A carob tree atop a section of the Gospel Trail. The 62-kilometer trail is a part of the larger Israel National Trail, which is more than twice the length of the country.
The walk has been named one of the world’s epic treks. It follows part of the Gospel Trail, for those who want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and adds ancient battlefields and deserts, skirting Tel Aviv skyscrapers. It’s more than twice the length of the entire country, and the magic isn’t just in the geography.
“It’s not all pristine wilderness experience,” said Allan Rabinowitz, a Jerusalem-based tour guide who hiked the trail in 2009 with his wife and teenage son to fulfill a dream and raise nearly $40,000 for research into Lou Gehrig’s disease, which killed his mother. “Some parts are pretty ugly.”
“What impressed us most deeply was the human landscape,” he said, “the way we were treated by the people who we met and those who reached out because of the campaign.”
The path stretches nearly 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from the Lebanese border in the north to the Red Sea in the south, crossing a variety of physical, ethnic and religious landscapes. Fit hikers, proceeding at a pace of about 20 miles a day with no days off, may be able to complete the entire trail in about 30 days. It took 60-year-old Rabinowitz and his family 74 days.