Within a voluntary project in aid of the communities located on the route of Highway 6, and in aid of the cyclists in Israel, the Derech Eretz Highways Company has inaugurated the northern section of the bicycle path "2 by 6." The new section is the second part of the bicycle path project to be inaugurated so far. The path is due to be completed in the coming years and will span a length of 250 kilometers.
The length of the new section spans 30 kilometers and crosses west of Highway 6 between the Nizanei Oz and Iron junctions. The new path is fairly wide so that even beginner and inexperienced cyclists can use it freely; in any case it is clearly marked according to levels of difficulty and distance. The section includes three shorter bicycle paths which can be accessed via Highway 6 as well as from adjacent roads (that do not require entering Highway 6). Use of the bicycle path is free of charge.
The length of the southern section spans 11 kilometers and the duration of the ride takes about two hours in each direction. The route begins at the Alon petrol station on Highway 6 (between Nizanei Oz and Bekka junctions). Cyclists on this route will encounter a gravel road which begins at flat areas along the road, between fields, avocado groves and other agricultural crops. The path continues alongside the communities of Lehavot Haviva, Magal, Gat and Metzer. The path leads cyclists via a small slope into the beautiful Metzer forest which has a spectacular vantage point overlooking the area.
The route continues northwards and leads to the Narvata stream. The Narvata area has a circular route that exits to the east under Highway 6, it rises north to the Harish Forest and returns via the Ma'anit Forest. From here cyclists can return to the petrol station on the same route.
The circular route
The length of the circular route spans some 5.5 kilometers and the duration of the ride takes about one hour. The route commences at the Narvata Quarry which can be reached via Highway 574 located between Iron and Baka al-Garbia. The route passes through the Jewish National Fund forests of Metzer, Harish and Ma'anit, which are popular among cyclists in the area as they have an abundance of narrow cycling paths (singles).
The length of the Northern route spans 8 kilometers and takes about half an hour in each direction. The route begins at the parking lot of the Border Guard Monument adjacent to the Barkai junction. The path passes under the Iron intersection to the south, east of Kibbutz Barkai. After short climb cyclists reach the bare hilltops from where they can get a view of the Hadera coastline on a clear day.
The path continues southwards towards the Ma'anit Forest and descends to the Narvata stream. From there cyclists can turn eastwards under Highway 6 to the Harish Forest and return north from the eastern part of Highway 6 up to the underground crossing used by farmers and wild animals. From there cyclists can continue north on the same route back to the Border Guard Monument.