Israelis know how to hike and hike well. For the most part, like the boy scouts, they are always prepared - sufficient water, hats, and food provisions. My husband and I, on the other hand, are Americans who did not grow up with hiking in our blood. As a result, we have found ourselves in tight spots. We recently decided to do the Nahal Sefunim hike which is about an hour from central Israel. I read about on a hiking website but did not pay sufficient attention to the details. We did not come prepared and chose to do it at a less than ideal time - midday of one of the hottest days in August; fortunately the entire family managed to get through it (including my six year old); we were rewarded with the wonderful feeling that one gets at the end of a great day of hiking.
The hike, which is circular, tracks Nahal Sefunim which is located in the Carmel Mountains region BUT this is a dry hike - at least in the summer months. The highlights of the hike includes spectacular views of the mountains and the sea as well as the Sefunim Cave (home to bats so please do not enter during winter months when they hibernate). It is a wonderful hike and a great workout BUT there is alot of rock climbing and the hike takes between three to four hours. It is not ideal for very small children or people who have difficulty walking and climbing but those who are healthy and able will be able to do and enjoy the hike. PLEASE bring hats, lots and lots of water, food, sunscreen and good walking shoes.
Nahal Sefunim hike - Take Highway 4 to Beit Oren Junction (approximately twenty minutes north of Zichorn Yaakov). Approximately 3 kilometers north of the Beit Oren junction between the 193 and 194 kilometer marker there is a small unmarked place to pull over in a car. Follow the red markers which will lead to the Sefunim Cave and eventually to the blue markers (that track a circular path).