Best national parks to help you explore Israel in fall

From the Golan Heights to the Negev, here are the top 10 nature reserves and trails you should visit this fall, to see some of Israel's finest autumn flora blossom, bird migrations, and breathtaking views

Gilad Carmeli, Hadas Bar-Ad|
Fall is officially here, and with it comes the blossom of the Sternbergia and the Naked Ladies plants, migration of many birds over Israel's skies, all with autumn foliage colors.
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  • Listed below are the top 10 must-see sites in Israel this season.
    Cranes migrate over Agamon Hula
    (קרדיט: Inbar Rubin, Agamon Hula)
    1- The Bashanit Ridge in the Golan Heights
    At this northern mountainous region, bright yellow Sternbergias and vibrant pink Naked Ladies are blossoming to welcome the fall season.
    17 View gallery
    שמורת רכס בשנית
    שמורת רכס בשנית
    The Bashanit Ridge in the Golan Heights
    (Photo: Naama Mansfeld, Nature and Parks Authority)
    A trip to this nature reserve will awe visitors with a photogenic landscape of beautiful flowers on the background of black basalt rocks amidst an impressive oak grove.
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    סתוונית התשבץ ברכס בשנית
    סתוונית התשבץ ברכס בשנית
    Naked Ladies at the Bashanit Ridge
    (Photo: Gilad Carmeli)
    The site includes antique remnants from the Ottoman rule, spectacular panoramic vantage points, and a natural spring.
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    חלמוניות ברכס בשנית
    חלמוניות ברכס בשנית
    Sternbergias at the Bashanit Ridge
    (Photo: Gilad Carmeli)
    2- Hula Nature Reserve
    The Hula Valley is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to see bird migrations. At this time of year, visitors will catch a glimpse of flamingos, pelicans, and of course – cranes – that fly over the Israeli skies in great numbers, reaching tens of thousands each year.
    17 View gallery
    פלמינגואים ואנפות בשמורת החולה, לפני כשבוע
    פלמינגואים ואנפות בשמורת החולה, לפני כשבוע
    Flamingos at the Hula Nature Reserve
    (Photo: Sarit Sarit Palazzi Miara, Nature and Parks Authority)
    Many other species of birds of prey also inhabit this site, such as eastern imperial eagles, rare frog eagles, white-tailed eagles, and black-winged kites.
    17 View gallery
    שקנאים בשמורת החולה
    שקנאים בשמורת החולה
    Perlicans at the Hula Nature Reserve
    (Photo: Yaniv Cohen, Nature and Parks Authority)
    In 2009, “BBC Wildlife” magazine named the Hula Valley one of the top 10 birdwatching sites, and we suggest you all come and it.
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    עגורים באגמון החולה
    עגורים באגמון החולה
    Cranes at the Hula Nature Reserve
    (Photo: Dov Greenblatt, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)
    3- Banias Nature Reserve
    The Banias, also known as Lake Hermon , collects all the snow that melted over the summer from the Hermon mountain.
    17 View gallery
    מפל הבניאס
    מפל הבניאס
    Banias Nature Reserve
    (Photo: Gilad Carmeli)
    The Israel Nature and Parks Authority made part of the stream accessible with a suspended path that is about 100 meters long.
    During this season, the trees on the river bend changing its leaves to the colors of autumn as they grow red, orange, and yellow.
    4- Mount Meron Nature Reserve
    The trail in this nature reserve will bring you to the peak of the 1,208 meter (nearly 4,000 feet) high mountain. There you will find Sternbergias and Naked Ladies blossoming in several different colors, as well as roses.
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    תצפית בשביל הפסגה בשמורת הר מירון
    תצפית בשביל הפסגה בשמורת הר מירון
    Viewpoint at the Mount Meron Nature Reserve
    (Photo: Eyal Mitrani, Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
    On the trail itself there are lookouts towards the mountains of the Galilee, Golan Heights, Hermon Mountain, and the coastal plain.
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    סתוונית בכירה בשביל הפסגה בהר מירון
    סתוונית בכירה בשביל הפסגה בהר מירון
    White Naked Ladies at the Mount Meron Nature Reserve
    (Photo: GIlad Carmeli)
    5- Agamon Hefer , the Lookout and Observation Stock Mishmar Hasharon and reservoirs Emek Hefer
    This birdwatching site, built by The Jewish National Fund, sits on the Alexander River in central Israel's Emek Hefer area. From the scenic balcony, visitors can watch the thousands of pelicans and large cormorants, as well as gray herons and more.
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    שקנאים בעמק חפר, השבוע
    שקנאים בעמק חפר, השבוע
    Pelicans at Agamon Hefer
    (Photo: Danny Sadeh)
    6- Ein Hemed National Park
    It might be worth waiting a few more weeks before paying a visit to this beautiful park, because around mid-November it turns into a beautiful fall wonderland. Not far from Jerusalem, this hidden gem boasts Old World sycamore trees and has a stream running through the middle of it, perfect for a scenic autumn stroll.
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    שלכת בעין חמד
    שלכת בעין חמד
    Foliage at Ein Hemed
    (Photo: Kobi Hazan, Nature and Parks Authority)
    7- Mamshit National Park
    This more southern site offers an site of fall in the desert, with blossoms of white and fragrant Negev lily flowers.
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    מקבצים מרשימים של חבצלת הנגב בחולות ממשית, השבוע
    מקבצים מרשימים של חבצלת הנגב בחולות ממשית, השבוע
    Flora at Mamshit National Park
    (Photo: Avner Rinot, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)
    This is a species that is common in Israel and only grows in the sandy and clay soils of the Negev.
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    בן חצב מדברי בחולות ממשית
    בן חצב מדברי בחולות ממשית
    Flora at Mamshit National Park
    (Photo: Avner Rinot, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)
    8- Lake Yeruham Park
    An oasis in the middle of the desert landscape, Lake Yeruham is a hot spot for migrating birds. Aside from the many types of herons and songbirds, lucky visitors may also see the porphyria swamphen – a red-beaked bluish-purple bird.
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    פארק ירוחם
    פארק ירוחם
    Yeruham Lake
    (Photo: Yaakov Skolnik, KKL-JNF Photo Archive)
    The Yeruham ridge near by has one of the most concentrated blossoms of Sternbergias, and this is just the time to come see them bloom.
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    פורפיריה בפארק ירוחם
    פורפיריה בפארק ירוחם
    Porphyria swamphen at the Yeruham Lake
    (Photo: Roy Israel Hazan)
    9- Reches Boker Reserve
    Coming in a close second after the :Lake Yeruham Park for the Sternbergias blossom is this nature reserve.
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    חלמוניות ברכס בוקר
    חלמוניות ברכס בוקר
    Sternbergias at Reches Boker
    (Photo: Avner Rinot, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)
    10- Borot Lots
    Lotz Cisterns is an archaeological site in Negev Mountains, close to the Egyptian border, where 17 ancient water cisterns can be found.
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    כרכום דמשקאי בבורות לוץ
    כרכום דמשקאי בבורות לוץ
    Damascene crocus at Borot Lotz
    (Photo: Ayala Museri)
    This landscape is home to unique flora that blossom after winter rains, but the fall offers several rare flower blossoms as well, including the damascene crocus.

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