Eshkol National Park (Besor)

Eshkol Park is a national park operated jointly by KKL-JNF, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Eshkol Regional Council and the Mekorot national water company. The park covers 875 acres on the eastern bank of the Besor streambed. In the center of the park, which boasts large grassy areas and thousands of palm trees, you will find Einot HaBesor, the Besor Springs, whose water fills picturesque shallow pools as it makes its way to the Besor streambed.
 
Around the abundant springs the British military built its central water base for its forces on the Gaza-Beersheba front. They also built a dam on the Besor stream that created a reservoir of more than two million  litres of water.

The ANZAC mounted forces knew the area as Shellal (the Besor ravine was known in Arabic as Wadi Shellal). At Khirbet Shellal, the small hill east of the springs, the ANZACs  discovered a spectacular mosaic that  was the remains  of the floor of a Byzantine church. The mosaic was moved to Australia, where it is displayed at the Australian War Museum in Canberra.

The British Army laid a railroad track in the Sinai, the construction of which advanced as its troops did, until it reached the Besor springs. After World War I, a railroad bridge for the Rafah-Beersheba line was built near the springs. In Eshkok Park one can see a restoration of part of the bridge and a replica of a train car from the period.
An entrance hall that will contain a replica of the original mosaic and be part of the ANZAC Trail is in the works.
 
To get there: Route 241, near kilometer marker 6.
 
If coming from the Nahal Assaf Forest Observation Point, drive south on Route 232 for 8 kilometers to the Maon Junction, turn east (left) on Route 241 and after 5 kilometers you will reach the northern end of Derech Habesor, near Eshkol Park.

The Besor Route (Derech HaBesor)

The Besor Route (Derech HaBesor) runs some 18 kilometers along the western bank of the ravine.  The track is suitable for cars, but drive along it carefully, as it is covered with stones and gravel. The route was built by the KKL-JNF in coooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Eshkol Regional Council.

Along the route and within the ravine, one can see sections of route of the light rail that traveled from the Besor springs to the British field units that were stationed along the Besor streambed.