Ah, August! Who doesn’t love this fun and fancy-free month of the year? The weather’s warm, the sun is shining, and for many people, it’s vacation time. In Israel, the school and camp system run September through July. This means that in August, many parents take time off with their kids. Half the country will be heading out on vacation.
As Israel’s residents escape from the cities into the quiet of the countryside, the land’s usually quiet National Parks fill up. Once August rolls around, it’s no simple matter to find a peaceful hiking trail – or even one that’s not unpleasantly crowded. This is especially true for any trails involving waterfalls, streams, or springs.
If you’re truly committed to finding a quiet spot to stay cool outdoors in the summertime, there’s still hope. Outside of the National Parks, there are less well-known spots in nature to discover and explore. This list covers a few of my favorites.
There’s no guarantee of silence on these trails, but they are all better choices for August than any water hike in a national park. And if you head out early enough, you’ll likely get the peace you’re hoping for.
Let’s get to the trails:
The Nahal Betzet trail is one of my favorites. It leads through an extraordinarily quiet, shady, forest towards a series of cool pools, the last of which includes a miniature waterfall. Nahal Betzet isn’t very far north, so it’s possible to reach it from Jerusalem or Central Israel and return home at the end of the day.
Make sure to spend some extra time wandering through nature before you get to the pools. In the woods, you can find porcupine quills, pretty birds feathers, and awesome trees to climb.
The out and back trail at Nahal Betzet is 3 kilometers each way . Read the full post with maps right here.
Tucked away past the quiet town of Aniam lies a world of wild, wet beauty, at Ein Aniam and the Hidden Waterfall.
To get to this waterfall, you’ll have to climb through a fence and down a steep unmarked path. Then, you’ll pass the first popular pool with big boulders, often used as jumping spot into the deep water below. Further off the beaten track, you’ll eventually reach the Hidden Waterfall. This spot is so remote and tucked away that you’re likely to have it to yourself.
Make sure to check out the cute Artists Village in Aniam after you spend the day enjoying the waterfall. There’s even a tiny kosher café in there!
The trail at Ein Aniam is about 1 kilometer there and back. Read the full hike post with trail maps right here.
Sometimes the best way to find a quiet spot in nature is to hike there. Ein Maimon is a beautiful spring pool, surrounded by fig trees and grape vines. It’s a wonderful place to make shakshuka and hot coffee early in the morning or sip a glass of wine towards evening.
This is the type of spring pool that would usually be crowded. But Ein Maimon stays quiet because it takes a hike to get there.
And that’s more than okay. If you hike it early in the morning or towards late afternoon, the trail to Ein Maimon is a beautiful walk through the wild countryside. The hike finishes as you creep through a shady grove of overhanging trees towards Ein Maimon.
The out and back trail at Ein Maimon is 2 kilometers. Read the full post with hike maps right here.
Lower Hermon Stream
Most tourist and locals have heard of the Banias. Its cooling waterfall is just where you want to be in the summertime. But this beautiful nature reserve can get kind of crowded in August. Not only that, but you can’t go into the water at the Banias Nature Reserve.
Just south of the Banias Reserve, you can hop into the continuation of the Banias River at Lower Hermon Stream. This less crowded path leads along a beautiful, cool stream, perfect for wading or tubing through. You won’t have the place all to yourself, but you will have plenty of space to enjoy the water and take a turn on the rope swings along the way.
Lower Hermon Stream is one of my top recommendations for families looking for a fun water hike in Northern Israel in the summertime.
The out and back trail at Lower Hermon Stream is 2 kilometers. Read the full post with hike maps right here.
Ein Nachum – Hidden Waterfall
This Golan area waterfall pool is really a hidden gem. There’s no clearly marked trail to get there, and no well-marked start point. But if you follow the instructions in this post, you can wander down to a waterfall pool hidden behind a wall of tall reeds.
If you time your visit right, you’re likely to have Ein Nachum all to yourself. Then, you can spend the day swimming and splashing and dunking your head in the cooling spray of a rushing waterfall. After that, you can cozy up on a rock to watch the dragonflies flit between the vines and sip a hot cup of coffee.
This secret hideaway is simply heavenly.
The trail to Ein Nahum is less than a kilometer. Read the full post with hike maps right here.
Finding that Off the Beaten Track Beauty
The strategy for August is all about finding those hidden spots in nature that won’t be crowded with tourists and summer travelers. Choose from this list of quiet hikes in Northern Israel and you may find that summer peacefulness you’re looking for in Israel’s outdoors.