This one is for our forest loving friends who like to mix great cycling with an entertainment rich environment. The Ben Shemen forest national park, located in lowland Israel, has anything you could think of and then some: a wicked bike trail, a monkey park, historical landmarks from the age of the Maccabees, artwork, picnic grounds and just about anything a national park could offer. Whether you are looking for a good action packed day for the family or just a beautiful forest cycling, Ben Shemen is definitely a destination that is more than worth your time, as are the other cool destination you can get by taking an Israel tour packages with the ever exciting BeinHarim Tours. So without further ado, let’s talk a bit about the park and why you should definitely visit.
Monkey park: Aside from the amazing forest that is over 7,500 acers long, the most amazing thing about the Ben Shemen forest is the monkey park. In the park, the monkeys are using the trees to do what they do best, and it’s so unbelievably exciting to watch them do it that you’ll never want to leave. The monkey park makes a visit to Ben Shemen a favorite choice of many Israeli families, as it allows to split the day between nature and a kid friendly activity in a manner that best utilizes a day of vacation.
Monks’ Valley: Monks’ Valley is a site located in the park which contains three caves, one which was used by pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem and was supposedly the setting of a miracle which God performed for a rabbi named Gamzo, one which served as a Roman burial ground and a water cave which has a cute little pool in it. Easily the most historic site on the premises, Monk’s valley is a peeking hole into the distant past and its realities.
Park for the people with seeing disabilities: One of the most touching attractions of the Ben Shemen forest is a small park within it that was specifically designed for people with seeing disabilities. This park incorporates many kinetic elements that allow blind people to navigate it without assistance, and it is also recommended for people without seeing disabilities to try to walk it blindly to feel what it is like and increase empathy.
Best Hiking Route
There are many great ways to explore the Ben Shemen forest park, but the most exciting is definitely by bike. You can rent a bike on the premise or bring your own, but be prepared for an exciting eighteen-and-a-half miles of riding through one of the most beautiful forests in the middle east. While many routes in Ben Shemen enable bike riding, take our suggestion and follow the one marked red: the medium difficulty trail which takes you through the heart of the forest.
To get there, enter the forest by car from route 443 east. After getting to the forest, get your bikes and ride along the blue trail until you reach the red trail marking. From there on, just ride and enjoy. Keep in mind that the park can get hot at times, so the morning usually works best for riding.