New Tur'an Forest Scenic Road Dedicated in Lower Galilee

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:14 AM

"It's made a huge difference in our quality of life, and we're very grateful for it."

On Sunday, August 11, a new scenic road jointly funded by KKL-JNF and the Ministry of Defense was dedicated at the Lowdermilk Forest Lookout above Highway 65 in Lower Galilee  in the presence of KKL-JNF and Ministry of Defense officials, representatives of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, the Israel Police and Border Guard, and local residents.


L-R: Motti Dotan, Eitan Fishman, Yiftah Har-Hol, & Yossi Yitzhak cut the ribbon for the new road.
Photo: Tania Susskind

"Majestic" and "breathtaking" are words that immediately come to mind and heart when one sees the view from the Lowdermilk Forest Lookout above Highway 65 in Lower Galilee. On Sunday, August 11, a new scenic road jointly funded by KKL-JNF and the Ministry of Defense was dedicated at this site in the presence of KKL-JNF and Ministry of Defense officials, representatives of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, the Israel Police and Border Guard, and local residents.


The Lowdermilk Forest Lookout above Highway 65.
Photo: Tania Susskind

Yiftah Har-Hol
, Director of KKL-JNF's Northern Region, said that he was "very excited to dedicate the Tu'ran Forest scenic road, which runs from Beit Rimon to Mitzpe Netofa. It passes through planted forests and natural woodlands, and offers one of the most beautiful views in Israel. When there are an abundance of winter rains, the Beit Netofa valley fills with water and looks like a huge lake. It doesn't happen every year, but when it does, it's a sight not to be missed. I just came back from a drive on the road, it's an amazing drive and the scenery is simply intoxicating!"

Shai Dura, director of the Project Implementation Unit of the KKL-JNF Northern Region, and Gil Atzmon, KKL-JNF Lower Galilee Forest supervisor, explained that the 11 km. road was paved in order to provide the residents of Beit Rimon and Mitzpe Netofa with an alternate access route to Highway 65. During the Arab riots of October 2000, the highway, a central artery, was closed for a number of days, effectively cutting the country in two. Local residents had no way of leaving or returning to their homes, and were also threatened by the violent protests. Besides providing them with an alternate access route, the scenic road passes through an area of stunning natural beauty, making it an attraction for local residents and visitors from throughout the country.


A section of the Tur'an Forest Scenic Road. Photo: Tania Susskind


The ceremony was emceed by Yossi Yitzhak, director general of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, who said that the scenic road was a dream that had been realized, both in terms of security and also in terms of local tourism. "Without KKL-JNF, it could never have happened," he added.
Motti Dotan, head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, said: "There are some children from Beit Rimon who are here with their parents. For us, the most important thing is that the people living here have taken root and are flowering. In fact, we're going to have to start thinking about opening another nursery school. Now that we have this new road, it's also time to plan another community between Beit Rimon and Mitzpe Netufa.

"Working together with KKL-JNF on this project was just how one would want a collaboration to be, and I would hope we will continue such cooperation in the future. I want to thank all the KKL-JNF staff and officials, and also KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler and Co-Chairman Eli Aflalo. They supported us from stage one, and that's not something one takes for granted."


Molli Levias of Beit Rimon, with her children. Photo: Tania Susskind

Eitan Fishman
, deputy director of the Settlement Department of the Ministry of Defense, also thanked everyone who worked on the project, "first and foremost, KKL-JNF. Working with KKL-JNF is always a positive and a pleasant experience, they really know how to get a job done."

Molli Levias is the chairperson of the Beit Rimon central committee. The community was founded about thirty years ago, and today, it boasts a population of over 100 families. Molli, who was at the ceremony with her daughters Tal and Yarden, along with Tal's friend Nitzan, said that besides the security that the new road provides, "it's a beautiful way to get to the Golani Junction, especially when the main highway is congested with traffic. Before the new road was paved, only people with jeeps could enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Now, thanks to KKL-JNF and the Ministry of Defense, this incredible view and the forest are accessible to everyone. It's made a huge difference in our quality of life, and we're very grateful for it."


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