Nahal HaShofet – Walk on the River

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Distance: 2.3kmTime: 1.5 hoursDifficulty: Easy

Tucked away in the heart of the Ramat Menashe Forest Reserve is a beautiful waterfall and stream- Nahal Hashofet.  This little river near Yokneam is surrounded by a towering forest.  And a stroller friendly walking path is built alongside the stream.

The only downside to this gorgeous little hike is that you’ll most likely have to share it with others. Because it’s such an easy way to access real natural beauty, Nahal Hashofet fills up with visitors on vacation days and holidays. 

We stumbled upon Nahal Hashofet when we were looking for an easy hike on our way home from the Galil. It fit the bill perfectly – only a bit over 2 kilometers long, lots of interesting spots for kids to explore, and a beautiful gushing waterfall.

Nahal Hashofet walking path - Ramot Menashe
On the trail.

Full Circle

There are two starting points for this circular hike. And they’re both located within a few hundred meters of each other, so it really doesn’t matter which one you start on – we chose the one further into the parking lot.   The walk winds along a flat boardwalk the whole way through.  We didn’t have a stroller, but we saw several other families with strollers and even a wheelchair or two.

First, we passed an old flour mill, and crossed over a bridge with water flowing underneath.  It was the closest I’ve seen to a raging river in the middle of nowhere in Israel.  I’m guessing it was extra special because of the previous day’s downpour – there were even a few photographers in water boots standing down below with their tripod.

Nahal Hashofet Walking path - Ramot Menashe.
Capturing the stream.

Once we passed over the bridge, my kids found a big cave to explore.  But they didn’t stay long.  We could hear the sound of the waterfall coming from further along the path, and they wanted to go find its source. 

Nahal Hashofet Walking Path - Ramot Menashe
Through the reed tunnels.

From here, the river wound its way through the forest.  There were tall tunnels of reeds along the side of the path which made a perfect place for hide and seek.  And there were lots of wood carved benches the whole way through. 

It’s Always Lunchtime

At that point, it was after one o’clock, so of course, my kids were ready for lunch.  We found a few benches in a quiet spot, opened our bags, and set up a picnic.

Nahal Hashofet Walking Path - Ramot Menashe
Perfect place for a picnic.

After coffee and sandwiches, we were ready to find the waterfall.  So we walked a bit further until we reached the best vantage point. Down off the path, over some slippery rocks, water poured down from above, crashing into an emerald pool below.

Nahal Hashofet Walking Path - Ramot Menashe
On the river.

As we walked around to the other side of the waterfall, my kids climbed off the path again – down through the mud and onto some more rocks near the water.  We threw in some stones and marveled at the natural beauty all around. 

It was hard to believe that we had never even heard of this sparkling stream – or of the Ramat Menashe woods altogether.  It felt like we were walking through a dense forest in Romania

To the Forest Walk

After the end of the river, the path started to curve toward the right.  We followed the walkway past a green meadow and underneath a yellow leafed tree.  The kids picked up walking sticks and heart shaped leaves.  And there wasn’t one word of complaint the whole way through.  Before long, we were back at the parking lot, at the second trail head.

Nahal Hashofet Walking Path - Ramot Menashe
Built in entertainment.

Here we crossed the lot to continue along the trail up in the forest above.  This part of path was also flat and stroller friendly.  Black asphalt made up the pathway,  trimmed by medium sized rocks creating a picture perfect walkway through the forest.

As we walked, we passed by more fallen leaves and a mountainside of furry cows.  My three year old was thrilled to see animals.  He mooed at them.  And they mooed back. 

Nahal Hashofet- Ramot Menashe
Hello, cows!

We continued along to the end of the trail where we reached stone pools filled with water.  This was Maayan Ami – a carved out part of the mountain which had been chiseled to use as a burial cave.  But those plans were scrapped when water was discovered underneath.  Upon closer look we saw five large goldfish swimming around in the pool.  

From here, we headed down the path back to the trailhead and the end of the hike. 

It’s a rare trek that combines a lush forest, caves, reeds, waterfalls, a river, and springs – all in around two kilometers.  Nahal Hashofet was a great discovery, a beautiful gem in the lower Galilee.

Nahal Hashofet Walking Path - Ramot Menashe
Finding leaves on the path.

Hike Notes:

So if you’re heading up North, stop here!  Nahal Hashofet is a perfect place to stretch your legs and take a beautiful walk through nature.  Or have a picnic. 

And if you’re looking for a longer hike there are many more to choose from – both at Nahal Hashofet and in the Ramat Menashe Forest in general.  Next time I head this way I am definitely going to check them out.  I’ll let you know what I find.

Remember, you can park anywhere in the lot and then just take the closest trail head to walk through the river path.  Once you’ve finished with that part of the walk, cross the parking lot and head up towards the forest path.  If you go this way, you’ll head back in the direction of your car with much more beautiful scenery than simply walking through the parking lot.

New! Read this guide to how to use navigation features in this post.

Have you hiked this path?  Questions or comments?  If so, give me a shout out below!

Nahal Hashofet - Ramot Menashe


Click to expand FAQ below

FAQ

What is Nahal HaShofet?

It’s a perennial stream that runs through the Ramot Menashe forest.

Is the hike accessible?

Yes, the walk at Nahal HaShofet is stroller friendly and handicapped accessible.

Can you swim there?

Yes! You can get into the water at Nahal HaShofet.

Is there a fee to get in?

No. Entrance to Nahal HaShofet is free for everyone.

What season is best for visiting Nahal HaShofet?

In the summer, it’s a great place to refresh in the water. In the winter, it’s quieter, and very beautiful.

How do I get there?

Use the Waze link at the top of the post to reach Nahal HaShofet.

Hiking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each hiker’s responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.

8 thoughts on “Nahal HaShofet – Walk on the River

    1. Hi Andrew,
      From everything I’ve read online, it seems that you can go into the stream in the summertime, but it was too cold to go even think of going in when we went.
      If you try going into the water, let me know how it goes!

  1. My husband and I did this walk in mid-September. It was a very nice, quiet and easy hike. Unfortunately there was very little water at that time of year but I can imagine when there’s more water that it’s really a lovely place to be. I also think it would be a great place to bring our children and grandchildren for a day of easy walking, playing in the small pools and streams and having a picnic.
    Thanks so much Susannah for your recommendations. I can’t wait to try out more hikes!

  2. There were tons of people in the water! I wish I had known. We should have brought bathing suits and water shoes!

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