A Hike in the Upper Galilee – Nachal Amud near Safed

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Israel is covered with hiking trails. Here, we explore one such trail in the Upper Galilee: Nachal Amud. Nachal Amud is a 15-mile long river between the Meron Mountains and Safed.  A popular attraction for hiking and camping, the river was declared a nature reserve in 1972. We parked and showed our yearly membership pass before continuing down to the main trail.

After a little bit of walking, the sun scorching but the wind blowing sufficiently upon us to keep us at a reasonable temperature, we came upon an abandoned building. After reading the pamphlet it became clear to us that this building was the old British Mandate police headquarters for the area back in the 1930s.

The south side of the structure was riddled with bullets from some previous battle(s) as were the metal plates that swung down to protect the open windows.

Turning away from the ruins, we headed west to make our descent to the river. This is the view of the Meron Mountains, the highest peaks in all of Israel outside of the Golan.

As we approached the water, screams of joy could be heard. We encountered an enormous group of young teens who’d come out to hike and to enjoy the river’s many swimming holes. Here was one that had a waterfall which was illuminated by a direct beam of sunlight (as visible in picture).

Leaving the swimming holes and walking on a slightly higher altitude, we came across a series of old building and structures along with a narrow and surprisingly long aqueduct that brought water to the higher area. The buildings comprised a complex known as the Sheik’s House. It was very nicely built with an orchard and a vineyard on the downward slope back down to the river.

Swimming hole with waterfall

Along the path, still in the area built up by some mysterious Sheik, there are these too. The fountain may be more modern, I do not know. As for the arched structure, that may have been a stable or even rooms to sleep or eat in.

As we cleared through the numerous archaic structures, many of which have been overgrown with vegetation, we began the uphill ascent back to the parking lot. The path was far more grueling than we had imagined but for a time the view was great. Here, in the distance, in the famous city of Tzfat (Safed), on a mountaintop between the two hills closer to us.

The ancient city of Tzfat (Safed)

An additional piece of trivia: Archaeologists have done some searching in the area of Nachal Amud after someone in 1925 chanced upon historical findings dating back supposedly thousands of years. We didn’t see anything. Maybe next time!

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