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|Trail Map||Hike it with Google Earth||Terrain View|
|Distance: 2.5km||Time: 1.5 hours||Difficulty: Moderate|
|Ascent: 151m||Trailhead and Markers Gallery|
Click here to go straight to hike notes.
Life is filled with blessings. But there’s no getting around the fact that things are unusually challenging these days. At least for me.
Take today for example. As I write this post, I am sitting next to my five year old son who is playing a very loud reading game on my phone. In the living room and kitchen, two Zooms are being broadcast throughout the house, math for my eight year old and Hebrew for my twelve year old. My husband is at a doctor’s appointment with another kid. And in the last remaining room on this floor, a painter is patching some recently created holes in the wall. It’s kind of chaotic around here.
I’m guessing that a lot of people (especially those with kids) are spending their days in a similar fashion right now. This is why getting outdoors is more important than ever. We need that soul touching inspiration that time spent in nature can bring us.
So yesterday, to get a little break and escape to great outdoors, we planned a hike near home to Ein Tzurim: a beautiful spring near the woods around Rosh Tzurim. We packed up a picnic of soup and sandwiches and set off through the trees.
It was a wonderful adventure. We heard actual shouts of glee as my kids discovered a water cave, fields of mustard flowers, and a rope swing. The trail itself was short and sweet and just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s how we hiked down to Tzurim Spring in Gush Etzion:
Five Minutes In and It’s Already Great
It doesn’t take a lot to get us excited right now. Just seeing the sign at the trailhead made my heart quicken. My kids skipped along, following the dirt path underneath the trees.
Rosh Tzurim is one of the few yishuvim in Gush Etzion that has both agriculture and woodlands. This part of the path led towards the woods, under a half-canopy of trees. In the distance, we could see cow stalls, chicken coops, and vineyards.
We paused for a moment to take in the view, then continued to the left, following signs for Ein Tzurim. Soon, the path brought us through a thicket of trees into a cute little picnic area.
As far as my kids are concerned, it’s always lunch time. They wanted to stop right there to eat. And I have to admit the scenery was really appealing. But we decided to push forward for just a minute more towards the spring. We could always come back to this spot afterwards.
A Spring Has Sprung
Down we climbed, towards Ein Tzurim and the hidden cave. Once we reached the main pools, my kids had forgotten all about food. They were eager to explore. We climbed up a set of stepping stones towards the hidden cave behind the pools.
It was dark inside. Luckily, we were prepared with our headlamps. We turned them on and crawled into the depths of the cave, only a teeny tiny bit scared. As our eyes adjusted to the thick darkness, our surroundings came into focus. We were hunched down inside a small cavern. Water trickled down moss covered walls, towards a crystal clear pool at our feet.
Nobody dared dip their feet in. But it was still pretty neat to discover the source of the spring inside this cave. After snapping a few photos, we headed back out into the sunlight.
Never a Bad Time for a Picnic
Now the kids were really ready for food. On our way down to the cave, we had spotted another beautiful picnic area next to the pools. We climbed down and set up our soup station on a large, clean picnic table.
The area around us was full of trees and mustard flowers. Bright red anemones popped through between the yellow mustard petals, creating a picture perfect place for a picnic.
After they scarfed down their soup and pita, the little boys went off in search of a place to play. Right above the picnic area, someone had tied a garden hose to a tree. This was deemed to be a great place to swing from, Tarzan style.
More to Explore
After lunch, we had a decision to make – stick around and try to make mustard flower wreaths? Or continue along the trail towards a flower covered hill my husband and I had seen before?
Since it was too cold to swim (try telling that to the local kids who were stripping down and jumping in!), we decided to say goodbye to the springs and set off in search of more beauty. Flower season was just getting started. We figured our kids would be happy to see a spring-like field of blossoms.
The trail led us through vineyards, bare at this time of year. We wandered through the rows, stopping to pick a couple of wild asparagus along the way. And as we reached the end, the colorful hill came into our field of vision.
My kids were excited to see so many flowers. They ran, screaming and shouting, arms outstretched to feel the wind. Up the hill, down the hill, the scampered about like wild monkeys. My slightly more reserved twelve year old daughter stuck close while my husband pointed out the cities in the distance. It was nice to be out there.
That’s a Wrap
After lots of beauty, freedom, and fresh air, we were ready to head back: towards a world of Zoom school, laundry, and huddling indoors.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to mix things up these days. Sometimes, a short excursion into local nature is all you need to press that reset button and give your soul a bit of outdoor inspiration.
Here’s what you need to know to hike this trail to Ein Tzurim:
- This trail is located in Judea and Samaria. Make sure you feel comfortable with your personal safety before setting out and hike in a group.
- Great for kids.
- Suitable for dogs.
- Perfect for all seasons. This trail can be particularly nice in the summertime, when the cool waters in the cave and pools offer a refreshing break from the heat.
- This trail is quite simple to follow. From the trailhead, follow signs to Ein Tzurim. After Ein Tzurim, continue to follow the bicycle signs until you reach the hill pictured above. Then turn back the way you came.
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 this trail to Ein Tzurim? Let’s hear about it in the comments!