He's back at it!

People who know me know that I belong on the Trail. I've thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (twice),the Pacific Crest Trail and the mighty Continental Divide Trail. I've hiked many of the long trails here in Michigan including being the first to hike both the Ironwood Trail and the Great Lake To Lake Trail. In 2016, I hiked the Israel National Trail and the Golan Heights Trail. My next goal is to be the first person ever to hike the Baja Divide Trail.

The purpose of this blog is to keep anyone who is interested informed of my progress and to encourage those who are able to support me in this endeavor.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Golan Heights Trail

 

 



Since I've been hiking the Israel National Trail, I've heard several other hikers mention the Shvil Hagolan (The Golan Heights Trail). This trail starts in the north at Mt. Hermon (right near where the INT finishes) and ends 150km later at the Sea of Galilee. 


 

 


I think I could hike this trail in 7-8 days which fits in perfectly with my schedule: Finish the INT sometime during the first week of June, hike south on the Golan Heights Trail then tramp (that's what they call hitchhiking over here) west to Tel Aviv and fly home. 


By all reports, it's a beautiful trail. The only downsides are that it falls within an area where the border is disputed with Syria and, in some places, the trail passes near minefields so you have to stick to the marked trail. 


 


This is what Wikipedia says about the Golan Heights:


"Internationally recognized as Syrian territory, the Golan Heights has been occupied and administered by Israel since 1967.[1] It was captured during the 1967 Six-Day War."


Hiking this trail was not part of the budget so if you want to see this adventure continue and you're feeling generous, please click on the 'donate' button at the top of the desktop version of this page. Thank you!


Finances aside, the question remains: Should I hike this trail? Please leave your comment below!

12 comments:

gary zaborowski said...

Have you ran into any trouble so far? If not, I would say go for it. Just watch out for those mines...

trish2017 said...

No. There are other trails you can hike. Don't be a dare devil. It's just not logical to hike it. How 'bout the Camino instead?

Christopher Hillier said...

No trouble so far. To the contrary, people have been super nice! I think you're right - just keep going unless that changes. Thanks, Z!

Christopher Hillier said...

You make a good point. I've had such a great experience so far, why take a big risk? Having said that, I think I still might go for it - I may never be in this part of the world again! Thanks, Trish!

Pamela White said...

Be safe chris...listen to your instincts I always find thats the right decision... See you home safe & sound. ;)

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Pam. I've taken your advice on my hikes before and you never steer me wrong.

Richard Smith said...

Go for it. The Golan is one of the most fascinating areas on the planet. Get over to Gamla if you can, where you can see where the Romans broke down the wall to attack the city. Go into some of the old Syrian gun emplacements and see what a view they had when they were firing on Israeli settlements below. Plus there are some great wineries along the way. If you have time hike up to Sussita-Hippos above Ein Gev. And remind me to tell you about almost losing my hat in a minefield there.

Jeff Weiner said...

Knowing you, you are going for it regardless of the safety concerns. :-)

Michael Lindsey said...

That Wikipedia quote seems to be straight from the Onion. "Internationally recognized as Syrian territory", my ass. It used to be, when it was occupied by Syria, but then Israel won it fairly in a defensive war. That's some Wikipedia loophole editorializing going on.

More to the point, there is no war going on right now. It's safe, Israeli land which is not under attack, and not under any kind of occupation or military dispute.

I'm with Richard. You absolutely should visit.

Michael
www.IsraelTrail.net

Jeff Weiner said...

not to start a major argument, but just about every other country in the world agrees that Israel is violation international law and the 4th Geneva convention.

Richard Smith said...

Gentleman, I suggest this ancient argument will not be solved on a hiker blog. I am personally living on what was once Cherokee land, and I suspect if every country gives back what was won in battle we would see some interesting changes. Chris, enjoy the Golan Trail. I have been on part of it and am envious of the opportunity you have made for yourself.

Christopher Hillier said...

I appreciate all your comments. Locals assure me that it's safe. Plus, you know I can't resists trail I haven't hiked!