Sharon National Park

August 25th 2014

Israel has a number of pristine and beautiful national parks. The Sharon National Park, also known as Hof HaSharon, offers 1500 acres of uninterrupted natural beauty. If you’re a photographer, or just have a discerning eye, you’ll certainly delight in the array of flowering plants, animals and waterways. The trails, including the Cliff Trail and the Gazelle Trail, are well-marked, easy to hike and relatively short.

The Sharon National Park is located along Highway 4 near the city of Hadera. The park lies between the urban areas of Hadera and Netanya and serves as an oasis of green and natural vistas between two major cities. Since part of the park runs along the Mediterranean coastline, there’s a seaside vacation built into your visit.

Enjoy the sandstone cliffs that run along the Mediterranean Sea. You can’t miss them, since they’re nearly 2 miles long and at least 100 feet high in some places. Private lagoons and charming bays were created by the natural erosion of the sandstone cliffs.

Look around and feast your eyes on sand dunes and forests, all within the park grounds. Most of the forests in Israel were planted by the Jewish National Fund. The forest is the Sharon National Park is an exception. It’s considered the last significant vestige of the natural formation of forests that once spread throughout the coast.

Another notable feature of the park are the winter pools, which some people call the swamps. These swamps used to cover the entire area and made farming (and the threat of malaria) a nightmare for the earliest Jewish immigrants to pre-State Palestine. In the early 20th century, Eucalyptus trees were planted to dry out the swamps and make the land useable. All that remains of these swamps are within the park grounds. When they swell with the winter rains, the largest pool covers over fifty acres.

If you like a challenge, keep your eyes open for a herd of deer that live in the park. They are notoriously shy and difficult to spot. One of the true benefits of the Sharon National Park is that it isn’t all that well known and thus not overrun with other visitors. Whether you prefer to relax along the Sharon beach or hike the trails, once you pay a visit to the Sharon National Park, you’ll forever consider it a hidden refuge.