Valley of Springs Trail

Mountain views, picturesque towns, plenty of history, and of course, an abundance of natural springs, in the beautiful Valley of Springs trail, on of the best-kept secrets of Israel.
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An epic site away from the crowds

The Valley of Springs trail, which goes through the best attractions of the spectacular Valley of Springs, is one of the best things to do in Israel for those who want to have authentic experiences away from the crowds. As a long trail that is relatively unknown even for Israelis, you will have a truly peaceful and unique hiking experience here.

The Valley of Springs, located in Northwestern Israel, between the Jezreel Valley, the mountains of Samaria, the Sea of Galilee, and Jordan, is one of Israel’s most unique and beloved regions. As a densely-populated area, it features a desert-like atmosphere, plenty of Kibbutzim and beautiful towns, a long and rich history, and of course, a countless amount of great natural springs. One of the best ways to experience this great region is by hiking the Valley of Springs Trail, a long, circular trek that passes by the best places to visit here, making for a unique experience well off the beaten path.

Get to know the Valley of Springs

The Valley of the Springs is located right in the center of the Jordan Rift Valley, which makes it a middle point, both geographically and culturally, between the desert and humid and rainy climates, as well as between the cultures of nomads and the cultures of permanent settlements. Since ancient times, the valley has served as an ideal bridge for the movement of people throughout the Middle East.

The multitude of ancient settlement points and the variety of roads passing through it testify to the abundance of those ancient times, and the archaeological wealth of the ancient city of Beit Shean, the region’s central city, serves as a testimony to the times of splendor in the settlement of the valley.

In light of the geographical diversity, a trip to the area allows contact with different types of vegetation alongside a variety of rare animals, including Israeli deer, porcupines, and various rodents, and during the migration season – thousands of migratory birds that stop for a light rest in the valley’s fields and fish ponds.

The Story of the Valley of Springs Trail

The Valley of Springs Trail is a walking path, marked in white-orange-white. The total length of the path is 140 kilometers/87 miles and you will need a few good days to do it all. Most hikers here choose to do small sections of the trail, and very rarely will you see hikers who go for the whole trek all at once.

The trail passes through most of the natural, historical, and cultural sites of the valley and its surroundings, in the many springs scattered throughout it and near all the region’s towns. Hiking here is a great opportunity to see the less traveled parts of Mount Gilboa and the valley, and most of it can also be done by bicycle as well, as it’s one of the best areas for cycling in Israel.

Best time to hike the Valley of Springs Trail

The most suitable hiking season for the trail in terms of weather is between November and April. During this period the visibility is particularly good and the valley is green and blooming. The trip is also possible at the end of autumn when the temperatures drop a little, but it is advisable to avoid long trips in the area during the hot summer period, although it is a great time to visit the area’s numerous springs.

Should you do the whole trek?

As a very long trek, that can take about 8-10 days to complete, it is certainly possible to hike the whole Valley of Springs Trail, but it is generally more recommended to pick one or two sections and only do day hikes on the trail.

Best day hikes on the Valley of Springs Trail

Section 1 – from Mount Gilboa to Ein Shokek

The first section of the Valley os Springs Trail is also probably its most popular section. The section provides us with everything we would wish for in a day trip: dense forests, spectacular blossoms, deep canyons, charming views, and most importantly – pampering springs.

We start the trip at the Mitzpe Dovi and Eran Shamir parking lot on mount Gilboa and go down through Nahal Tsvia to the valley. The path will take us through the refreshing Ein Muda spring, and then to the great Valley of Springs Park, bustling with life and water sources, ending the hike with a dip in a bustling Ein Shokek spring.

Section 3 – from the Jordan Star to the ruins of Serine

There is no doubt that this is the most difficult section in the Valley of the Springs Trail, but, of course – what is the most difficult is usually also the most beautiful. We start the day in the magnificent Jordan Start National Park, and then continue with a comfortable walk on the Issachar Plateau, and descend to the abundant Tabor River that will take us to Ein Shahal, which serves as a great place to stop on the way for a dip in the cool waters of Tabor River.

Later we will ascend from the stream and walk along its eastern banks until we connect with the Israel National Trail, where we will continue with the Valley of Springs Trail to the ancient ruins of Serine, which is also the end point of our day.

Section 9 – from Tirat Tzvi to Tel Te’omim

This is probably the easiest and least visited section of the entire trail, as most of it passes through agricultural and isolated plains.

The route starts at Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi and goes through fields, orchards, fish ponds, and water canals until it reaches the southernmost point of the Valley of Springs Trail. At this point, the path makes a U-turn and goes north towards Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu and Ein Nezem spring, which is a huge and popular natural wading pool. Further on, the path passes through agricultural areas until it reaches the community settlement of Tel Te’omim.

Section 10 – from the Tel Te’omim to Beit Shean National Park

The beginning of the day is in Tel Te’omim, from where, after doing a pleasant walk through the agricultural fields of the many kibbutzim in ​​the area, you will arrive near Kibbutz Ein Hanatziv. At this point, we are faced with two options: the first – to continue on the path of the Valley of Springs Trail as usual, and the second (and better) one – to do a detour, enter the kibbutz and dip in the famous and refreshing Ein Yehuda Spring, which many would consider to be one of the best springs in Israel.

After leaving Ein Hanatziv, connect back to the trail and enter Beit Shean, where you will arrive at Beit Shean National Park, a rare piece of history and archeology that sits very high on the best sites to visit in all of Israel, and for good reason.


Opening hours

The trail is open al all times, while opening hours to certain parks and nature reserves on the trail vary.

Parking and transportation

Parking in the Valley of Springs area is usually easy to find. It is also possible to get here by train, as Beit Shean is connected by rail to Haifa.

Accessibility arrangements

  • The trail is not wheelchair accessible.

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