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Nahal HaShofet

Duration:  Half a Day
Difficulty:  Easy, 2 Kilometres
Seasons:  Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Topographic Map Number:  4 - Carmel
Properties:  Round Trip, Water Dip, For Families, Trip with Blossom, Suitable for Wheelchair, Romantic, Suitable for Bicycle, Good for dogs
Coordinates:  (210917, 727364) / (35.1135, 32.6407)
Rating:  8.22
Updated at:  16/9/2014
Region:  Mnt Carmel & Hasharon
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The page in Hebrew: 
The page in Russian: 
נחל השופט
Нахаль а-Шофет / ручей а-Шофет



Nahal HaShofet [the Judge's stream] is a green and beautiful place in Menashe Heights. The ingredients that make this area so special for the visitor are its clean air, the hills which are spackled with dreamy settlements, the seasonal blossoming e.g. the deep pink of Juda's tree during springtime, and the perennial streams with their foamy hasty water.

 

This route is suitable for families, as well as for disabled citizens as being partly adjusted for strollers and wheelchairs. In Saturdays and holidays the trail is over-loaded with visitors so plan your visit to weekdays.

This circular route, which is suitable for families, can be accomplished in 2 to 4 hours depending on the route you’d choose.


Arriving There

The point of departure for the trip is at Ein Choshrat (Ein Ami) [4 in the map]. Drive south from Tishbi Junction [1] on Route 66 (toward Megido Junction). After six kilometers (after the 28th kilometer stone), there is a paved access-road that turns right (westward) to the direction of Park Ye'arot Menashe [2].  Follow this road to an entrance gate with a booth (which is seldom manned). From the gate, let the good signing direct you to the day campsites of Nahal Gahar, Hazorea and Nahal HaShofet.  The road climbs up through Mount Gahar [3] and descends to Nahal HaShofet. A passable "Irish pass-way" [a concrete-paved passage on a stream] allows all vehicles to cross the stream; continue to the Haruvim Camping and Leave your car there. JNF (the Jewish National Fund) has well-accommodated the site for all publics: playgrounds for the children, picnic tables and benches and barbeque facilities for the parents. Here on the banks of HaShofet stream, under the shadows of the pine trees, unload your picnic baskets, and enjoy the food, landscape, air and atmosphere.  From this parking square, go down the road until Ein Ami [4], to where the trail starts.

Another option for getting there, but not on Saturdays, is through Yokneam haMoshava [the colony]. From route 70, a short distance before Tishbi Junction, turn south (for those arriving from the Coastal Highway) toward Yokneam. Follow the road through the moshava until it ends and turn right just before reaching you reach the fence separating that separates Yokneam from Kibbutz Hazorea turn right. The paved road becomes a dirt road which is marked red in the system of marked trails. The road passes a cemetery and after approximately 900 meters you will see Ein Ami [4] on your right. There are often vehicles parked here at the side of the road. Please don't follow suit; spend an extra three minutes driving and park into the nearby Haruvim parking area, and park there.


Nahal HaShofet

The flow of HaShofet stream begins near Kibbutz Ein HaShofet; then it joins with the Kishon Stream southeast to Kibbutz Hazorea.  The perennial stream is a rare phenomenon in our country and it results from the many springs that feed it. At the end of winter and beginning of spring, its banks are entirely covered with beautiful flowers like Floryst's Cyclamen, crown anemone, king's spear, chrisantemum chorarium etc. More plants on the stream banks are willows, ulmus minor, and in summer the holy bramble with its juicy tasty fruits. The ever-flowing water makes the HaShofet Stream a favorable site for visit during summer; however winter and spring too are mostly recommended, a time for the delighting sight of carpets of flowers.  Locate a red marked trail that begins approximately Ein HaEmek and ends near Kibbutz Hazorea.

The following recommended trail is suitable for families and consists of two separated routes: a short 1.5-hour one and a longer 2-3-hour walk. The circular trail leads to the starting point.  Lately The JNF built here a trail for wheelchairs along the banks of the stream. There is another non-circular trail as well (at the end of this itinerary) that follows HaShofet stream, from its fountainhead at route 672, near Ein HaShofet [9], through its path to Ein Ami.


The Short Trail

Ein Hoshfat (Ein Ami) [4] – The spring is located just next to the dirt-road that leads from Kibbutz HaZorea. The spring emanates near a bright large stretch of rock surface. The water flows into the reservoir from 3 tunnels: two small ones and a bigger one that spills its water into a square pool.  The rock above the emanation is shaped as a carved arch, and according to one theory it had been used for a ritualistic purpose of the Roman nympheon, e.g. Roman water rituals, and that stone arch was built to hold a statue of a worshiped god underneath it. Kibbutz Hazorea tends the fountain area and commemorates thus one of its members, Emi Brenner, who was killed during his army service.  Not long ago the JNF planted here some eastern strawberry trees and water plants, among them some blue water lilies.

