.
The Madonna Lily
Continue for about 1-km [0.6 mile] until you meet with a turn left toward another blue-marked trail. In case you decide to follow the blue-marked trail, it might extend the trail by about 1.5 km [0.9 mile], and this extension is recommended if you still have the verve and energy. This trail leads to an observation point with a beautiful view of the Kziv Stream that joins with the black-marked trail.
During May-June this trail encounters with one of the rarest and most beautiful flowers of Israel namely with the white Madonna Lily that blossoms here with all its beauty, and grows in discrete groups alongside the blue-marked trail. It is recommended to search for it; however, picking the flower is banned.
The Ein Tamir Spring
Return to the black-marked trail and after 1 km [0.62 mile], come to the bed of the Kziv Stream and to the green-marked trail that passes on the bed of the river. Take the turn right and climb up the streambed and after not a long distance of about 400 m [1,300 f] you’ll come to Ein Tamir . It is easy to locate the spring due to the water-pools that surround it. This is an excellent opportunity to stop and wade in the water. At the south bank of the stream there is a tunnel which was dug during antiquity to support the capacity of the spring. Although its narrow entrance, it becomes wider later. Try to walk in the tunnel’s water – it is great! At the end of the tunnel, you’ll arrive to a dead-end and have to turn back to the entrance. Don't forget to fetch with you some flashlights!
After having enough of wading in the water, return along the green-marked trail down the stream to the place from where you will have came. It will be a short while until the trail rejoins again with the black-marked trail, with the one that you will previously had climbed; however continue to go down on the bed of the stream and follow the green-marked trail. The footpath continues through an impressive avenue of oriental plane trees that impart shadow over the stream. This avenue of oriental plane trees used to go further and used to shadow the entire trail, but due to excessive Mekorot pumping of the Ein Tamir Spring, the eastern side of the avenue dried up. During later days, the company had undertaken to allocate 100 cubic meter water per hour and thus the preservation of the unique flora of Nahal Kziv was allowed.
Along the waterside, you’ll meet with an abundance of aquatic plants: horse mint, holy bramble, great willow herb, common fig trees, watercress, common reed and more.
After hiking for about 1.5 km [0.93 mile], join with the black-marked trail that descends from Granot Ha-galil . Continue along a green footpath, and about 500 m 1,64 feet] later, you’ll come to an old flourmill on your left. This watermill, and many more like it in Kziv Stream, used to serve the inhabitants during various historical times. The last flourmill, which was owned by a villager from Mi'ilia, had stopped from grinding during the fifties of last century. There was a shared method for operating flourmills that was common for many streams in Israel: some of the water of the stream was captured in a tunnel and was made to flow toward the flourmill, and through the natural gradient of the river, the height-gap between the bed of the stream and the tunnel was increased. Then at the flourmill facility, the water fell through a chimney and a vertical shaft and splashed on the paddlewheel. Here gravity started to work and the pressure of the falling water started the movement of the waterwheel that was tied up at its upper part to two millstones – an upper and a lower one. The water from this point onward was captured again and was streamed back to the bed of the stream.
The Monfort Fortress
One kilometer after the flourmill [0.62 mile] and downstream, you’ll come across another flourmill and meet a red-marked trail that ascends to the Monfort Fortress . Follow this footpath that climbs from the southern bank toward the fortress .
The Arabic name of the Monfort Fortress is Qala'at Qurein, i.e. “the little horn fortress” and it received its name after its locus at a steep mountain range that resembles a horn. The fortress which was owned by one of the orders of the Crusader was in the purview of their local center at Mi'ilia. There are many farms and flourmills that surround the fortress and they were part of the agricultural deployment of it. The fortress was besieged during the Mamluk Conquest by Baybars after 1265 AD. The landscape from the fortress is breathtaking, and one might find it intriguing to imagine the kind of life the crusaders had led in this fortress 800 years ago. The current ruins which are seen on the surface only hint about the whole fortress and they include the Bastion face and the Keep (the gate tower). Many compartments of it were totally ruined or never excavated by the archeologists.
After visiting the fortress, continue with the red-marked trail on the slope uphill. After about 400 m [1,300 f], you’ll reach to the top of the hill. From here, follow the red-marked trail for 1 km [0.62 m] and go along the dirt-road until you’ll encounter with the second vehicle .
More about the Area
Fallow-deer (roebuck) in Kziv Stream: the roebuck, a mammal that looks like a stag or a ram, used to teem in this area until its extinction. In 1996 a population of ten fallow-deer was released back to nature after they had been acclimated at a corral next to Ein Tamir Spring.
Parking in the area: you can enjoy a free-of-charge night-parking at park Goren, north to the Kziv Stream (note: toilets and showers are unavailable).
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