Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on digg
Share on reddit

Eshtaol Forest

Hikes Near Jerusalem

Spanning approximately 1,200 hectares north of Beit Shemesh; the Eshtaol Forest is one of the largest forests in Israel and is a great place to enjoy recreational activities. Just south of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway and close to Neve Shalom and Ta’oz; Eshtaol Forest features internal roads for scenic drives, several hiking trails, and many scenic picnic areas and viewpoints. 

Furthermore, the Israel National Trail and the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Cycle Trail pass through Eshtaol Forest. While smaller trails include the 5.2-mile Eshtaol hiking trail. Also, there are several recreation areas within the forest with picnic areas and observation points with enchanting views!

Most of the trees planted in the forest are pine trees of the Jerusalem pine species; which are resistant to direct sunlight conditions and cope with the rocky and limestone soil in the area. Following the afforestation in the improved soil a sub-forest system developed under the canopy of trees. Therefore, a habitat for animals and plants was formed. Such as spiders; mosses, and various beetles. 

Eshtaol Forest: O’Higgins Recreation Area

The O’Higgins Recreation Area is named after Bernardo O’Higgins (1778-1842) who was an important statesman and military hero in the liberation of Chile and is one of the main recreation areas in the Eshtaol Forest. The recreation area was funded by Friends of the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael. In other words, the Jewish National Fund in South America and there is a memorial dedicated to the general on the edge of the recreation area. The O’Higgins Recreation Area has lovely picnic spots and a playground for children. 

Shiri Scenic Lookout and Recreation Area

The Shiri Scenic Lookout honors Shiri Levinger and features a wooden observation deck with benches and a table, and boasts breathtaking views of the Sorek Valley; Mount Karmila; and the Tzora ridge. Also, the recreation area is accessible for the physically challenged and has another panoramic lookout and a variety of playground equipment for children. This is one of my favorites in Eshtaol Forest

Abraham (Boma) Goldstein Recreation Area 

The Abraham (Boma) Goldstein Recreation Area features the remains of a Byzantine church mosaic with decorative squares and a circle with a large crucifix. Also, there are also the remains of an old lime pit. 

Abie Nathan Recreation Area and Hill 314

Avraham “Abie” Nathan (1927 – 2008) was an Israeli humanitarian and peace activist. He founded the Voice of Peace radio station. So when he died the president of Israel said about him: “He was one of the most prominent and special people in the country […] He is the man who dedicated his life for other people and for a better humanity.”

Hill 314 is famous for playing an important role in the battle for Latrun during Israel’s War of Independence. In a covert operation known as Operation Bin Nun in 1948, the young 7th Brigade and the 32nd Battalion tried to break through the Jordanian Legion-controlled Latrun zone and came under heavy fire. Commander Ram Ron of the 1st Company of the 32nd Battalion fought back, covered the retreat of the 2nd Company of the brigade, and took Hill 314 with minimal casualties. 

After the Independence War, an IDF outpost was positioned there to secure the ceasefire line between Israel and Jordan. The nearby village of Neve Shalom was established in 1969. With the intention to promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs. And today has a population of Jews and Muslim and Christian Arabs.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on digg
Share on reddit
apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Bethlehem

RELATED POSTS

The Chalcolithic Temple at Ein Gedi

The Chalcolithic Temple at Ein Gedi is one of the three sanctuaries dated to the Chalcolithic period that can be found in the area.

Dormition Abbey

The Dormition Abbey Jerusalem also known as Abbey of the Dormition is a wonderful site to visit when touring Jerusalem. Click here for more!

Rockefeller Archeological Museum

The Rockefeller Museum is an archeological museum located just outside the walls of Old Town Jerusalem. The museums stores real treasures.

The Memorial to the Deportees

The Memorial to the Deportees was established at Yad Vashem as a monument to the millions of Jews herded onto cattle cars and transported from ...

Caesarea Maritima National Park

Caesarea Maritima, formerly Strato’s Tower, also known as Caesarea Palestinae, was an ancient city on the coast of the Mediterranean, now in ruins and included ...

Sarona Colony

Another great reason to come and check out Sarona Market is the Sarona Colony which is now a trendy commercial area called Sarona Tel Aviv. ...

Atlit Castle

Château Pèlerin (Latin: Castrum Perigrinorum), also known as Atlit Castle, is a Crusader fortress located near Ceasarea National Park.

Ramat Gan Safari

The Ramat Gan Safari – also known as Tel Aviv’s Zoo is a real entertainment site for the entire family! It is located just outside ...

Church of the Visitation

So the Church of the Visitation is a Catholic church in Ein Karem and honors the visit paid by the Virgin Mary, the mother of ...

Tel Dor National Park

Let's Get to know Tel Dor National Park! The park is a unique spot along Israel's shoreline with a breathtaking view and rich history!