Alexander Stream National Park and its turtles
This is a very pleasant walk/hike along the Schvil Yisrael by Alexander Stream from Park HaTzabim (Turtle Park) to its estuary on the Mediterranean ocean. One can also walk further along the beach to Beit Yannai Beach.
Time: About 2¼ hours there and back
Distance: 7¾ Km there and back
Directions and parking: Enter “Nahal Alexander” Into Waze. There is a large free parking area. There are portable WCs.
Type of hike: Same way there and back
Difficulty: An easy hike with only one small hill.
Public transport: Enter “Alexander Stream” into Moovit. The nearest bus stop is a 1.8 Km/43 minute walk.
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The play area in Park HaTzabim
Approaching the estuary of Alexander Stream by the sea.
This Waze direction will bring you to Park HaTzabim. There are picnic benches, climbing equipment and a watch tower in the park. Depending on the day, there may be pony rides. However, the highlight of your visit is to see the turtles come to the surface. At the very least you will see the water disturbance they create.
For the trail, cross over the bridge and follow the Schvil Yisrael sign to the left. You will soon come to railway tracks at which point the trail turns to the right. After a short distance parallel to the tracks turn to the left as indicated by the Schvil Yisrael sign.
You will eventually come to a large Eucalyptus grove with many shaded picnic benches. At its far end you will see an old stone building on top of the hill – Khirbet Sumara. The Schvil Yisrael makes a short turning up the hill, although there are other ways up and down the hill.
There is a nice view from the top of the hill. This building belonged to the Sumara Family who had a business growing watermelons and selling them to Europe. They also had tax collection rights along the stream.
Continue along this broader path until you come to the highway bridges. Go under the bridges as indicated by the Schvil Yisrael signs and this will bring you to a small parking area. You now have a choice. If you wish to go the estuary continue straight ahead in the direction of the sign “Alexander Stream estuary.” You will pass the center for saving of sea turtles and come to the beach. The distances given above are for this.
It is also possible to continue hiking along the beach to Beit Yannai Beach. To do this, you will need to cross over the bridge to the other side of the stream. From the parking lot climb up on the signposted path on the last bridge. There is a concrete barrier separating you from the traffic. At the end of the bridge, you will notice a path with a schvil Yisrael marking in the direction of the beach. There is permitted swimming on Beit Yannai Beach with a lifeguard, but it is some distance along the beach.
The picnic area at the foot of Khirbet Sumara