The Park Rocking Northern Israel

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Kisra's Rock Park.
Kisra's Rock Park. Where's Bilbo Baggins?Credit: Gil Eliahu
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad

The main attraction in the eerie Rocks Park in the Druze village of Kisra in the Western Galilee, are its huge whale-like rocks. People come here especially to see those strange-shaped, huge rocks that can’t be seen anywhere else. The path winds among the high rocks and you feel like you’re in an adventure movie. Hobbits could appear at any moment.

The rocks are sedimentary, and their uniqueness lies in the structure of their layers. Their structure was formed when intermediate layers of softer material lying between the harder layers crumbled, leaving behind a magnificent, shelf-like structure.

The only attraction in this natural park are the rocks. Credit: Gil Eliahu

Except for daydreaming about visiting J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe, one can also see this park as proof that the future is good. If a local garbage dumpcan be converted into a perfect site for an outing, green and shady, with wonderful trails for families and people who like walking, one cannot lose hope. One can only rejoice and be grateful for the well-tended and sparkling-clean park, courtesy of the local council that is responsible for its maintenance.

The park’s planners (the Jewish National Fund, the Nature and Parks Authority and the local council) did well in not trying to make it into more than it is. It’s a classic example of the less done, the better. 

Credit: Gil Eliahu

A circular trail marked black leaves the parking lot, winding among the rocks. It’s 1 kilometer long and suitable for visitors with strollers. Another path, marked red, which is not circular or accessible to strollers, turns off the black trail, crossing the Mount Sneh nature reserve and ending up on the road connecting Kfar Vradim and Tefen. This trail is 3 kilometers long.

The prominent trees here are the common oak, along with the Palestinian terebinth, the arbutus, the Judas tree and others. This is exactly what a Galilee wood should look like. There are crocuses blooming there now.

Credit: Gil Eliahu
Credit: Gil Eliahu
Credit: Gil Eliahu

The trail in this park is divided into three sections: the Arbutus Trail, the Apodemus (the field mouse, a rodent that feeds on acorns) Trail and the Mammoth Trail, where you can see the biggest rocks.

At the entrance to the park is a memorial to Wajdan Abu Hamid, a 16-year-old who was murdered here five years ago by a local youth. The only thing marring the visit are the numerous signs, replete with verbiage in Hebrew and Arabic and stuck into the rocks, telling visitors of the importance of this site and the need to protect it. This is an unnecessary intervention.

Credit: Gil Eliahu

Getting there: Rocks Park, Kisra-Sumei. Public transportation: Line 46 from Nahariya to Kisra, Rocks Park stop. No entrance fees or advance coordination required.

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