The Shchenya Promenade is a paved footpath that extends along the southern edge of the top of Mount Shchenya, parallel to Route no. 7933. If we start out from the junction of Route no. 7933 and Route no. 784, we make our way among trees that have been transplanted here from orchards and woodlands where they were endangered. KKL-JNF has added spice plants along the edges of the trail, and tables made from the local stone nestle in the shade of the trees. The route continues for about 1.6 kilometers without leading us to any notable sites, but if we proceed slowly and quietly we may come across a hyrax enjoying an outing.
The promenade, which was designed by landscape architect Hanna Livneh, was carefully constructed to conserve local trees and bushes and have as little impact as possible upon the route of the path. Because of this it blends well into the landscape and requires minimum maintenance.
Beside the parking lot opposite the entrance to Koranit and Shchenya is the “official” gate on to the promenade – a stone wall decorated with ceramic plaques bearing an inscription that proclaims “Mount Shchenya Path.” This surfaced route is accessible to people with limited mobility.
After about 250 meters four large rocks indicate a turnoff to the left that leads to the Shchenya Cave, some 400 meters away from the promenade. The path dips downhill and meets up with a blue-marked trail. We make our way along it, bearing left slightly, then turn to follow the “transparent” markings (two white stripes) to the cave entrance, which is heavily shaded by the surrounding woodland.
This is a karst cave, i.e., one that has been formed by the dissolution of the chalk rock from which it is formed. Its entrance lies at the bottom of a large depression that collects and absorbs the water that drains into it from the surrounding terrain. The cave consists of a large central chamber, and it is dozens of meters long. Like most karst caves, it contains stalactites.
Because of the various species of bat that live inside it, the cave has been declared a nature reserve, and a Parks and Gardens Authority sign at the entrance informs us that we may not go inside. In 1990 the bones of Yisrael Ben Zeev Laufer, were discovered in this cave, and his story is recounted on a memorial stone further along Shchenya Promenade, at the lookout point established in his memory.