Following Passover Seder, Israelis Descend on Nation's Parks

Favorable weather conditions pull hundreds of thousands of Israelis out into nature reserves and parks, though some hiking areas might be dangerous.

The Israel Nature and Parks authority reported that an overload of tourists, numbering around 100,000, visited national parks on Saturday. The most popular sites were the Ashkelon and Yarkon National Parks, each one having received over 2,000 visitors by Saturday afternoon.

These figures came as the JNF reported that 170,000 people attended the forests and sites under its authority.

Kinneret - Gil Eliyahu - 7.4.2012
Gil Eliyahu

Other popular sites included the nature reserves at Ein Gedi, Banias, Gamla, Sakhnin, Hurshat Tal, and Masada, with each site visited by at least one thousand people.

Reports also indicated a large amount of tourist traffic in the Carmel region.

Many sites remained open until 6:00 PM o Saturday to accommodate the large numbers of tourists.

Despite the bustling presence of tourists at nature reserves and parks around the country, reports indicated that enjoying nature in certain areas of Israel might be dangerous.

Residents of Klil in the western Galilee, have reported that large quantities of sewage from Druze villages have been flowing into the Yechiam River, which serves as a popular hiking trail.

According to one Klil resident, the sewage is very dangerous to health and tourists planning to enjoy the surrounding hiking trails should change their plans. Residents also claim that the drainage issue has existed for many years and has not been solved.

Weather conditions on Saturday have developed into a heat wave, and temperatures are expected to continue rising tomorrow before dropping off on Monday.