A most pleasant surprise awaited us at Nachal Poleg, near Netanya.  We live in Raanana and we were looking for a gorgeous hiking spot that was relatively nearby.  Well, we found one.   

The Nahal Poleg nature reserve is situated between the Wingate Institute and Ramat Poleg,  just off Highway 2.  They have three different marked trails (the short one lasts 90 minutes and the longer ones at least half a day).  The area offers a combination of hills and flat land, which allows for lovely views.  The Nahal adjoins Park Yakum; I had difficulty knowing where the one started and the other ended.

nachal poleg

The plant life is a combination of Mediterranean species like fragrant thyme,  and desert species, such as white broom.  As with many other areas right now, the reserve is in full bloom and you can see purple irises, Sharon lilies, poppies and carpets of those gorgeous yellow flowers.  We also found liquorice-smelling anise bushes.

nachal poleg

Apparently, there are porcupines, rabbits, gerbils, foxes and even badgers in the area, though we weren’t fortunate enough to spot any of those.  We noticed a number of burrows and telltale mole hills and the like, so there definitely is an underground animal world out there.  We did see a few little turtles and we definitely heard frogs in the river.  Oh, and the bird life is great.  We were excited to spot geese on the banks of Lake Yakum, and some warblers building nests..

nachal poleg

Near the stream is a path of bamboo creating a shaded archway.  (We took a loose stick back with us to feed our stuffed Panda at home.)

nachal poleg

We found the hike to be an easy one.  The hardest part perhaps, is getting down the steep entrance from the car park.

There are three detractors that would otherwise make this the perfect spot:  The highway noise is rather loud - I would rather be overwhelmed with bird-song myself.  Also, in the distance are housing estates and factories which detract slightly from the lovely views.  The third disappointment was the large amount of pollution left behind by our fellow humans -plastic bottles and the like. You can’t have everything, but considering that this park is in the center of a bustling area, it certainly is a little oasis.

Entrance is FREE.  

Entrance points: Dor gas station at the entrance to Kibbutz Yakum (free parking), Yakum national park (parking fee), Wingate institute parking (parking fee).

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