Dan Springs and the biblical city
The Tel Dan Nature Reserve is a kind of wonderland: Streams flow everywhere into a wild river and tall trees provide welcome shade even on the hottest summer afternoon.
The Dan River is the largest and most important source of the Jordan. It is fed by rain and snow that trickles down through the rock of Mount Hermon and emerges at its foot in hundreds of springs, creating the most plentiful karstic spring in the Middle East with an annual 240 million cubic meters of water.
Although the size of the reserve is only 481 dunams (about 120 acres), it features three varied trails, one of which is partially wheelchair accessible.
The trail passes along streams, the river, and through a shady tangle of trees, mainly laurel, Italian buckthorn and Syrian ash. The ash, thanks to the good conditions here, grows as tall as 20 m.
Farther along the trail is a flour mill that operated until 1948, and the ruins of the Canaanite city of Laish, which was captured by the tribe of Dan during the period of the Judges. Among the special finds here is the High Place, attributed to the time of King Jeroboam. The Israelite city gate has been restored, as has the Canaanite gate, with perhaps the earliest constructed arch ever discovered.
A great companion visit to the reserve is nearby Bet Ussishkin, the regional museum of nature and archaeology
How to get there:
On road 99 (Kiryat Shmona Masadeh) about 11 km east of the Metsudot junction north of Kiryat Shmona, near Kibbutz Dan.
Hours: April thru September: 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.
October thru March: 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Fridays: 8 A.M. to 3 P.M.
Last entry to site one hour before above closing hour.
Adult: NIS 25; child: NIS 13
Group rate (over 30 people): Adult: NIS 21; child: NIS 12
Senior citizens discounte rate half price