The Iyon (Tanur) Stream Nature Reserve

March 22nd 2011

If you’re looking for a scenic hike that can be managed by the entire family, turn your attention to the Iyon Stream Nature Reserve near Metulla, the northernmost moshav in Israel. The trails here are considered among the most dramatic in Israel.

The short trail is just a bit over a mile long. It’s set up as a 30-minute loop so you end up in the same place you began. Start at the lower parking lot, just off the Rosh Pina-Metulla highway. Highlights of the short trail include the lookout at Gafni and the spectacular waterfall at Tanur. The water of the Tanur waterfall rises nearly 100 feet in the air and lands in a sparkling pool near your feet. Bring a camera for some amazing shots of your family beside the waterfall.

The long trail, for more serious hikers, takes about 90 minutes. The long trail follows downstream and includes amazing scenes of nature and eye-popping wildflowers. You’ll see all four cascading waterfalls of the Iyon Stream Nature Reserve on this hike, including the Ayun, Tahana, Eshed, and Tanur. The Tahana fall is named after an old flour mill nearby. Not quite as dramatic as the Tanur but still worth seeing, the Tahana waterfall cascades down from a height of nearly 70 feet. You’ll also be able to see into Lebanon, since Metulla is so close to the Lebanese border. Note that the long trail isn’t a loop, so you’ll need to leave a car at the other end, unless you want to walk back up. During holidays and times of peak attendance, staff from the Nature Reserve arrange transportation from the end of the long trail back to the beginning.

During the summer, the waters of the Iyon Stream are diverted for agricultural use. But during the winter, when rain fall is sufficient to water the fields of the Galilee, the Iyon Stream flow is much stronger and more dramatic.

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a relaxing time in nature at one of the picnic area in the nature reserve or enjoy a snack from the snack bar on site. Whichever trail you choose, you won’t be disappointed by the opportunity to see the famous waterfalls and wildflowers of the Iyon Stream.