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|Trail Map||Hike it with Google Earth||Terrain View|
|Distance: 7.6km||Time: 3 hours||Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous|
|Ascent: 290m||Trailhead and Markers Gallery|
Several weeks ago, we went on a late spring adventure in the Golan and Galilee. Our plan for the trip was to tackle as many awesome hiking trails as humanly possible. We were somewhat limited by small things: like the need to eat, sleep, and rest. But we managed to pack in almost 10 different trails, some long and some on the short side.
On our last day of the trip, we were looking for a mid-length, shady hike that we could squeeze into the late afternoon hours. As we scanned the map, one circular trail popped out at us: a 6K loop at Nahal Neria and Nahal Moran.
I immediately voted that yes, we should hike this trail. This was mostly because I had hiked Nahal Neria before. Just one year ago we had hiked for three days in the Galilee from sea to sea on Yam El Yam. And we had zoomed through Nahal Neria on day two of our journey.
I remember that at the time I really wanted to linger in Nahal Neria. It seemed so beautiful and peaceful. But we were on a tight schedule: we had to climb Mount Meron and reach the next campground before nightfall. And instead of lingering at Nahal Neria, we sped through it.
For this reason, I was thrilled to get back to Nahal Neria. This time, I hoped, we would stop and stay for a while, enjoying the thick canopy of shade and finding a spot to stop and sit in the riverbed.
In order to make the trail circular, we had to start our hike with a different riverbed: Nahal Moran. I had no idea what to expect from this part of the trail. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nahal Moran was filled with its own type of deep beauty.
Here’s how we hiked this 6 kilometer circular trail through Nahal Neria and Nahal Moran in the Galilee:
Old Stomping Grounds
As we pulled into the Hamama Campground, the memories flooded back. I noticed the picnic benches under the trees, the trail up to Mount Meron, and perhaps most memorable, the water spigot. I remembered rushing into this campground and heading straight for the sink. We had been conserving our sips of water until this spot. Right here in the Hamama Campground, we had guzzled to our hearts content before filling up our bottles for the rest of that day’s journey.
But today was a different type of journey. This little trail would be over in just a few hours – no water conservation required. We followed the Israel Trail up the road for a minute, then crossed the road in search of the green trail and began our descent into Nahal Moran.
At first, Nahal Moran (which we hadn’t been through last time) seemed very familiar. The terrain reminded us of a different part of Yam El Yam, and we were scratching our heads to figure out whether we could have possibly gotten confused about the trails. We walked through open terrain, past a small spring in the side of the rock. It seemed to us that we had seen this very spring the previous year.
But as we continued, the scenery began to change. We reached another spring: this one fuller, surrounded by ivy covered rock. And the terrain began to feel a bit less familiar.
Soon, we found ourselves in a world of twisty beauty. Oak trees and strawberry trees hung down over the path, their branches forming an artistic canopy above the pathway. We walked along a flat pathway over a carpet of oak leaves, until we reached a small grove of pine trees.
From here on in, the path through Nahal Moran became a lot more fun. We starting hiking through a streambed, bouncing from boulder to boulder. Butterflies flitted through the air and birds chirped in the trees. It felt sort of like a little jungle.
As we hopped along, I lost myself in the movement of stone stepping. Fast-hopping through riverbeds like Nahal Moran is my favorite type of hiking.
After a long journey through the trees, we reached an open pathway lined with yellow wildflowers. Here, we made a left to cross over to the other stream bed. After a few minutes of walking, we found the red trail and made a left towards our old friend Nahal Neria.
I remembered that last time we were here, I found Nahal Neria to be particularly beautiful. And this time around, it was gorgeous all over again. White flowers hung down from the sides of the trail, to create a beautiful entrance towards a path lined with gnarly trees.
Soon, we reached a thick forest. It was dark and deep in Nahal Neria, even with the mid-afternoon sun shining down. The first thing we had to do was find a place to stop and eat lunch (Or maybe dinner? It was 4:00 PM.)
Off the side of the pathway, we found a flat spot on a carpet of oak leaves, surrounded by twisted bark and covered by a leaf ceiling. We plopped ourselves down and pulled out some sandwiches, cucumbers, and iced water.
We sat there for quite some time, munching and listening to the wonderful sounds of nature in the heart of Nahal Neria. It was so soothing to be surrounded by life: birds, butterflies, and leaves rustling in the wind. It made me want to lie down on the ground and take a nap.
Instead, we finished our meal and took one last look around before packing up our bags and heading on our way. It felt so good to finally get to stop and enjoy the beauty of Nahal Neria. Now we were ready to make our way to the end of the trail.
We continued along the perfect pathway under the trees for quite some time, enjoying the feeling of being completely surrounded by nature’s beauty. Eventually, we reached the end of the riverbed. We climbed up out of the trees and were back at the Hamama Campground.
Our journey through Nahal Neria and Nahal Moran that day had been everything we had hoped for: pretty, peaceful, and slow. It was nice to finally get to enjoy this gorgeous part of the Galilee and immerse ourselves in its natural beauty.
Here’s what you need to know to take this circular trail through Nahal Moran and Nahal Neria:
- This is an all season trail. The rocks along the trail might be wet and slippery right after rainy days.
- Suitable for dogs.
- Wear good hiking shoes and bring a sufficient amount of water to hike this trail.
- To follow the trail, use the trail map and the trail marker gallery. Trail colors: Follow the Israel Trail (Yellow, Blue, White) from the parking lot towards the green trail. Make a left to follow the green trail into Nahal Moran. At the end, make another left to continue along the green trail. Make a left onto the red trail to walk through Nahal Neria to the end.
- Use the Google Earth follow to follow your location along the path we took.
- There is a campsite with water and bathrooms at the beginning of this trail.
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 through Nahal Moran and Nahal Neria? Let’s hear about it in the comments!