Park Eshkol - Livnat Ginzburg
Park Eshkol. Photo by Livnat Ginzburg
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Eyal Bartov
Ramat Menashe park. Photo by Eyal Bartov
Beit Keshet Forest.
Beit Keshet Forest. Photo courtesy of the Jewish National Fund.
Yerucham Reservoir. Photo courtesy of the Jewish National Fund.
Yerucham Reservoir. Photo courtesy of the Jewish National Fund.
Sculptures Road. Photo courtesy of Jewish National Fund.
Sculptures Road. Photo courtesy of Jewish National Fund.

Independence Day is coming, and with it – thousands of Israelis go out to nature and to city parks all over the country. For the upcoming Independence Day, which is also known as the national picnic day, we collected some recommended spots for camping, enjoying nature, having a barbeque and of course celebrating.


Northern Israel

Ramat Menashe park: A short drive in a natural forest leads to Gehar stream. The spot is very beautiful and unique, especially for nature lovers. The silence and the bird's tweets give a special enchanting atmosphere.

Getting there: From Megido junction drive towards Yokne'am (route 66). After Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek and before Kibbutz Hazorea, turn left towards a large park. After 3 kilometers turn left, and continue ahead on an unpaved road for about 500 meters.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables.

Beit Keshet Forest: over 25 million square meters of natural forest. The forest offers a variety of activity possibilities, such as cycling, birds watching, camping and barbeque spots.

Getting there: Northern entrance: On route 77, through Shimson army base; eastern entrance: through Kibbutz Beit Keshet.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables.

Central Israel

Haruvit Forest: A very special forest with Carob trees, from which it takes it's name. The forest offers many picnic tables and many beautiful spots. The Shaked bird lookout offers a view of Israel's center and coast line. In the forest are many walking trails that are also accessible for disabled people, and many amusement facilities.

Getting there: On route 383, between Re'em junction and Ha'ela Junction.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables.

Yad Mordechai Forest: A vast forest which was planted by the Keren Kayemet with many eucalyptus trees. In the forest you will find the Sheizaf Road, which leads to beautiful camping spots. In the forest there are also some memorial spots. along the way are signs with the names and information of the trees in the forest.

Getting there: Drive south on route 4. After Ashkelon, turn right to Zikim. Five-hundred meters ahead is a sign with the direction to the Yad Mordechai forest.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables.

Around Jerusalem

Jerusalem forest: Offers a number of hiking trails and some camping sites along the road. The main route of the forest is called Ottawa road (as Canada's capital).

Getting there: Coming from Tel-Aviv: on Route 1 turn right at Motza interchange towards Beit Zayit. Continue ahead to reach Jerusalem forest. Coming from Jerusalem: through Beit Hadfus st. in Jerusalem (next to "Paz" gas station), or through Har Nof neighborhood.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables.

Hazeitim camping site (Eshtaol): A camping site surrounded by very old olive trees. A fabulous place to have a picnic in a spot that's a little different, with picnic tables made of stone. The vast space and the perfect silence make this spot the perfect camping place for the whole family. 50 meters from the site is a very impressive viewpoint. Highly recommended.

Getting there: On route 44, between Nahshon junction and Shimshon Junction, turn to the Keren Kayemet Center. About 100 meters after the junction turn right.

What's there: Parking lot, stone picnic tables, shade.

Southern Israel

Yerucham Reservoir: A large beautiful park with a reservoir (not for swimming), greenery, paved roads, amphitheater. An oasis.

Getting there: On route 204 drive towards Yerucham to the main (southern) entrance.Follow the signs.

What’s there: Parking lot, shade, drinking water, bathroom, picnic tables.

Sculptures Road: An easy to drive unpaved road. Along the road you can see 37 special sculptures. The road is also used for cycling. Along the road are many nice picnic spots, with bathroom stalls in the main one. From the view point you can see birds and the settlements around.

Getting there: On route 44 from Nahshon junction, turn right after Tarum.

What's there: Parking lot, shade, picnic tables, bathroom.

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