Picture lush green grass, dotted with all sorts of trees and flowers, that extends gently over small hills. A stream of turquoise water twists through the grass, creating a series of pools of different sizes and depths. The Gan Hashlosha National Park offers all this and more. Located near Kibbutz Nir David at the foot of Mount Gilboa, where Gideon selected the best warriors based on whether they used their hands to help them drink water from a spring (Judges 7:1-8) and where pioneers established the first tower and stockade settlement in 1936, the park offers visitors a serving of history along with beautiful natural settings to swim and relax in.
Gan Hashlosha is built around a natural spring, Ein Amal, whose waters come from the northern section of the Shomron Mountains, east of the Gilboa. As the water flows underground towards the spring, it is heated to 28 degrees Celsius, which makes the water pleasant to bathe in year round, including in the winter, when steam can be seen rising from its surface. The park’s Arabic name, Sachne, means hot. Its Hebrew name, which means park of the three, commemorates three pioneers, Aharon Etkin, Haim Sturman, and David Mosensohn, who were killed in 1938 when their vehicle ran over a land mine while seeking an appropriate spot in this area to establish a kibbutz.
In any case, today waterfalls and stone bridges divide the turquoise water into three pools. Two pools are two to four meters deep, while the third is a little over one meter deep. There also is a wading pool for children in the park. In addition to the lawns, the pools are surrounded by picnic tables. The park also has changing rooms, showers, bathrooms, snack bars, and a convenience shop for guests. In summer, guests can stay overnight at the campsite.
Finally, a visit to Gan Hashlosha is not complete without checking out its Museum of Regional and Mediterranean Archaeology, which features artifacts dating back to prehistoric times from the area as well as from Greece, Italy, and Egypt. The museum also includes the Tower and Stockade site, which is a full-size reconstruction of the first of the tower and stockade settlements, Tel Amal, which today is Kibbutz Nir David. Visitors can step back in time to walk through the huts, dining room, kitchen, laundry facilities, and watchtower. Pioneers established 57 of these settlements between 1936 and 1939, during the British Mandate.
Gan Hashlosha National Park
Tel.: (04) 658-6219