Hula Nature Reserve – Accessible Nature to Everybody

Hula Nature Reserve

A short and accessible trail takes you through Hula Nature Reserve. The track shows the lake, birds, and other animals.

Note: check out Agamon Hula versus Hula Nature Reserve – Which one is Better? for comparing the two places.

Map

Hula Nature Reserve is located in northern Israel, south of Kiryat Shmona. It is also near Agamon Hula. On the following map, you can see Agamon Hula to the north and Hula Nature Reserve to the south.

Interactive map of the area:

Tracks

Hula Nature Reserve is not a big place, and one wheelchair-accessible track leads you through the reserve. The length of the trail is 2.2 km, and it is marked in blue on the map below.

Here is an interactive map from israelhiking.osm.org.il:

Directions

On road #90, you will see a sign for Hula Nature Reserve. And if you enter “Hula Nature Reserve” into Waze, it will also take you to the entrance.

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 8:00 – 17:00 (16:00 in winter).
Friday: 8:00 – 16:00 (15:00 in winter).
On holidays eves usually 8:00 – 13:00.

Note: since the pandemic, Israel Nature and Parks Authority has started to limit the number of people in each park. Thus, reservations are recommended through the official site (you can find the link below).

Entrance Fee

Adult 35 NIS, child 21 NIS, and student 30 NIS. And free for National Parks’ annual subscribers.

If you are going to visit several National Parks, then consider purchasing a combo ticket. You can find additional info at National Parks And Nature Reserves.

Note: Opening hours and entrance fees were updated in October 2022. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.

Contact Information

Phone: ‎04-6937069, 04-6860114

Dogs

Entrance to Hula Nature Reserve with dogs is forbidden.

Live Cameras

You can check two live cameras on this YouTube channel to find what birds are currently visiting this nature reserve.

At Hula Nature Reserve

You can find a visitor center, picnic area, and restrooms near the parking lot. And we will continue to the swamp trail and see what we can find there.

Butterfly at Hula Nature Reserve
Butterfly

Hula Nature Reserve is similar to Ein Afek Nature Reserve. Both these reserves are Ramsar sites. And they have accessible trails with bridges over swamps that allow seeing wildlife.

Turtle family, Hula Nature Reserve
Turtle family

Note: did you know that there are Nile softshell turtles in Israel? See Turtle Bridge at Alexander River for additional details.

Marsh

The trail leads towards the lake. But before reaching it, you will go through the marsh.

The marsh – a shallow area at the edge of the lake, where papyrus and the common reed grow in profusion. The marsh area serves as a hiding place for a range of animals. Unlike the lake-bed, which is chalky soil, the original marsh area was based on peat – organic material common in marshes all over the world, created from vegetation that sank into the water.

Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.

The trail at Hula Nature Reserve
The trail
Hula Nature Reserve

The Lake

The Lake – the restored lake is a tiny remnant of the historic Lake Hula. The lake is the center of attraction for water birds, and they can be observed from the “floating bridge”.

The Hula is mentioned for the first time in the writings of Josef Ben Matityahu (Josephus Flavius), as a region named “Oulata” between the Galilee and Trakhon (the Biblical “Argov”), in which there are marshes and lakes.

The name “Hulata” also appears in the Jerusalem Talmud, and is one of the seven seas surrounding the Land of Israel; however, this name is apparently not connected with the Hula as we know it. Another historical name for the Hula is “Somkhi”. This name is also mentioned for the first time in the Jerusalem Talmud in the form of “Yama Samkho”.

Some believe that “Mey Marom” mentioned in the Bible, in the battle between Joshua Bin-Nun and the Kings of the North (led by the King of Hatsor, close to the Hula) is in fact the Hula. A number of interpretations have been given to the source of the Aramaic name “Hulata”, among them “Hilata”, which means valley in Aramaic, and the word “Hilat”, used in Arabic as a name for the papyrus reed which is wide-spread in the Hula marshes.

Spur-winged lapwing, Hula Nature Reserve
Spur-winged lapwing
The track at Hula Nature Reserve
The track at Hula Nature Reserve
Hula Nature Reserve

The floating bridge

Further down the trail, we reached the floating bridge.

The floating bridge – a platform about 600 m. long, built like a long covered bridge, providing a concealed observation platform (hide) over the lake.

The floating bridge at Hula Nature Reserve
The floating bridge

I hoped we would see many birds from the bridge, but only a few birds were far in the distance. However, we saw a lot of catfish.

Catfish, Hula Nature Reserve
Catfish

Buffalo

And towards the trail’s end, we saw a small herd of buffalos.

Water buffalo – a herd of water buffalo (“Jammus” in Arabic) lives within the reserve. This is a large cow-like animal, with curved horns, which thrives in marshy regions. There is evidence for its having been bred in Israel since the 8th century A.D. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the animal was no longer bred in this country, and the herd in the reserve originated from individuals that were found after the 6-Day War in the Bet Tsayda valley (“HaBeteha”) north-east of the Kinneret. The herd in the Hula nature reserve is currently the largest in Israel.

Water buffalo, Hula Nature Reserve
Water buffalo

Additional Birdwatching Places

If you love birds, check out the following places:

Additionally, see Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎ – Full Review (Overview of 30+ places)

Summary

It took us almost an hour and a half to complete the trail at Hula Nature Reserve. We walked slowly with a baby stroller, and overall the accessible route is a big plus of this reserve. The downside is that you will not see thousands of birds like Agamon Hula.

Note: check out Agamon Hula versus Hula Nature Reserve – Which one is Better? for comparing the two places.

Have you ever been to Hula Nature Reserve? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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