On the other side of the red-marked dirt-road (marked as white-red-white) there is a short footpath that leads down to the bed of the HaShofet stream. The path takes to a beautiful grove and the remains of a flourmill. In Arabic this area is called wadi Tawahin, the stream of the flourmills, because of this and other flourmills that were working in its stream. Next to the meal there is a small sign which commemorates Joshua Marks, member of Kibbutz Hazorea who was killed in Gush Ezyon during the War of Independence. 

In a short distance from the stream, there is a small wooden bridge that leads to a lovely place for picnics and a shallow cave; however, instead of going on the bridge, continue with the marked trail up the stream. Wheelchairs and baby-buggies can pass on through this paved-road to explore the green shadowed tunnels that cut through the jungle of common reed that  thrives around the stream water. The path continues on the bed of the stream, and leads to a graceful place – a tiny waterfall and a beautiful pool on its foot [5].  A thicket of oleanders and ulmus trees, which could be easily detected according to their dented and asymmetrical leaves, surrounds the pool. Ulmus is a rare tree in Israel and usually it grows next to flowing streams and sheds its leaves during winter. Other trees that grow here are poplars, willows, Palestine buckthorns and pine trees and they were planted by the JNF. For a fascinating article (in Hebrew) about the Ulmus click here. 

Continue from this pool with the trail that goes parallel to the stream. In your way, notice the levee which is used as a station for measuring water flow. In the point where you can either to go back to the red-marked dirt-road choose either option: continuing with the short trail back to the starting point or following the dirt road and then back to Ein Emi.


The Long trail: from Ein Choshrat to Emek HaShalom and back to Ein Choshrat

Follow the red-marked dirt-road from Ein Choshrat [4]. Follow it when it passes next to a blue-marked trail [5] (it turns right to Tel Kira, Kira Mound) and stick to the red trail until it passes next a foot of a tree-covered hill – Mish'ol hill. On this point turn right and go up the road that ascends at the outskirts of to a JNF forest to the top of the hill [6]. We are on the edge of Ramat HaShna’im [the Highland of the Two]. To your north notice the buildings of Yoqneam Illit, and the Muchraka [the Carmel's horn] behind them. The outlook to your south is of the Emek HaShalom Ranch which is ensconced in the heart of the Highland of the Two, surrounded by rows of trees. Continue by crossing an open field to reach the ranch and walk on the dirt-road that starts from underneath a high-voltage line. The blossoming here at spring  is breathtaking when the field is covered with flowers. The gates of the Emek HaShalom ranch are opened for visitors and entrance is free.

Emek HaShalom [the Valley of Peace] – The unique Emek HaShalom ranch was founded in 1960 by Dr. Oskar Eder, a pilot in the German Air Force and a proponent of Bible Studies. After he had been engaged in a Self and spiritual soul-searching, he went on to settle down here. In 1964, a Christian and Austrian researcher, Hermann Betzner, joined him to the ranch. But they had some disagreements until Oskar left the ranch, converted to Judaism and moved to live in Jerusalem. During the 1970' Josef Schmidt from Czech arrived here. He changed his name to Yosef Elisha and decided to settle in the ranch. Both of them  were observant Christians and members in the Friendsof Humanity Society and friends to the Israeli people. With time the ranch became a thriving business that held an environmentalist attitude with crops of fruits, vegetables and grains. From 1995, the Lotem Association (an acronym for Integrated Nature Learning) has been operating the Emek HaShalom Ranch. It serves as a guiding center for Nature Studies and geography and also integrates populations with special needs in its various activities.

In the end of 1997, Yosef had put an end to his life, and in 2000, Herman died at the age of 99. Their will was that the ranch should be bequeathed to the Megido Local Council and continue to serve the People of Israel and people with special needs while clinging to an ecological attitude. Today the Emek HaShalom offers workshops and tours in the area. For participation, which may include some fee, one needs to coordinate his/her arrival in advance. Address: Lotem Center (Emek HaShalom) Tel, 04-9591808.

http://lotem.cet.ac.il/aboutEng.asp

Ein Parud – After visiting the ranch, continue to Ein Parud Spring [7] which is on the streambed of HaShofet Stream.  The dirt-road leads from the ranch and after awhile joins with a red-marked dirt-road. The concrete building in Ein Parud [7] is a pumping station that busters water from the fountain to Emek HaShalom Ranch. A huge willow tree grows next to the fountain, and it was tended by the dwellers of Emek HaShalom. Two tall segregated cypresses grow in front of the spring, originally planted there for commemorating two guards who fell during their service in the pre-state defense organization HaShomer– Jeohash Zoller and Yitzhak Klichevsky – both were killed in this place in the Arab 1936-1939 Revolt. They also gave the valley its name – Emek HaShna’im [Valley of the Two]. The following song, The sky Became Darkened by Joshua Proshonsky, was also written to commemorate their name: click here to listen:

The sky became dark,

Stormy wind whistled and whipped.

