Cafe Hike at Kashuela Farm

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Distance: 2kmTime: 1-2 hoursDifficulty: Easy-Modereate
Ascent: 32m

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Over the years, some of my most popular hikes have been the ones that combine a trip to a delicious café with a beautiful walk in nature.  And I get it. There’s no better combination than a luxurious breakfast and a gorgeous nature trail.  The best background music for iced coffee and shakshuka is the sounds of birds chirping and the breeze through the trees. 

So when I noticed that the Kashuela Farm in Gush Etzion was serving Friday morning breakfast, I was intrigued.

The Kashuela Farm is located in the middle of a forest.  There’s more than one hiking trail around the farm, leading on winding pathways through tall trees.  I knew that this would be a perfect place for a “Walk and Dine” sort of hiking trail.

The first time we visited the farm, we went on a family outing, to celebrate my in-laws 50th anniversary.  That time, we spent the day gardening and learning to make bread (from seed to loaf), and we all highly enjoyed the scenery.  I even found time to go out on a little walk on my own, and discovered a really gorgeous trail that I knew I had to return to.  I only wished I had found this place a little earlier in the year, when it was sure to have been covered in gorgeous spring wildflowers.

Kashuela Farm.
Visiting the farm on a family outing.

So, one Friday morning a few weeks later, we set aside time for a hiking trip at Havat Kashuela.  That morning, we only had an hour or so to spare. Since Kashuela Farm is close to our home in Gush Etzion, it was a perfect choice for the day.

Here’s what we did:

Packing a Picnic Basket

We pulled up at the entrance, called the number on the sign, and the gate moved to the side, granting us entrance into a secret world of natural beauty.  Gazing at our surroundings, we knew this was going to be a great morning.  At Kashuela Farm, you don’t have to work very hard to see lush nature – the place is located right in the middle of a thick forest.

Kashuela Farm.
All homemade!

We pulled into the parking lot and walked over to the little wooden structure that housed the café.  Lots of people were eating outside, gathered together on picnic tables laid with cheery checkered blankets.  Inside, it was nice and cool.  We filled some plastic cups with iced lemon water and went to the counter to place our order.

Perfect slices of cheesecake sat under the glass, along with muffins and chocolate cake.  On one table, baskets of different sourdough breads sat next to rows and rows of little “salatim”, various spreads like olive dip and labaneh.  Tehia (who lives at Kashuela farm and runs the café with her children), showed us the menu, and explained that we could fill up a picnic basket and place an order for eggs.  We gathered one or two of everything and ordered salad, shakshuka, and omelets. 

Kashuela Farm.
A nice place to sit inside.

And then we chatted with Tehia’s mother while we waited – she was sitting at a table covered with a yellow checked tablecloth.  She told us that she had moved to Israel decades earlier and now enjoyed spending Friday morning with her daughter and grandchildren at their farm.

Kashuela Farm

It’s worthwhile to mention that Kashuela Farm is run by an idealistic bunch of people, who live on the farm (and raise their children there) as part of a strategy to preserve and protect the local terrain. Thanks to the Ben David family (and those who work with them), this beautiful piece of nature in Israel is a place we can walk freely, enjoy the outdoors, and learn about local farming practices.  If it weren’t for this family, the forest would have likely been cut down or burned to the ground, like so many other unprotected forests in Israel.

Kashuela Farm.
Through the forest.

On the Trail

Once we were all stocked up (two picnic baskets worth!), we were ready for our hike.  We followed the nature trail out of the farm, away from the chatting diners, and into the quiet forest.

It was beautiful out there, just as we expected it to be.  We followed the rocky path through the trees, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature on a late Friday morning.

Kashuela Farm.
Nature lovers.

Although the trail is quite long, we didn’t have tons of time to spare that morning.  And we were ready for breakfast.  So, after a kilometer or so of walking, we found a shady spot off the side of the trail and climbed up for our picnic breakfast.

It IS Nature After All

And then we unpacked our baskets.  Our one oversight that morning had been forgetting our own red checkered blanket back at home.  But we used a stack of napkins to create an impromptu tablecloth and set out pretty dishes of salad, little pans of shakshuka, and all the rest of our goodies on that instead.

Kashuela Farm.
Breakfast time!

And then we ate.  Everything was absolutely delicious! It was such a treat to be able to eat hot food on dishes in the middle of a forest.  The sourdough bread, seed crackers, and olive spread were especially spectacular.  And although we sat on a blanket of pine cones and needles, we were quite comfortable out there on the forest floor.

Shall We Continue?

After a long and luxurious breakfast, we packed up our baskets once more and set back out on the trail.  Spiky purple flowers bounced along in the breeze, along with white carrot and wild grain.  It was a beautiful morning out in nature.

Kashuela Farm.
Summer sights on the trail.

After a little while, it was time to turn back.  We followed the trail right back through the forest and towards Kashuela Farm, where we helped ourselves to some more iced lemon water.  Then, we returned our picnic basket and thanked our gracious hosts.

Our breakfast hike in Kashuela Farm had been truly wonderful.  We look forward to returning.  Next time, perhaps we’ll hike a little deeper into the forest…and reward ourselves with cheesecake!

Kashuela Farm.
Keeping this in mind for next time 🙂

Hikers’ Notes:

Here’s what you need to know to hike at Kashuela Farm:

  • This is an all season trail.
  • Great for kids.
  • Suitable for dogs.
  • This trail is located in Judea and Samaria. Please make sure that you feel comfortable with your level of personal safety before you hit the trail.
  • This trail is not marked. Just hike along the path out of the farm and then hike back the way you came.
  • You can also eat your breakfast at one of the many pretty tables at the farm. And you can also sleep at the farm, have a fun day at the farm, and so much more!

Trail map from Amud Anan.

Don’t forget to read my guide to the navigational features in this post before you hit the trail!

Questions? Have you been to Kashuela Farm? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Kashuela Farm.
Bread basket.
Kashuela Farm.
Shabbat take away.
Kashuela Farm.
Service with a smile.
Kashuela Farm.
Outdoor seating for a rainy day.

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.

1 thought on “Cafe Hike at Kashuela Farm

  1. Kol Hakavod for highlighting Kashuela Farm!! I used to camp there with my family when we lived in Jerusalem. The facilities were so well kept and clean, plus refrigeration and plugs in you needed them. It was definitely a family favorite.

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