Jesus Trail in The New York Times!

Check out the latest press on the Jesus Trail, a feature in The New York Times, entitled Hiking Through Biblical Backcountry! Join author Brad Wetzler on his journey from Nazareth to Capernaum:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/travel/hiking-through-biblical-backcountry.html?pagewanted=allPhoto by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

 

Jesus Trail in Backpacker Magazine

THE JESUS TRAIL: HIKING FROM NAZARETH TO THE SEA OF GALILEE

by Dennis Lewon, photos by Jason Florio

Every hike is a pilgrimage, but this new path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee is holier than most. Literally following in His footsteps, the 40-mile route immerses hikers in biblical history. …

[Read the full article here]

Press Release: New Jesus Trail Guidebook Makes Hiking the Galilee Accessible for International Visitors

March 19, 2010— The first guidebook for the Jesus Trail, a 65-kilometer path connecting sites from the life of Jesus in the Galilee, will be released April 1, 2010. In the two years since the trail was launched, thousands of hikers have embarked on all or a portion of the marked trek, even with only the slim resources of a GPS track and Hebrew topographical maps available to guide them.

Hiking the Jesus Trail and Other Biblical Walks in the Galilee provides a welcome addition to Jesus Trail resources, including detailed full-color maps in English, expert advice on backpacking in Israel, thorough information about historical sites, along with hundreds of full-color photos and diagrams.

“I’ve been hiking in Israel for over five years, and almost all of the hiking resources are only available in Hebrew. We want to make hiking in the Galilee accessible for the international community to experience the rich history and warm people of the region in an authentic way,” commented coauthor David Landis.

Hiking the Jesus Trail coauthors Anna Dintaman and David Landis have been involved with trail development from the beginning of the Jesus Trail. Landis cofounded the trail along with Israeli entrepreneur Maoz Inon. Dintaman was involved in resource development and research. Both bring ample experience in international travel and trekking, and their book research included a seminary course on the first-century context of Jesus and walking the entire 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. “We’ve tried to create a book that is not only an accurate practical guide but also paints a picture of the world of Jesus,” said coauthor Anna Dintaman.

“This is such a comprehensive guidebook–photos and sidebars and so much more beyond the regular text,” commented New Testament professor Reta Halteman Finger. Jesus Trail cofounder Maoz Inon billed the book as, “hands down the best hiking resource for Israel.”

The guide covers the classic Jesus Trail route and over 220 km of additional trails in the Galilee. The 256-page book is available for pre-order online at www.jesustrailguide.com and will shortly be available in select book stores in Israel.

Jesus Trail Featured on ABC News

Take a look at a segment about the Jesus Trail on ABC News:http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7501263

Also, a print piece by ABC:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7480208&page=1

An article by the Agence French-Presse also ran in several different venues, including this one:
http://www.asiaone.com/Travel/News/Story/A1Story20090506-139704.html

From Haaretz: Jesus Trail Marked in Time for Pope's Visit

The Jesus Trail was featured again in Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1076668.html

The story highlights that the trail is being marked with paint blazes by the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel and is on schedule to be completed by the Pope’s visit to Nazareth next month.

Several other related stories came out this week, including from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Israel%20beyond%20politics/Walk_footsteps_Jesus_5-Mar-2009.htm

Also, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/10/pope-commits-to-holy-land_n_173610.html

The Pope leads Mass in Nazareth on the previous Papal
visit to Nazareth in 2000. (Photo from BBC News)

Blazing the Jesus Trail: Marked Pilgrimage Route Brings Hikers to the Galilee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nazareth, Israel, April 1, 2009— One year ago, the Jesus Trail, a Galilee pilgrimage hiking route, consisted of little more than a track of GPS points and an idea. Now, just one year later, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is marking the trail with painted blazes, hundreds of diverse hikers have come to hike the trail, and locals are launching business initiatives in preparation for an increase in hikers.

Developed by local hostel owner and tourism developer Maoz Inon and outdoor adventure specialist David Landis, the trail offers an alternative for travelers and pilgrims to experience the steps of Jesus in a way that is authentic, adventurous and educational by trekking through the rugged and beautiful landscape of the Galilee the same way that Jesus did—by foot.

Painted blazes have already been added to 30 kilometers of the 65-kilometer trail, with plans to complete the blazing by the Pope’s visit to Nazareth in May. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is marking the trail using the Israeli blaze system and will include the trail on future official hiking maps of the region. “This is the first trail in Israel that has been blazed with foreign trekkers in mind, and our first historic long-distance trail,” said Gili Greenbaum, Marking Coordinator for SPNI. “Marking the trail serves both to improve accessibility to hikers and also to limit environmental impact to one path,” added Greenbaum.

As word spread about the trail in the past year, over 300 hikers have made their way to Nazareth to hike all or a portion of the trail. Many are taking advantage of free guiding on the first day of the trail provided by volunteers in Nazareth. An experienced pilgrimage hiker from South Africa came to experience the feel of the land and visit historical sites of the beaten track. One pastor from England came to pray from the high points of the trail. A group of four hiked the trail as part of a much larger trek from Germany to Israel. A conservative Mennonite family hiked the first day of the trail with their six children, including a 3-year-old. After running half the trail in one day, an American man reflected that his experience was, “quite surreal as [his] mind often drifted to the religious history [he] learned from the Bible.”

Hikers experience the diversity of the Galilee and rich hospitality of local culture. A group of six American volunteers camping near a bedouin village had a surprise evening visit from a local man who brought them food and dry firewood. Many locals have been supportive of the project, including Abu Yusuf, a resident of the Arab village of Meshhed, who was eager to welcome hikers into his home.