Ephraim Mountains had drew

Stark sacrifice young and new

Ephraim Mountains had drew

Stark sacrifice young and new

 

To a lofty high mount

Hebrew guards ride and mount

To the Gilboa Ridge

They take their lead

To the Gilboa Ridge

They take their lead

 

Guards from the Galilee

Hidden in the shades, do head

Carrying on their arms

Bodies of their peers to arms

Carrying on their arms

Bodies of their peers to arms

 

Oe, dear friend lay in peace

For time that never ceases

Your path is still been taken

To give our lives to the nation

Your path is still been taken

To give our lives to the nation.

 

Back to Ein Choshrat – Descend from Ein Parud [7], follow along the red-marked stream and walk underneath the willows that grow beside the trail. After 1.5-km [0.9 mile], there is a point where a paved road goes down to the bed of the stream [5]. Follow it to Ein Choshrat [4], which is the ending point of the trail, according to the description of the short option of the trail.


A non-circular itinerary along Nahal HaShofet

As was mentioned before, for those who prefer a non-circular route, take the red-marked trail that begins next to Ein HaShofet [9] (on Route 672 next to the 21st kilometer stone), and goes down along the bed of the stream. After about 1.5-km [0.9 mile], you’ll arrive to a fountain [8] with a pool; and not long after that to impressive ruins of a flourmill. Continue from here to HaShna’im Highland and from there; follow the itinerary of the longer circular route. For this version a vehicle must be parked at the end of the route, at Ein Choshrat. The 7-km trail [4.3 mile] descends in an easy gradient, and can take about 3.5 hours of relaxed hiking.  


Additional Comments

An optional road might be an inner road that links kibbutz HaZorea to Yokneam HaMoshava. However, getting there by car is impossible. Instead go through HaTishbi Junction. Enter the forest next to a sign with the words "Hadas Bashan", across the JNF Plant Nursery; drive on a well-paved kurkar [eolianite] road. The comfortable road climbs through the forest. In a Y-Junction turn right across a pine forest until you’ll reach HaShna’im Highland. This road was paved above the surface of the older "solling" road which was paved during the British Mandate to link Yokneam to Joara area, and it is passable for every kind of vehicles. The solling road was planned by the British engineer Thomas Telford (1757 - 1834) who was an expert in planning bridges, tunnels and roads. He developed a special method for road paving in non-drivable places. Solling roads were paved by inserting huge stones to a depth of about 18-45 centimeters along the margins and by filling the gaps between them with pebbles and stone gravel. Many roads were paved this way during the days of the British Mandate. Going straight on this road finally takes to Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet; continue and turn right to a short 2-km [1.2 mile] road that joins Route 672. Turn right to the Elyakim Interchange and back to Wadi Milek, Road 70. In your way back you can comfortably rely on the excellent JNF signing system that will direct you back to your home. 

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Mr - 31/3/2013 16:58 Rating: 9

 
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The waterfall in Nahal haShofet
The waterfall in Nahal haShofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The waterfall in Nahal haShofet


- Photo By: סטודיו מקום טוב

Ein Faror
Ein Faror

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Ein Faror


Ein Ami
Ein Ami

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Ein Ami


Ein Ami
Ein Ami

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Ein Ami


Gesher Over the Bridge
Gesher Over the Bridge

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Gesher Over the Bridge


The spring in upper HaShofet stream
The spring in upper HaShofet stream

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The spring in upper HaShofet stream


The Valley of the Two
The Valley of the Two

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The Valley of the Two


Children iin the water of Nahal HaShofet
Children iin the water of Nahal HaShofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Children iin the water of Nahal HaShofet


Emek haShalom [the Valley of Peace]
Emek haShalom [the Valley of Peace]

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Emek haShalom [the Valley of Peace]


The Valley of Two
The Valley of Two

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The Valley of Two


The route in Nahal Hashofet
The route in Nahal Hashofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The route in Nahal Hashofet


The route in Nahal Hashofet
The route in Nahal Hashofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The route in Nahal Hashofet


The route in Nahal Hashofet
The route in Nahal Hashofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The route in Nahal Hashofet


The View of Nahal Hashofet
The View of Nahal Hashofet

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The View of Nahal Hashofet