Despite the dismal and drizzly skies that overtook most of the country on Independence Day, about 50,000 visitors populated the country’s parks and nature reserves for family hikes and barbecues.

Most popular among the sites were the Ashkelon and Yarkon national parks, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said.

In the North, the Kishon River Authority reported thousands touring the park’s revamped grounds, home to what used to be the nation’s most polluted body of water.

While the river and the park is undergoing additional stages of rehabilitation, the public enjoyed the use of brand new waste facilities, barbecue surfaces for coals and chemical toilets provided in conjunction with the Haifa Municipality, the authority said.

“The public chose the Kishon and this is not surprising,” said Sharon Nissim, CEO of the Kishon River Authority. “The Kishon Park in Haifa is a destination for many visitors, with wide lawns, trees, pergolas, shade, unique views of the Kishon River under rehabilitation.”

The country’s North and Center saw scattered showers, cloudy skies and unseasonably low temperatures throughout the day. Skies remained clear, however, with temperatures reaching 28-degrees Celsius in Eilat.

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