Mt. Gilboa on the Springs Valley Trail in Israel (photo by Julian Bender)

This trail, called “Shvil Emek HaMayaanot” in Hebrew, winds through the Jordan Valley and surrounding areas. One end is in Beit She’an, the other on Mt. Gilboa near Kibbutz Merav. The route forms a rough loop which passes above the Jordan Valley and through Nahal Issachar and Nahal Tavor, then heads down to the valley and follows the river for some time.

It runs through numerous nature reserves and past plenty of springs, but the majority of it is through cultivated land which isn’t particularly amenable to hiking. It’s intended, instead, to connect interesting sites for short walks, and some of its sections, such as walking along the Jordan River Nature Reserve, or descending Mt. Gilboa to the hot springs of Gan HaShlosha, make for very good day hikes.

Trail Facts:

  • 120 km
  • 6-8 days to through-hike (though it’s not intended for this)
  • Most of its parts are not too far from towns, bus stops and highways
  • Well-marked using the same system as the Jesus Trail – orange and white blazes, or orange dots above previously-existing trail blazes, and shown as a solid orange line on SPNI map #3