Ma'ayan Harod National Park
Meet Ma’ayan Harod National Park
A refreshing recreational park at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, where the Harod spring rises in a cave and flows into a stream
Points of Interest
- The Harod Spring and the Cave of Gideon
- Hankin House
- Memorial for the Valley’s war casualties
The spring rises in a cave on the slope of the Gilboa mountain. It is called the Cave of Gideon after the Biblical judge who collected his warriors here to fight the Midianites. The waters flow along a clear brook into a large paddling pool and into other streams flowing throughout the national park. In the past, the spring created a swamp and a stream whose waters flowed into Nahal Harod, and the water of the spring was conveyed via an aqueduct to two flour mills. The remains of the aqueduct can be seen in the national park; the remains of the flour mills are located outside the park.
The home of Yehoshua Hankin (1864-1945) stands on a slope rising above Ma’ayan Harod. The small house now serves as a museum to document the life of this man who redeemed for the Jewish people more than 600,000 dunams all over the country.
Yehoshua Hankin began building the house in 1934 when he was 70 years old. When his wife Olga became sick he started carving out a burial grave for her close to the house. Olga Hankin was buried in the cave in 1942. Yehoshua was buried next to her three years later.
The inner door of the family grave, which is the original door, bears the symbol of the Menorah. The two pillars at the front of the grave and the copper door, bearing nail patterns and the 7-branched candelabra, are reminiscent in appearance of burial caves from the time of the Mishna and the Talmud, similar to the burial caves in Bet She’arim. The pillars and the front wall are made of pinkish limestone. The floor of the cave is of grey marble, with a black Magen David in the middle. The outer door was made by the sculptor David Plombo. It is decorated with the name “Hankin” in an unusual design consisting of interlocking letters.
The museum is open to groups with prior coordination. On religious holidays there are guided tours for visitors.
The Memorial for the Valley’s war casualties:
Ma’ayan Harod was the place where the inhabitants of the Moshavim and Kibbutzim from the region used to gather on holidays and festivals. The proximity to the spring that was associated with the wars of Gideon against the Midianites, the death of King Saul and his son on the Gilboa mountain, the family grave and the home of the redeemer of the lands of the Valley, Yehoshua Hankin, made this place a symbolic center. The memorial was erected in memory of seven of the sons of the Valley who fell in the War of Independence on the Gilboa, and today it memorializes all the men of the Valley who were killed in the various wars.
The Memorial is the work of the metal sculptor David Plombo. It is shaped like a bridge made of iron plates, in which openings have been torn by flames of fire. Two symbolic ironfigures rise up from the bridge. On the wall behind the Memorial, metal letters spell out the following sentence: “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!” (Samuel II, Chapter 1)
Ma’ayan Harod National ParkUseful Information
Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing timeSummer hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 - 08:00 Winter hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 08:00 Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00
On holidays and Saturday we recommend you arrive early; entry depends on available space.
Dogs may be brought to the site, on a lead and with a muzzle.
No dogs or other animals may be brought into the camp site
Ma’ayan Harod overnight campground, with hot showers, open for families at weekends only, and for groups of 30 people or more – by advance reservation
- The flowing spring
- Wading pools
- Recreation facilities
- Children’s playground
- Sports fields
- Football and volleyball
Ceremonies and activities can be arranged
Between Afula and Beit Shean, on Road 71. About 10 km from Afula, turn towards Gidona (over the bridge). Another option is to drive along Road 675 from HaSargel Junction (HaTa’anachim) to Navot Junction, and after 1 km, turn to Ma’ayan Harod.
Reserving a visit to Ma’ayan Harod National Park
|Adult in group||₪ 24.00|
|Child in group||₪ 12.00|
|Israeli senior citizen||₪ 14.00|
|Subscription – adult||₪ 48.00|
|Subscription – child||₪ 43.00|