Ramot Forest contains two circular routes indicated by trail markings: the Mitzpeh Naftoah Trail (black markings) and the Gazelle Trail (Shvil HaTzvaim; red markings). The most convenient starting point for both trails is Hedgehog Park (Gan HaKipod), which takes its name from the attractive children’s slide in the form of a prickly hedgehog. As the routes are circular, the park will also be our finishing point. Adjacent to the park, in the shade of the conifers, is the Ramot Forest Picnic\Recreation Area
The Mitzpeh Naftoah Trail is 1.5 kilometers long, and the Gazelle Trail is 2.5 kilometers long. Both trails start out along the same route but diverge later.
The shared section of route
As soon as we leave Hedgehog Park we are greeted by a KKL-JNF sign bearing a map of the forest trails. About fifty meters further on we arrive at a blue-marked trail. If we turned to the left here, we would find ourselves on the promenade route, but instead we turn right, and just a few steps further on, we see on our left two domes of the kind familiar from sheikhs’ tombs in the Judean Hills. In this case, however, they belong to an art installation entitled ‘Tagine LeMakom’, which was made by girls from the Or Torah school under the guidance of artist Asher Dahan, in order to create a meaningful connection between the environment and its ancient culture.
To the right of the trail is the forked trunk of a eucalyptus tree, which is the work of pupils from the same school, this time under the direction of artist Amir Baumfeld. The girls have decorated the tree trunk with carved motifs that express unity and peace between human beings and between humankind and nature.
About a hundred meters further on we arrive at another junction where a green-marked trail branches off to the left. Before we follow it, however, it is highly recommended to turn right, walk for about 200 meters and make your way down the slope to the Biblical Garden. After we visit it, we retrace our steps back to the junction and continue straight on along the green-marked trail for another 100 meters or so, until we meet up with a black-marked trail that will take us to the top of Mitzpeh Naftoah.
This is the point at which the two routes diverge, and it is indicated by signs on a yellow background, in the signposting style used in Jerusalem Park. From here the longer, green-marked trail and the shorter, black-marked one go their separate ways. KKL-JNF and the Jerusalem Development Authority are currently busy planning and constructing a convenient path that will start at this point and link the Ramot neighborhood with the Jerusalem Park trail network. The new path will be designed to accommodate walkers, cyclists and families with baby buggies or pushchairs. In the meantime, however, we can enjoy the two routes described below.