We begin in the Yaafuri Valley, between the apple and cherry orchards of the Druze villages. The path ascends to a beautiful lookout over a lake known as Birket Ram – a natural reservoir situated at the foot of Mt. Kramim, and fed by both an underground water flow, as well as rainwater. The path ends at Tel Katza – a small volcanic hill in the Odem Forest Reserve, which is the biggest forest reserve in the Golan. In the forest, you can find many kinds of trees: oaks, pistachia, styrax, and more. When hiking in the forest, you can often see rare flowers: Round-Leaved Cyclamen, Histrio Iris, and rare species of orchids.
Arrival: The trailhead is in the Yaafuri Valley.
Tel Katza: From the village of Masadeh, drive south on Road 89, and near the 58th kilometer sign on the side of the road, turn right (west) on a dirt road into the Odem Forest. Park next to the Golan Trail marker, and begin hiking.
Public Transportation: There is public bus service to the village of Masadeh. From there, walk to the trailhead.
Hiking Rules & Safety:
*In the Golan, it is strictly forbidden to cross fences or wander off the marked trail; in a number of places, the path goes near minefields.
*It is forbidden to enter IDF live-fire training areas.
*In the Golan, you will see many cattle fences; make sure you cross only at the official crossing points. Open the gate, and remember to close it behind you! It is forbidden to climb or cut fences.
*Be very careful when crossing or walking on roads.
*Overnight camping is allowed only at official campsites. Don’t camp out in the middle of a trail segment, or anywhere that is not an approved campsite.
*It is strictly forbidden to burn toilet paper. Don’t light a fire under trees, and never leave a campfire unattended.
*Make sure you take your trash with you, and leave sites cleaner than when you arrived.
Thank you, and enjoy your hike!