Q: How long did it take you to finish the Israel Trail?
A: It took us 42 days plus rest days
Q: 2. How many people did you walk with?
A: Most of the time we walked with just the two of us, but our children, folks from the Shelter or other friends up north joined us about 8 times.
Q: Where did you sleep?
A: The first 18 days we were in the desert, until we reached Arad. During this time we mostly slept in our tent and sleeping bags. After Arad we began to stay with friends.
Q: Did you ever get lost?
A: We got lost often. Sometimes it was just a matter of not seeing a trail sign and finding it again quickly. But other times we had to backtrack longer distances. There were places that bushes had grown over the signs or road or building construction on the Trail wiped out the signs.
Q: What was the hardest part?
A: The South is the hardest, till Arad. The first day beginning in the South is very difficult because you aren’t in shape yet and it is mostly 16 km uphill. The Carbolet, along the Large Crater, is a very challenging but beautiful section
Q: Which part did you like the best?
A: That’s hard to say because I liked so many parts. Since we were familiar with the desert areas more, I especially liked the last few days in the north, from Nahal Dishon to Nahal Snir. When we walked in the spring there was lots of water and many wildflowers.
Q: Did you ever think to quit?
Q: Has the Israel Trail experience changed in the 10 years since you hiked it?
A: It’s changed in a number of ways:
a. Many more people are hiking it
b. There is more information available for hikers
c. The network of “Trail Angels” which apparently just started when we walked, has been developed and most of the hikers stay with these hosts at various stops on their way
d. The Israeli National Park rangers are enforcing the prohibition about sleeping outside of designated camping areas, so hikers aren’t sleeping anymore wherever they choose
Q: Have you continued to do long-distance hikes?
A: Not as much as I would have liked. John developed chronic Achilles tendinitis and was operated on. In his good periods we’ve been able to do one day hikes. I haven’t found another partner to do serious hikes with.
Q: Did walking the Israel Trail change your life in any way?
A: Walking the Trail led to writing the book which led to two more books, so that led to developing a new side of me. Furthermore, the Shelter Hostel is now a Trail Angel and we enjoy having hikers stay with us.
“Hike the Land of Israel”
by Jacob Saar
A guidebook with maps to the
Israel Trail www.israeltrail.net
The purpose of this website is to create a reference
for English speakers who wish to hike the Israel National Trail, but who speak little or no Hebrew.