Nahal Snir, Golan Heights , Israel
Detailed Information

The Snir Stream (Hatsbani) is the longest of the Jordan River tributaries. The stream flows all year round, through a well-developed “riverside forest” of plane trees and travertine walls

  • Picnic area – the entrance to the nature reserve
  • Man-made pools – two pools between the parking area and the river
  • Bird hide and Tapline reservoir – a large reservoir that attracts waterfowl
  • Snir Stream lookout point – looking over the northern part of the reserve, which is closed to visitors
  • Snir Stream ravine – the main attraction at the reserve, a flowing river with a riverbank hiking trail
  • The travertine falls – small waterfalls along the hiking trail, where the colder waters of the Dan Stream meet the Snir
  • Picnic area – the visitors parking area is part of Snir Park. This area serves the considerable demand for leisure and recreation activities, and can be used for picnics and barbecues (prohibited in the rest of the nature reserve so as not to harm the natural values). The parking area is at the entrance to the nature reserve.
  • Man-made pools – between the parking area and the river itself, two pools have been excavated. One is a “wading pool” for visitors’ pleasure, while the second is a refuge for rare water plants, such as the yellow pond-lily (Nuphar lutea) or the dwarf water clover (Marsilea minuta), which are almost extinct in the wild in Israel.
  • Bird hide and the Tapline reservoir – in the northern part of the nature reserve. The large reservoir was constructed near the Nokhila Canal – a canal that comes from the area of En el-Bared (north of Tel Dan). Running alongside the canal is an oil pipeline carrying oil from the oilfields of Iraq to the port of Sidon in Lebanon, known as the Trans Arabian Pipeline, or the Tapline. The line was laid after the establishment of the state of Israel, when the pipeline from Iraq to the port of Haifa fell into disuse. After the Six Day War, part of the route of the pipeline in the Golan Heights came under Israeli control, and after the pipe was sabotaged in the area of the source of the Jordan River, crude oil leaked into the Dan Stream and from there into the Jordan. Following this sabotage, safety measures were taken – the waters of En el-Bared were diverted from the Dan Stream to the Snir Stream, and this reservoir was made. In the event of further damage, the reservoir makes it possible to divert the oil and prevent contamination of the sources of the Jordan. The oil pipeline is not in use today, and the reservoir is used for water storage. This reservoir attracts many water birds, and for the convenience of visitors a special hide has been constructed alongside it, to allow the birds to be observed.
  • Snir Stream lookout – a lookout point on the long trail, affording visitors a view of the northern part of the nature reserve. In this area, the stream passes through a basalt plateau and creates a deep “canyon”. The canyon is not accessible to hikers, for safety reasons. Where the stream leaves the canyon is the Ghajar Bridge, an ancient bridge at the point at which, until the Six Day War, the borders between Israel, Syria and Lebanon met. Near the bridge is a hydrometric station, measuring the flow of the stream throughout the year. It is not possible to go to the bridge and the hydrometric station.
  • Snir Stream ravine – the hiking trail runs about 1 km along the eastern bank of the stream. The trail is shaded by dense plane trees, and from time to time shallow rivulets cross it and join the bubbling stream. In the winter, the trail is sometimes closed due to the strong current.
  • The travertine falls – walking along the river bed, to the left of the trail are small waterfalls bringing the colder water of the Dan Stream into the Snir Stream. These falls burrow through a thick layer of a yellowish rock called travertine. This is a rock formed through processes of sedimentation (like the scale in a kettle), as a result of a continuous, slow current over many years. In fact, the entire eastern bank of the stream in the nature reserve is made of this rock – evidence of the strength of the flow in this area in the past.
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