An easy-difficulty-level hike in Habis stream or Wadi Habis (in Arabic), on a track surrounded by water and beautiful vegetation, especially during the winter and spring, when blossoming is at its peak.
The green marked trail begins on road 89, on Elkosh bridge, west of the Druze village Hurfeish, and ends after 5km and about 3 hours’ walk in Hurfeish.
The trail begins in a thicket of tall oak trees, dense buckthorn bushes, and climbing rough bindweed with heart-shaped leaves. After a few minutes of walking, we’ll notice on the left a karstic cave, formed naturally as a result of seepage and dissolving water and carbon dioxide in the hard limestone and dolomite rocks of the Galilee Mountains. According to legend, during ancient times the men in the area challenged each other with bravery tests, and only the boldest dared to enter the dark and deep cave.
After about 1.5 kilometers we’ll reach one of the prettiest locations in the trail –Ein Rettet spring, as a picturesque landscape is revealed before us: green hills with protruding rocky ground, a few flowing water pools, cows grazing in the pasture, and birds chirping in the background breaking through the pastoral serenity. We do not recommend stepping into the water since, unfortunately, it is quite polluted from sewage spillage from one of the nearby villages.
Down the path we’ll notice a black trail going up to Mount Zevul and the Druze’s sacred site of Nebi Sabalan, one of the five distributors of the Druze community. We can take a shortcut from here and climb up about an hour on a steep path to the mountain and from there to Hurfeish village, or continue with the green trail about another 2km, crossing through old olive trees with twisted trunks until we reach the building from which Ein Hotam spring is flowing. The water inside the building is clear, frozen, fresh and pure. According to a well-known legend in Hurfeish village about Nebi Sabalan, the prophet was chased by zealots who disapproved of his distribution of the new Druze religion. Desperate, he turned to God, praying for a miracle and his prayer was answered: God dammed the creek and the spring water accumulated and created a pool that drowned his pursuers. For this reason the creek got its name – Habis, meaning “dam” or “prison” in Arabic.
From Ein Hotam we’ll continue with the blue trail turning left to lead us on a 2km path along the flowing creek beside us, all the way to Hurfeish village.