Tel Dan ( תל דן ) Nature Reserve
As one of Israel’s oldest and most loved parks, Tel Dan ( (“Mound of Dan” תל דן in Hebrew), even though small, holds its own in popularity. The mix of natural elements and history makes a visit to this nature reserve park unique. There is a distinctive flavor of history that few other places have, the past is never more prevalent than in these parts of Israel where some of the greatest history was created. You also get to enjoy beautiful green foliage as a vast amount of rushing water keeps the area inviting to locals and visitors alike. History and nature combined makes for a memorable time as you enjoy and learn new and interesting information about the Tel Dan nature reserve.
The natural resources of the Dan River are the largest of the four water sources that dump into the Jordan River. It itself is fed at the base of Mount Hermon where water and snow run off into the Dan. The hiking trails in this nature reserve are shade covered through the many lush trees that grow in the area; the hiker is offered a few levels of difficulty. This makes the trails very enjoyable for the beginner, family, and experiencedenthusiast. Facilities are available along the way and picnic areas are scattered throughout for resting or taking a lunch break. Each trail begins as a cement walkway but quickly turns to a wood walkway that is easy to follow and manage. The various paths and trees are marked well and named for the visitor’s interest and fun.
A handy foot trail that takes you off the beaten path lets the hiker discover a pool of water set aside for children to wade in under their parent’s watchful eye. This small pool is not deep and is fed through what is called the Dan spring, which itself is fed through the run off from Lebanon. For a time away from the elements with some in door activities The Beit Ussishkin Museum of Nature and Archeology totes a good collection of artifacts and an exhibition of plants , flowers and wildlife that is natural to the area.
Today’s site of Tel Dan sits upon the ruins of what is believed to be the biblical city of Dan, where the tribe of Dan as described in the book of Judges was the largest tribe of Israelites. At one time, this was believed to be the main area in this section of Israel where a high amount of trading and business had occurred. With a large amount of traffic coming from all parts of the country to do trading and buying of products and services here, the area was very popular and well known. People traveled for days to do their business, as well as visit family and friends who they had not seen for a long time, but because of the popularity of this area great battles occurred as other tribes of people tried to overrule and over take the land. The visitor who comes to the Tel Dan nature reserve is able to look into the past of some very important history of Tel Dan, where many battles occurred and a huge gathering center for Israel was formed through years of upheaval and unrest leaving a deep seeded history that is a strong part of Israel’s beliefs today.
Tel Dan is also well known as having a major role in travel as it was used in ancient days to go between Egypt and Syria. As you visit the area, you can hear and receive the many details of the changes that occurred in the Tel Dan area and lands around it. Set in the northern highest part of Israel it hosts many archeological findings that interest visitors, even the gate in the remains of the city’s southern wall is an interest because of the age of the area and the knowledge that where a person walks hosted some well-known and documented historical and biblical events. Packed with history, lush greenery, many types of animals, a cool splash pond, and ruins of ancient times makes Tel Dan a place to see.