By Maayan Hess Ashkenazi
At the end of January, on a sunny Saturday after a few especially cold and rainy days, and after having taken part in an early morning Tu BiShvat activity held in our kibbutz, we set out around noon for a trip to the Nahal Snir Nature Reserve.
The reserve is very close to our home, and has a well-suited trail for this time of year, short enough to fit the hour in which we set out. The kids were happy with the choice, both because of the short travel time, and because the Nahal Snir Nature Reserve is a place they like to visit. The Reserve itself has two walking trails, one- a winter trail, and the other- a summer trail. The path begins about 200m beyond the entrance and we followed the trail marks toward the Tapline Reservoir. We set out along an easy to walk trail for about ten minutes, until we got to a large water reservoir that attracts water birds to it. We sat on the benches near the reservoir and watched the birds that were there at the time (there were very few), enjoying the sight and Mt. Hermon in the distance. Roee was very interested in anything to do with the depth and size of the reservoir at the time. We then continued on to the Snir Stream Overlook, pleasantly walking for 20 minutes. Walking, all along the trail is very convenient. The trail end- point is the lookout toward Lebanon. The kids were very interested in knowing whether the houses they saw in the distance are within Lebanon, and whether the trail seen ahead marks the border. We sat for a few minutes, enjoying the view and the pleasant weather. After our respite, we descended the trail leading back to the parking lot. On our way there, we crossed a bridge stretched over the flowing Snir Stream (the Hasbani River). We admired the Oak and Pistacia trees growing all around, and the blossoming Cyclamens, as well as the budding Anemones. Towards the end of the trail, the path goes through a wading pool. We frequent this part of the nature reserve often in the summer. The kids mainly enjoy standing under the flowing waterfall, and dipping in the cool waters of the pool. It was a bit strange for them to visit the pool without jumping in it. We also went to the point where we could overlook the water flowing in the stream. In the summer months, it is possible to walk in the water and take a linear or circular path, ending in the Ma’ayan Baruch parking lot.
At the end of our trip, we went to eat at Benjolina restaurant– an excellent new establishment in the northern industrial area of Kiryat Shmona. The restaurant features a daily- changing menu. A few dishes are set, but most others change. The food is varied, delicious, and family- friendly.