Nahal Teninim Streamside Hike

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Distance: 5kmTime: 3 hoursDifficulty: Easy - Moderate
Ascent: 31mParking at Ein AvielParking at Ein Aviel

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Summer is (sort of) at an end.  School is in full swing, and the holidays are approaching.  But, in Israel it’s still really hot outside. And that means that even though it’s fall time, water hikes are the place to be.

A couple of weeks ago, we made it to a water hike that we’ve been wanting to try for quite a while: Nahal Teninim near Zichron Ya’akov. We had hiked along different parts of this streamside trail before, but we wanted to walk a significant portion of the full trail all at once.

Using a map, we planned out a hike that would begin at Ein Amikam ( a quiet spring), and weave its way along the Teninim Stream towards a water filled aqueduct at Mei Kedem, onto Ein Aviel, and finishing up at Ein Yardena  The trail was one way, but we figured that it would probably be a simple matter to hitch a ride back to our car at the end (the trail ended right near a main road).

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
Autumn vibes at Nahal Teninim.

Of course, this hike along Nahal Teninim would be even more beautiful in the early spring, after plentiful winter rains turn the land green.  But the trail had its own special brand of beauty in late summer.  Along the path, we were able to take in the sights of ripe grapes, pomegranates, walnuts, and figs hanging from trees.  Squill flowers sprouted in some places.  And the way the late summer breeze blew through tall reeds along the trail was enchanting.

All in all, it was a perfect hike for a late summer day.  We had a wonderful time.  Here’s how we hiked this 5 kilometer trail along Nahal Teninim:

Ein Amikam

We began the day by parking right off a main road.  It was easy to locate the beginning of the green marked path.  We set out on the trail.

First, we noticed lush, ripe grapes, hanging from long rows of vines to our right.  And almost immediately, we reached the first wet attraction of the day, Ein Amikam.  We climbed down towards the spring and found a little world of growth and beauty.  Tall reeds and wispy purple flowers grew up from the shallow stream of water.  Dragonflies flitted between the flowers.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
Purple flowers at Ein Amikam.

We followed a path through the shallow water towards one densely shaded section.  One man sat on a rock, enjoying the peaceful silence in a beautiful place.

Just a few meters later, we found ourselves on a large flat rock, past the pools of shallow water. It’s likely that during the rainy season, the stream would be gushing through even here, all the way down Teninim.  But on that late summer day, there was no flowing stream to speak of.  So we climbed back up out of the riverbed towards the green trail.

Fruitful Farmland

We had expected the walk along Nahal Teninim in the summertime to be dry and dusty.  But the trail was surrounded by all kinds of produce, from pomegranate trees to grape vines.  Because of this, the hike was green and pretty, despite the dry season.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
Season of plenty.

We walked along the wide flat path for a while, then followed the trail to the right through the vineyards to reach Park Alona and Mei Kedem.  After crossing the road, we found ourselves at a touristy looking ticket booth.

Mei Kedem – an Ancient Aqueduct

Mei Kedem is an archeological site located inside Alona Park near Caesarea.  The main feature of the site is an underground water tunnel, built by the Romans 2000 years ago.  This tunnel was used to carry fresh water from the Tzabarin Springs to the important port city of Caesarea, 23 kilometers away.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
Climbing through Mei Kedem.

Along the tunnel, there are many shafts, used to help channel the water over varying heights down towards the Mediterranean Sea.

We paid for our tickets, then waited for the guide to open the gate.  Rather than take the time to watch the 8 minute film about the area, we headed straight into the tunnel.  Down we climbed into the wet darkness.

This wasn’t the first time we’ve been in an ancient aqueduct- we’ve walked through Hizkiyah’s tunnels in Jerusalem, Amat HaBiyar in Gush Etzion, and more.  We knew what to expect.

Armed with flashlights, we waded through the knee deep water in the darkness.  It was silent and soothingly dark in there.  Every so often, we would reach an escape shaft which bathed the inside of the tunnel in a pool of light.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
Light and shadow.

A couple of hundred meters later we were climbing out of Mei Kedem back into the sunlight.

Spring Hopping

After our brief detour into tourist zone, we were ready to hit the trail again.  We crossed the road and found the green trail, then continued on the wide flat path framed by dust fields and tall reeds.

Our next stopping point would be Ein Aviel, a beautiful waterfall spring that we had visited a few times before.  After some faster hiking, we began to hear the water and see the thick green reeds that grew up around the freshwater stream.  We climbed down towards the waterfall.

It was gorgeous as always.  The mini waterfall poured down, even in late summer, a cool pool of bubbling water forming underneath.  Nearby, some large flat rocks were situated in the shade of a tree.  We decided to stop there for lunch.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem

While we ate, we watched colorful dragonflies and bumblebees flitting between the flowers.  The sound of rushing water was the perfect background music to our picnic in the wild.

Just One More Spring at Ein Yardena

Next, we climbed up out of the stream and continued along the trail.  The last spring, Ein Yardena, was waiting a bit further down the trail.

When we reached the turnoff to the spring, we climbed into the waist deep water.  This particularly deep pool was surrounded by all kinds of beauty.  Like Ein Aviel, it looked like a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.  We splashed around in the water for a while, seeking out hidden beauty in recesses of shade.  Ein Yardena was a beautiful place to relax on a hot day.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
In the water at Ein Yardena.

With a two-hour drive home still ahead of us, it was time to head out.  We snapped a few pictures and said goodbye to the spring, turning back towards Ein Aviel.  There, we crossed through Nahal Teninim to return to the main road up above.

Happy Ending

Since this was a one-way hike, we were nowhere near our car.  But we were fairly certain that we would be able to hitchhike back.  We began walking down the road with our hands out.  Within a moment or two we had our ride,and hopped into the backseat of pickup truck.

The friendly driver spoke to us the entire ride back – about politics, Israeli-Arab relations – just shooting the breeze.  Ten minutes later, he dropped us off right next to our car at the trailhead near Amikam.

This trip along Nahal Teninim, just south of the Carmel region, was a fun and refreshing adventure. Perhaps it’s more beautiful during the rainy season, but we really enjoyed the fall vibes and the cool pools at this pretty trail in mid-September.

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem
On the trail at Nahal Teninim.

Hikers’ Notes:

Here’s what you need to know to hike this trail at Nahal Teninim:

  • This is an all season trail.
  • You can hike this trail without going into the water (except the last part, where you must cross through the water to reach the road). If you'd like to stop in the water, bring water shoes and swim gear.
  • Suitable for dogs (except perhaps the Mei Kedem part).
  • This is a one way trail.
  • Wear good walking shoes, a hat, and sun protection to hike this trail.
  • There is a fee to enter Mei Kedem at Park Alona (about 30 NIS). You can skip this part if you'd like. Park Alona is a nice place to visit all on its own. There is a large walkway and grassy area near the aqueduct which is a nice place to sit and relax.
  • This trail is not well marked and can be difficult to follow. The easiest way to stay on track is to use the Google Earth file in the table at the top of the page (or an online map app like Amud Anan). You can also use the trail marker gallery and trail map at the top of the page to stay on track. But be aware that there are many parts of the trail that are missing trail markers.
  • To get to the road from Ein Aviel, walk back away from the waterfall in the direction you came from (east). There is a large gap in the reeds at the beginning of where the water starts to flow. Cross through here and climb through a gap in the reeds to the other side. You will see a parking area. If you walk further down the dirt road past grape vines, you'll reach the main road.

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 at Nahal Teninim? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Nahal Teninim hike Mei Kedem

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.

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