Yarkon National Park – Tel Afek area (Antipatris)
The Dan region’s green lung - near Rosh Ha‘Ayin
Meet Yarkon National Park – Tel Afek area (Antipatris)
History, heritage and nature
The Dan region’s green lung.
The Yarkon National Park is divided into two parts: Tel Afek area (Antipatris) and the Yarkon Sources area, Together they constitute a green lung and an island of tranquility in the middle of the most populated region in Israel.
In this beautiful and tranquil national park you’ll find the clean Yarkon Stream with abundant water lilies, a wading pool, a charming lake and an ancient fortress with a controlling view of the region.
Make sure you get in – Reserve now
Reserving your visit through the reservation system ensures a spot on the date and time you’ve requested; you’ll also receive relevant updates for your planned visit.
Main points of interest
- The squill trail
- Paddling pools
- Antipatris Fort
- The British water pumping station
- The recreation area and amusement facilities
- The winter pool
- The artificial lake
- Walking route from Tel Afek to the Yarkon springs via the water-lily pond
- The Squill trail – a walking route along which squills (Drimia maritima) were planted in 2011. The inspiration for selecting squill to mark the trail came from the ancient practice of using the plant as boundaries between fields. The Squill Trail is a circular route passing through sites from the Roman, Ottoman and British periods.
- The Paddling Pools – above the artificial lake a few paddling pools were built at the end of 2012, and visitors are invited to paddle in them (bathing is prohibited in the lake itself).
- Antipatris Fort – the fortress at the top of the Tel was built between 1572 -1574 in the Ottoman period, and is called “Binar Bashi”, an Arabic corruption of the Turkish name Pinar Basha, literally – “fountainhead” or “head of the springs” (in Hebrew – Rosh Ha’Ayin). The fortress is known mistakenly as Antipatris Fort, after the Roman city that existed here. The function of the fortress was to guard the Afek Passage – the narrow pass that connected the hills of Shomron with the sources of the Yarkon river. This pass circumvented the marshy region and was part of the ancient Via Maris that traversed the length of the country.
- The British Water Pumping Station – a facility erected by the British in Palestine during the Mandate, which was part of the facility that conveyed water to Jerusalem. The water was collected in pipes at the Rosh Ha’Ayin springs and transferred to filtering pools for cleaning and then to a chlorination structure. Thereafter the water was conveyed to an underground reservoir and to pumping stations, and from there it was delivered to Jerusalem. The old structures seen in the Afek area are the pumping station, the sinking and filtering pools and the chlorination structure. Opposite there are buildings that served as offices and residence for the British soldiers who guarded the pumping station, which today are used by the Nature and Parks Authority.
- The Recreation Area and Amusement Facility the place can be used for picnics and barbeques..
- The Winter Pool – the winter pool in the Tel Afek area is a unique habitat containing a number of amphibians, primitive crustaceans and water insects. The aquarium standing in front of the pool displays the creatures that live in it when it is full of water.
- The Artificial Lake – a narrow peaceful waterway flows into the lake originating from the National Water Carrier pipeline. The lake was built in a natural basin located there, in order to create a suitable habitat for water fauna and for leisure and recreation purposes.
- Route from Tel Afek to the Sources of the Yarkon, via the Water-Lilly Ponds – the water-lily pond in the Yarkon National Park enchants the visitor’s eye due to its extensive river vegetation and blue water. The yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea) with its impressive flowers grows in the pond, as well as other plants and creatures unique to the area.
Yarkon National Park – Tel Afek area (Antipatris)Useful Information
Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing timeSummer hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 - 08:00 Winter hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 08:00 Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00
Entry will be permitted only upon showing confirmation of reservation and only at the time shown.
- The gate connecting Tel Afek and the Yarkon sources is closed and there is no passage between the two areas.
- The Water Lily Pond is located between the Yarkon Springs and the Tel Afek compounds. The compound is fenced and entry is permitted during opening hours only. In the summer, opening time is 8:30 AM and closing time, Saturday–Thursday, is 4 P.M. On Fridays and holiday eves, closing time is 3:30 P.M.
- In the eucalyptus grove the following elements are accessible: parking, concrete trail, toilets, picnic spots on concrete surfaces, sport fields on concrete surfaces (skating and ball-game courts), lookout near the pond and the wading pools, visitor service center, directional and informational signage. On weekends and holidays additional accessible parking is available, as well as an accessible toilet near the visitor center.
- The pond – A trail made of compact bedding surrounds the pond. The trail ascends to the fortress.
- At the antiquities site the following elements are accessible: parking, toilet, concrete trail, railings flanking built stairs, wooden benches for resting, a lookout plaza as an alternative to visiting the antiquities. At the antiquities site visitors walk on compact bedding or the original paving stones.
Entry to dogs is permitted when leashed and muzzled
A stone’s throw from Tel Aviv: a surprising night in nature close to home on the banks of the Yarkon Stream.
The Afek Park center is between Ganim Intersection in Petah Tikva (the Petah Tikva – Lod road) and Rosh Ha’Ayin, Road No. 483, between Kibbutzim Giv’at HaShelosha and Enat from the south.
For those coming from Highway 6, exit at Kessem Interchange.
By public transport:
Dan buses Nos. 27, 7, 17 and 93 reach Afek
Reserving a visit to Yarkon National Park – Tel Afek area (Antipatris)
|Adult in group||₪ 24.00|
|Child in group||₪ 12.00|
|Israeli senior citizen||₪ 14.00|