Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park – Visitors Guide (Map, Trails, and More)

Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park on the shore of the Mediterranean sea offers three loop trails to explore the surroundings.

Offers:

Booking.com

Map

Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park is located near Ashdod Yam Fortress. And both are situated by the intersection of Sderot Moshe Dayan and Sderot Yitshak Rabin in Ashdod. The easiest way to reach this spot is by entering “Ashdod Yam Fortress” into Waze.

Interactive map of the area:

And here is a map of the area:

Map Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Map Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park

Note: you can click on the map to enlarge it.

On the map above, you can see Ashdod Yam Fortress at the top left corner. And it is located by the entrance to Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park. And I recommend visiting both places together.

Trails

You can use three loop trails to explore Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park. And you can see the paths on the map above.

Trail NameColorLength (km)Description
The Gazelle TrailOrange1.25Loop trail that takes you to the Byzantine-era graves, gazelle lookout, and the botanical garden.
The Orchard TrailGreen0.7Leads through the botanical garden and back to the main entrance.
Coastal PathwayDark Green2Loop trail that goes through the botanical garden and the beach. You can also start this trail at the southern entrance near Be’er Sheva beach.
Trails at Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park

As you enter the park you will see a sign pointing to the trails.

Trails at Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Trails at Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park

The trails are marked with wooden pillars and you will be hiking mostly on sand. Thus wear suitable shoes, and keep in mind that the hike will take more time.

The Gazelle Trail
The Gazelle Trail

Parking

There is a parking lot by the fort (main entrance). It is paid parking lot, and you can pay using your favorite parking app. Parking is free if you are an Ashdod resident registered in their database.

Parking
Parking

Entrance Fee

Free.

Opening Hours

Always open. But there is no artificial light and you are requested not to visit at night in order not to disturb the animals.

Entrance to Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Entrance to Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park

Restrooms

There are restrooms near the entrance to Ashdod Yam Fortress. But the toilets were closed during our visit.

Code of Conduct

It is worth mentioning that:

  • Campfires and barbeques are not permitted.
  • Walk only on the marked trail.
  • Overnight stays are not allowed in the park.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash.
Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct

About

The park was established at the initiative of the Ashdod Municipality, in cooperation with the Ashdod Development and Tourism Company, and with support from the Open Spaces Protection Fund of the Israel Land Authority. The city’s residents and local schools neighboring the park helped with planting greenery, trees, and flowering bulbs.

The park will act as an educational focus, teaching pupils from the region’s schools, and as a leisure and recreational facility for the benefit of the wider public. Accessible pathways have been built alongside shaded rest areas and explanatory signs.

The urban nature park was established here for the purpose of preserving and supporting the biodiversity of the park, including a wide range of vegetation native to the local sandy habitat. The nature park boasts remnants of the local moassi agriculture, suited to both shifting and stable sands, and the fertile hamra, loamy soil clearings, as well as a small number of wetlands in the area.

The site has been reclaimed with an abundant variety of species typical of sandy areas, in addition to native shade trees and fruit tree cultivars. The thoughtfully placed plantings, viewing platforms, and shaded teaching spaces are available for the public to enjoy. Great effort was invested in reclaiming and preserving the biodiversity of the park. Please help us to protect the park by following the guidelines.

Source: sign

The Gazelle Trail

During our latest visit, we took the Gazelle trail. And here are several photos from this hike.

Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
The Gazelle Trail
The Gazelle Trail
View of Ashdod
View of Ashdod
The Eye of the Sun, Ashdod
The Eye of the Sun, Ashdod

We continued towards the gazelle lookout and skipped the Byzantine-era graves. And that is because we joined an Ashdod archeological tour in 2019 and already visited the graves and participated in excavations at Ashdod Yam. And I will show the photos later in this post.

Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
The gazelle lookout
The gazelle lookout

The deer in the park are primarily from the Nitzanim Nature Reserve area along the coastal ecological corridor.

Along the park’s pathways are several odorous Gazelle “scent stations” consisting of deposits of deer droppings left by the alpha males to mark their territory.

The Gazelle is an endangered species and are vulnerable to attack and injury by dogs.

Source: sign

The gazelle lookout
The gazelle lookout

Unfortunatelly, we did not see any gazelles that day.

Wetland Habitat
Wetland Habitat

From the lookout we headed to the main entrance. And on the way we passed through the botanical garden.

Wetland Habitat
Wetland Habitat

Botanical Garden

The climatic conditions of the habitat in the coastal areas, such as high salinity; strong winds; intense sunlight; drifting sands that cover leaves and expose roots; and a lack of a reliable source of water, are challenges to a variety of plant species.

The flora has evolved to survive under these conditions. For instance, sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum) has succulent, thick, water-storing leaves, and the cotton weed plant (Otanthus maritimus) sports silver leaves to help it cope with strong sunlight. The White Broom plant (Retama raetam) has deep, anchoring roots which prevent it from being uprooted by shifting sand and a root system that reaches deep below the surface for year-round moisture.

An additional challenge to the local flora is the non-indigenous, invasive species that create biological contamination, such as camphorweed. This dominant exotic species competed successfully against the native species of the coastal dunes.

Source: sign

One-sided Bindweed
One-sided Bindweed
Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park
Common Grape Vine
Common Grape Vine

As you can see, there are explanatory signs next to the plants.

White Broom Plant
White Broom Plant
One-sided Bindweed
One-sided Bindweed

It took us an hour at a moderate pace to complete the gazelle trail.

Ashdod Yam

As I mentioned above, we joined an Ashdod archeological tour in 2019. During that tour we visited Ashdod Yam, which is located near the southern entrance.

Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam
Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam

The remains here are of a much earlier period (as far as I remember they are from the Bronze Age).

Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam
Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam

Also, you can visit this place only as a part of archeological tour. During our tour we participated in excvations, visited Byzantine-era Graves and then saw a stunning newly excavated mosaic. We enjoyed the tour a lot.

Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam
Archeological excavations at Ashdod Yam

Interesting fact: Azotos Paralos (Ashdod-Coast) appears on the Madaba map.

Byzantine-era Graves

Excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority on behalf of ‘Hofit’, the Ashdod Tourism Development Corporation, revealed two burial sites of the Roman and Byzantine periods. The western site includes three vaulted tombs. A Byzantine period mosaic map of ancient Israel in a church in Madaba, Jordan, shows the city of Azotus (Ashdod Yam) with buildings along the Mediterranean coast. The Byzantine period buildings of Ashdod are covered with sand or lie under the fortress of Ashdod Yam. The tombs belong to the cemetery of the ancient city.

Source: sign

Byzantine-era Graves, Ashdod
Byzantine-era Graves, Ashdod
Two Burial Sites along the Tet Vav Promenade
Two Burial Sites along the Tet Vav Promenade
Two Burial Sites along the Tet Vav Promenade
Two Burial Sites along the Tet Vav Promenade

Summary

Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park is a lovely place. We enjoyed the hike and I recommend combining the hike with a visit to Ashdod Yam Fortress.

This area has many attractions, and you can explore them using the interactive map above.

Have you visited Metzudat-Yam Ashdod Ecological Park? Tell us in the comment below about your experience.

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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