|Get there with Google Maps||Get there with Waze||Get there with Moovit|
|Trail Map||Hike it with Google Earth||Trailhead and Markers Gallery|
|Distance: 1km||Time: 1 hour||Difficulty: Easy|
|Ascent: 25m||Parking Next to Waterfall||Parking Next to Waterfall|
Ah, summertime! There’s nothing better than spending the day swimming, splashing, and walking down a lazy river. But do places like this exist in Israel? And if they do, aren’t they way, way up North?
Actually, you can find beautiful, quiet waterfall streams close to Central Israel. Ein Aviel, near Zichron Yaakov is one of these hidden gems. At Ein Aviel, one can walk through a clear and beautiful stream, towards a magical miniature waterfall.
We visited Ein Aviel in conjunction with a bunch of other Zichron Yaakov area gems. First, we visited Caesarea National Park, where we learned about King Herod and explored an ancient city.
And afterwards, we got dinner at our favorite restaurant (The Tishbi Winery) and watched the sunset at Nahsholim Beach. But my kids’ favorite part of the day was Ein Aviel, where we were treated to the unexpected surprise of incredible water fun in an idyllic location.
Here’s how we walked up and down through the river at Ein Aviel, a hidden gem near Zichron Yaakov:
Getting Our Feet Wet
We pulled into a dusty parking lot, next to a few other cars and a camper van. It was hard to know if we’d actually reached our destination. There weren’t any signs, or any sign of people. I left the car and ventured down into the reeds where I met up with the river. We were in the right place.
The kids followed me down through a tunnel of overgrowth and into the water. So far, this seemed like a great place to splash around. The river was clean and flowing. The multi-colored river rocks shone clearly through the water at our feet.
We stayed and splashed for a while in the shallow end, just getting our bearings. Then we climbed up the riverbank onto the other side. We were going to walk along the side of the river until we reached the waterfall.
Everyone Loves a Waterfall
As we walked above the river, we looked down to see what was going on in the water. Every so often, we saw people, sitting quietly in their own secret spots in the stream. For the most part, the place was surprisingly quiet in relation to its awesomeness.
But after walking for a few minutes, we reached the center of the action – the Ein Aviel waterfall. We knew it was there because we could hear the rushing water…and there was a small crowd of people, sitting near the water with their café shahor and picnic food.
We climbed down the river bank once again, towards the secret waterfall on the other side.
The good news is the waterfall itself wasn’t crowded at all.
Under the shade of a canopy of reeds, a small white waterfall poured down over slippery smooth rocks. One father was there with his three children, encouraging them to be brave and get soaked by the waterfall spray. After each one had had their turn, we headed into the water ourselves.
It was cold and refreshing. The sound of rushing water filled the small enclosure, and effervescent foam bubbled at our knees.
Since it was already late afternoon, we were freezing cold after only a few minutes in the fall. So, we headed back out into the sunshine, and into the warmer waters of the lazy river.
The next part was the best part: we were going to walk all the way down the river through the water, back towards where we started.
As we waded through the water, I couldn’t get over the fact that this incredible gem was such a well-kept secret. I felt like we were in a smaller version of Majrase – just closer to home.
My kids were having the time of their lives. They loved wading in the shallow parts. And then the ground dropped out from under them, and they found themselves swimming down the river. Lots of laughter ensued.
As for me, in some places the water got all the way up to my waist, which was kind of surprising. I did a quick rearranging of electronic devices before continuing on my way down the river.
This little stream seemed like a totally natural part of someone’s neighborhood countryside. There were no tourists there. We passed by a few older adults and some parents with their boys, arranging planks in the water to practice balance.
My kids were really blown away when a horse galloped by.
When we finally reached the end of the river, we couldn’t give it up. Instead, my kids waded back a few meters towards the deep end, where they swam and splashed until the sun was low in the sky. Then we climbed back through the reed tunnel towards the parking lot, ready for the next part of our adventure.
As we drove towards red wine and thin crust pizza on the beach, it felt like we were truly on vacation. Who needs to travel far to experience incredible water hikes?
Ein Aviel is the place to go near Central Israel for cool water fun in a relaxed, countryside setting.
Here’s what you need to know to hike this trail to Ein Aviel:
Note: Some people have mentioned they’ve had trouble reaching the dirt lot where we parked. It is a bit off road, through groves of trees. If you have trouble reaching it, you can park at the second Waze/Google Maps point in the table up top. It is the lot right next to the waterfall.
- Suitable for all seasons. But of course, it’s more fun in the summertime!
- Great for kids.
- Dogs are allowed.
- The trail itself is mostly in the sun. Wear sunscreen. You can follow along the river to the waterfall, then back through the stream as we did. Or you can go back and forth in the stream.
- To follow the trail – use our Waze and Google Maps links to reach the trailhead. Then walk through the gap in the reeds into the river. Just walk down the river until you hear the rushing water – that’s the waterfall. Turn around and go back the way you came through the water.
Don’t forget to read my guide to the navigational features in this post before you hit the trail!
Trail map from Amud Anan.
Questions? Have you hiked Ein Aviel? Let’s hear about it in the comments!