The trip to the Finger Cave is a circular route 2km long on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The track features an uneasy climb in a natural and complex pinewood, a spectacular view which combines mountain, plain and sea and a deep, dark cave with three halls.
We start the track at the parking lot of Oren River, the longest river in the Carmel. The left slope of the river is lush with greenery, while the right slope is exposed and flora is almost completely absent. This phenomenon is related to the location of slopes relative to the sun. The slope on the right (north) side is facing south and get direct radiation, drying the plants while the in northern slope – the sunshine strokes and that keeps its moisture.
We start to climb towards the cave in the black marked route which goes slightly and lengthily inside a Mediterranean thicket of dense oaks, Pistacias, Laurus nobilis and Viburnum tinus. After about 700 meters of climbing, we’ll reach the top of the ridge. In the split paths, we’ll head west with the black trail that merges with the Israel Trail. The path goes through natural forest of thick, strong Jerusalem pines and gradually we’ll see a spectacular view of the beach of Carmel, from Haifa to Zikhron Yaakov overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
We will continue with the trail that descends to the west, and after about 300 meters we will reach a ravine and a maze of rocky and hard limestone. Soon we reach a large carob tree beside Finger Cave.
A finger cave has three large halls with narrow openings connectors between them. They form a large finger-shaped cave with three joints slid into the mountain. According to a local legend, a honey lover giant bear thrust his finger into a crack on the mount to get him some honey. The bees that were there stung his finger and it swelled up to the current size of the cave.
In the first hall of the cave, archaeologists have dug a large hole to uncover various stone tools and bone fragments left by ancient man, some ten thousand years ago. We’ll go into the second room with flashlights which will assist us to light the wonderful stalactite ceiling. To the third room we will enter only during the summer so that we won’t bother the bats nesting in it.
We’ll go down from the cave by the rock stairs and a short path to a concrete and stone building which once served as a British guard post which commanded the road leading to the Carmel and then another 50 steps down – we get back to the parking lot.