The bridge over Nahal Harod carries an aqueduct that formerly brought water from Nahal Amal to areas north of Nahal Harod. The bridge, which was built in the Mamluk period, originally had three arches.
The water in the aqueduct may have been intended for Al-Khan al-Ahmar (“the red caravanserai”) at the entrance to Beit Shean. One of arches of the bridge collapsed and was repaired with concrete during the period of the British Mandate. The River Administration has restored the bridge since, and this site, beside which KKL-JNF has created an active recreation area that includes children’s play equipment and picnic tables, lies at a crossroads where four paths intersect:
- A cycle path through an orchard leads from the direction of Tel Zahara
- Route 7078 to Beit Shean, from the direction of Beit Shean Park.
- The path along Nahal Harod, from Route 6667.
- To the east of the junction of Routes 669 and 6667.
Ancient Nahal Amal
A road from Kantara Bridge makes its way among the fish ponds along the river until it reaches Route 6667. A footpath with special fishing sites along its length links two small bridges constructed on the western side of the road. A bird-watchers’ lookout point near the roadway allows enthusiasts to observe bird activity around the fish ponds.
The Western Roman Bridge
This bridge crosses Nahal Harod at the western edge of the Beit Shean National Park. Though the bridge was renovated by the Ottomans, the nine lowest courses of bricks have not changed since the Roman period.
On the south-eastern side, the remains of a paved Roman street are visible, leading to the center of the town then called Scythopolis, and beside the bridge the well-preserved remains of the It-Tōm (“the twins”) flourmill – so called because it had two chimneys – and the remnants of an irrigation canal that carried water to Hamadiya can be seen.
Beit Shean Park
Situated adjacent to the western entrance to the town from Route 7078, the park extends along both banks of the Harod River, which are linked by a small wooden bridge. On the north bank there is a children’s playground, on the south a recreation area with picnic tables and shaded areas. The River Trail crosses Route 7078 through a tunnel from Beit Shean Park eastwards and continues via the south-western bridge.
The Trail Between the Bridges
This path links three ancient bridges on the north bank of the river:
- The Western Bridge, adjacent to Beit Shean Park
- The Truncated Bridge, also known as the Damascus Gate
- The Eastern Bridge, adjacent to the Basalt Recreation Area.
On the northern side of the trail lies Beit Shean’s Roman-Byzantine cemetery with the Kyrie Maria mosaic site above it. The trail follows the river amongst a number of sites where the ruins of water-driven flourmills can be seen, including the Twins Flourmill and the Aqueduct Mill. The trail rounds the travertine cliff that take the walker over to the south bank at the foot of Tel Beit Shean.