israel national trail history

History

The Israel National Trail (INT) is the brainchild of Avraham Tamir a journalist and hiker who hiked the Appalachian trail in the late 70’s and Ori Dvir, hiker, educator and one of the founders of The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). The INT is over 1000 kilometers long and is marked, managed and maintained by SPNI’s trail committee which also blazes, marks and maintains the 15,000 kilometers of hiking trails all over Israel. The Israel National Trail was officially inaugurated by then President of Israel, Ezer Weizmann in 1994. One of its purposes is to give Israelis a way to experience the entire breadth of the land firsthand. The various sections of the trail have been added progressively during this development.

In 2003 a portion of the trail was diverted from the Sharon and now runs along the coast. The reasons for the change were the development of Highway 6, avoiding the security risk of walking along the Green Line and the desire to add to the trail sections with city and sea views.

According to statistics compiled in 2010, only 4 out of 10 hikers complete the entire trail. Recognizing this, the planners divided it into smaller sections that can be hiked separately. Some sections can be completed in day trips or over the weekend.

Because the southern section of the trail passes through many isolated areas, hikers cache supplies of food and water at designated points on the trail before beginning the hike or pay for supplies to be delivered.

Hikers can seek help from “trail angels”. For example, at Kibbutz Yagur, a soldier leaves the key to her room for hikers who need a place to sleep and a farmer in Hadera forest offers sleeping quarters in exchange for a day’s work.

 

*Text taken from Wikipedia
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