This is the Gilboa’s main recreational area and a recommended starting point for a walk northwards to Mount Saul, whose peak juts out from the main Gilboa ridge and so provides an unusually beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. Keen walkers can also use this as the starting point for a hike to Har Giborim, which offers a wonderful view all the way to Mount Hermon. On this hill the ruins of the Arab village of Mazar can be seen – the site of fierce battles during Israel’s War of Independence.
The Eshhar Recreation Area
A small area, some one and a half kilometers west of Saul’s Shoulder. It takes its name from the numerous buckthorn (Heb: eshhar) shrubs in the vicinity.
The Vinya Reuven Cohen Recreation Area
A small intimate spot isolated from the main Gilboa road and named after a well-known economist who was among the early members of Kibbutz Ein Harod. The lookout point provides a view of the kibbutz.
The Golden Gate Recreational Area
Notable for its spring flowers, especially the Gilboa iris, tulips, anemones, Persian buttercups and an amazing range of other varieties. This is an excellent starting point for a walk along the steep path to the Hidden Valley. The site has playground equipment for children and signposted footpaths that lead to the Har Lapidim nature reserve. On the way is another recreational area called the Halfway Stop.
The Barkan Recreational Area
A collection of places to sit that can accommodate a large gathering. From Mount Barkan you can look south towards the area of the Gilboa that lies beyond the Green Line. A hiking trail from the recreational area leads through Ein HaSamal to the Hidden Valley and a study trail leads to the Golden Gate. Here, too, carpets of Gilboa Iris can be seen during the flowering season.
The Hidden Valley
A hiking trail descends steeply from the environs of Mount Barkan to the Harod Valley, near the old Tel Yosef site. Intended for experienced walkers, it is marked with red along its entire length. After rain it can be slippery.
The Iris Recreation Area
Adjacent to a large concentration of Gilboa irises with a sign-posted footpath leading among them.
The Hidden Valley Recreation Area
Lies to the east of the main Gilboa road, to the north of the Vinya Cohen Recreation Area. The approach road can be tricky after rain.
A hiking trail marked in red that descends from north of Kibbutz Maale Gilboa to the road that goes up to the Gilboa from the Beit Alfa area.