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Ela enjoying the struggle with the stream and the rocks. Snir Nature Reserve

Snir Stream Nature Reserve – Wading the Waters

Snir Stream Nature Reserve

Walking under canopy in Iyon Reserve

Streams of the North

Getting There

It took less than 15 minutes to get from the marvellous Ayun Nature Reserve (the Tanur Waterfall) to The Snir Nature Reserve, but once me and my daughter got there, we were stuck in line for about 30 minutes.

Druse Pitabread and a Nature Reserve in Times of Corona

The Snir Stream Nature Reserve (The Hatsbani) was clearly more popular with visitors than the Iyon, or maybe it was just because we came when the morning 4-hour slot ended and everybody came in for the afternoon slot (corona rules).

Druse Pita being prepared on line to get into Snir ReserveConsequently, when we arrived, there was a long line of cars to get in, and the Druse pita vendor was taking full advantage of the situation.

That worked for us as well, since we were both hungry at this point in time. The Druse pita was just “the little something” we needed to keep going. The car was moving in the line at a snail’s pace, giving the pita guy enough time to prepare the pita from scratch. With Ela at the wheel, me and him had a pleasant conversation about “the situation”, and time for a photo or two.

Druse pita vendor at entrance to Snir Stream Reserve, Upper Galilee

Snir Stream Nature Reserve - Wading the Waters

It was soon clear what the attraction was. This was not the Iyon Stream Nature Reserve, where you hike in the heat to see a waterfall. Here you came for the FUN. Everybody – Arabs, Jews, religious, seculars, some in full attire, some in bathing suits, all according to custom and affiliation – waded in the gushing cold waters, coming straight from the Lebanon Valley.

Below is my daughter, Ela, enjoying the pools and the stream:

  Getting into the pond. Snir Stream Nature Reserve Ela enjoying the struggle with the strea and the rocks Ela posing with Nerium Oleander bush.      

     Ela taking off shoe in Snir Stream water walk        Ela pausing and posing for a photo in Snir waterwalk Ela water walking the Snir Stream. Northern Israel

Ela braving the gushing stream, enjoying the ponds

The Snir-Hatsbani Stream - A Source for the Jordan River

The Snir, or Hatsbani in its Arabic name, emanates from up north in the high mountains of the Lebanon valley, and together with the Banias and the Dan, feeds into the Jordan “River”. Interestingly, through most of its course in Lebanon, the stream is underground. It erupts in several springs by the foot of the village of Hatsbaya, 14 km north of the Israeli border. Inside Israel, a powerful spring, the al-Wazani, emerges at 280 m above sea level. It has a yearly discharge of about 4050 million cubic meters, with peaks in June and October. In drought years, this is cut by half. According to the brochure, inside the reserve “its incline is 2.2%…enough to cause a powerful flow, a sight visitors enjoy”.

All in all, by the time it reaches the Jordan, the stream has traversed 60 kms in a straight line, and has descended about 1500m. The Snir contributes a quarter of the water of the Jordan River; the Banias donates another quarter; and the Dan the remaining half.

Snir Stream Nature Reserve - The Beauty of Green in a Yellow World

The water seems to come from everywhere, creating small falls and rich ecological habitats and niches.

 Magic niche with maidenhair fern. Snir Nature Reserve        Maidenhair fern. Snir Stream Nature ReserveMaidenhair ferns (Sulamit’s hairs) are very common in wet niches, under dripping water and in caves around Israel

Small waterfall at Snir ReserveSmall waterfalls are everywhere in the Snir Nature Reserve, providing habitat to many plants and animals

Horsetails. Snir Stream Nature Reserve, IsraelHorsetails at Snir Nature Reserve, Israel

Moving On

After this refrshing interlude, we were ready to check out Tel Dan Nature Reserve, a mere 6.3 km away on Road 99.

Ela Walking in a reed tunnel. Tel Dan Nature ReserveEla walking in a reed tunnel at Tel Dan Reserve, Northern Galilee

This post belongs in a post series about Israeli Nature Reserves and Parks, under the general category of  Israel’s Best at Planet’s Daughter Website.

This is an ongoing project currently under construction. 

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