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Manof-Shchenya family route

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Manof-Shchenya family route

Duration: One and a half hours
Recommended season: אביבקיץסתוחורףכל השנה
Features: Nature,
Length: 2.5

How to get there

The Route

The Route:

We start our trip at the Mt. Shchenya promenade. From the route 784 junction [1] we climb up the route 7933 towards the junction of the entrance to the Shchenya and Koranit [2] community villages. We will park our cars in the parking area, the promenade leads us in the northwestern direction towards the community village of Manof [3].

 

The Mt. Shchenya nature reserve, where our trip will be, is mainly on the northern hills of Mt. Shchenya and Mt. Meiman, named after 2 of the 24 priestly divisions after the destruction of the Temple.

The hill is full of Mediterranean flora of common oak, Pistacia Palestinia and Arbutus Andrachne.

 

We walk on the jeep road [4] until we meet the blue mark [5], we continue with the blue road until the trail bends to the right (at the end of the climb) and in the open area, we will see a mark pointing us into the forest on our left. We enter the forest where there are mainly pistacia trees, oaks and other Israeli flora [6].

In this nature reserve we can also find a wide range of orchids, including the rare Galilean Caprinum orchid that is the farthest south area in which it can be found in Israel. In the right season, we can view their beautiful blossoming.

The trail passes through a pine and eucalyptus thicket, a perfect spot for a picnic stop [7]. The continuation of the trail is hidden at the southeastern end of the thicket.

 

We continue to pass through the rock piles and we will reach a beautiful observation point to the south, overlooking the Caucab Abu Alhiha village, the Mt. Atzmon slopes and the Yodfat hills.

We continue on the trail towards the Shchenya cave [8], a small karstic cave containing a 13X45 meter central hall and its total length is 120 meters.

In the ceiling of the lower part of the cave there are four karstic cones with stalactite drips and 'elephant ears'.

The opening of the cave is at the bottom of a dolina with a 12 meter diameter, functioning as a swallow hole draining water and sediment from the area.

 

The cave is a nature reserve due to the insectivore bats living in the cave, that are in danger of extinction in Israel and therefore it is prohibited to enter the cave itself.

 

Around the cave there is Mediterranean scrub, with common oak and carob trees, mastic shrubs and climber plants like ivy, asparagus aphyllis and tamus communis.

 

In 1990 the bones of Yisrael Ben Zeev (Laufer), a JNF ranger in the Zvulun valley area, were found in this cave. He was murdered by Bedouins in 1938 and his remains were found 52 years later. In the entrance to the cave there is a memorial site in his memory. [Find more information in the website].

 

From the cave we walk back up to the road, near the entrance to the community village of Shchenya [9]. The way back to the car is convenient, walking along the promenade and back to the greenhouses.

If you came with two cars, leave one at the end that will take you back to the start.

 

Towards the winter hibernation, the caves where the bats are located are closed to visitors.

 

The 33 types of bats in Israel make up 30% of the mammals and they are of very high importance to the ecological system. Since there are less insects in the winter, most of the bats hibernate in this period. During the winter hibernation the heart rate of the bats decreases from 1200 beats per minute during flight (400 when immobile) to 10 heart beats per minute. The bats hoard energy prior to their hibernation and this enables them to survive through the winter months. Visitors entering the cave may wake up the bats, forcing them to eat because of the increase of their use of energy, due to the body temperature the bats need to raise upon awakening. If bats wake up from their hibernation, they set out in search for food, that is not always available, causing them to waste unplanned energy. If we do not give the bats the time they need, they will not survive and if the insectivore bats do not survive,humans will also suffer from it.

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