Daniella Fields, an Israeli trailblazer for SPNI, met two little boys calling themselves, “the kings of Meshhed” as she painted blazes through their town. One of them helped her to carry her painting supplies. As she left town she thanked him for letting her “paint in [his] kingdom.” As a Jewish Israeli, Fields commented, “There’s so much I don’t know about the different people in my own country.”

In addition to giving hikers the opportunity for a unique experience, the trail serves as an economic stimulus for local businesses. In Cana, several family-run bed and breakfasts have sprung up in response to the need for hiker accommodations. New restaurants opened in the old city of Nazareth to provide for the influx of pilgrims. The slower-paced travel of hiking ensures that pilgrims will patronize local businesses for food, accommodations and other necessities along way. With the marking of the trail already underway, hopes are high that the number of Jesus Trail hikers will continue to rise.

Jesus Trail hiker Richard Stetenga wrote, “The good thing about this trail is that it combines visiting some important religious sites with natural beauty. It gave me some time to reflect on things that happened there long ago, and their meaning now, for me.”

The Jesus Trail Web site—www.jesustrail.com— provides links to tour operators and features information on the religious and geographic sites, accommodations and food, and general resources on hiking the region.

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The Jesus Trail is a 65-kilometer hiking trail connecting sites from the life and ministry of Jesus. The entire Jesus Trail can be walked in 3-5 days, or any section can be walked as a day hike using public transportation. Travelers can camp out or stay in a variety of accommodations, ranging from simple dorms to five star hotels. The trail begins in Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, and continues to the Sea of Galilee by way of Zippori, Cana, the Horns of Hattin and Arbel Cliffs. Around the Sea of Galilee the trail connects Tabgha, the church of the Primacy of St. Peter, Capernaum, and the Mount of Beatitudes. An optional return loop connects back to Nazareth via Tiberias, the Jordan River, Mount Tabor and Mount Precipice. More information is available at http://jesustrail.com.

High resolution images available for download at: http://jesustrail.com/downloads/jesus_trail_press_photos.zip. These images are intended only for press purposes and may not be used for commercial reasons of any kind.

For further details contact:

David Landis
david@jesustrail.com
+972-52-6284582

Maoz Inon
maoz@jesustrail.com
972-54-4322352

 

Download: English | Hebrew

The Mennonite: Jesus Trail

David Landis on the Jesus Trail

Jesus trail: Walking where Jesus walked helps put us in touch with his life and teachings.
by David Landis, david@jesustrail.com

Available at http://www.themennonite.org/issues/12-4/articles/Jesus_trail

Jesus Trail Press Release: Free Daily Walks Offered on Jesus Trail

For Immediate Release:

Free Daily Walks Offered on Jesus Trail

by Anna Dintaman

December 28, 2008, Nazareth, Israel– The Jesus Trail, a 65-kilometer (40-mile) hiking trail through the Galilee stomping ground of Jesus, will soon be more accessible to hikers and pilgrims hoping to walk where Jesus walked. Starting December 15, volunteers began leading hikers in a free daily walk on the first day of the Jesus Trail itinerary.

Each day hikers will meet at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth to walk to Zippori National Park and the town of Cana. Zippori NP houses some of the most exquisite Byzantine mosaics in the world, and grants a glimpse into the upper-class world in the Galilee from the time of Jesus up until the Crusader era.

The traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle where he turned water into wine, Kfar Cana, offers several churches commemorating the miracle replete with a massive stone jar thought to be the receptacle for the miraculous wine. And for those unable to make their own wine from water, local stores have ample varieties for sale. Some visitors choose to renew their wedding vows at the Wedding Church of Cana.

Hikers can return to Nazareth via bus or continue on the trail on their own. Overnight home stays are available in the town of Kfar Cana for those continuing on the trail or simply looking for a unique opportunity to experience local culture and food. The tours will be lead by members of a group of American volunteers serving in Nazareth at the Fauzi Azar Inn.

The walk is approximately 18 kilometers (12 miles). Depending on pace and fitness levels, walkers should expect to walk 5-7 hours, not including breaks and time to view the sites. There is a brief steep ascent out of Nazareth, but the rest of the trail is even with good walking surface. The walk is free and open to anyone; Zippori NP has an entrance fee of 18 shekels for Jesus Trail hikers (25% discount), and the bus from Cana to Nazareth costs 6 shekels.

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For further details contact:

Maoz Inon
+972-52-4322352
maoz@jesustrail.com

Volunteer Coordinator
+972-54-4361357
freewalks@jesustrail.com

The Jesus Trail is a 65-kilometer hiking trail linking sites in the Galilee from the life of Jesus. The trail was initiated in 2007 by Israeli entrepreneur Maoz Inon and American outdoor specialist David Landis. The trail begins in Nazareth and stretches to Capernaum on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. An optional return loop passes over Mt. Tabor and returns to Nazareth. GPS data for the trail, as well as other hiking resources, can be found at http://www.jesustrail.com.

The Fauzi Azar Inn is a 200-year-old Arab mansion-turned-guesthouse that offers dorm and private rooms in a unique old world atmosphere. Touted by Lonely Planet 2007 as “one of the highlights of a stay in the Galilee” and a “great base for touring major sites of the Galilee,” the Fauzi Azar offers a laid-back atmosphere where guests and staff can meet to share stories and tips. More info at http://fauziazarinn.com.

An informative printable flyer is available for download in PDF format at http://jesustrail.com/downloads/jesustrail_flyer_freewalks.pdf.