As the Passover holiday concluded on Monday evening, Israel Nature and Parks Authority and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund reported a collective total of approximately 3.5 million visitors to their parks and recreation sites.

The numbers of visitors trekking to the country’s national parks, nature reserves and forests were approximately equivalent to those during the same period last year, according to INPA and KKL-JNF figures.

The INPA recorded the most visitations at sites nearby bodies of water, while KKL-JNF noted a particular increase in the overnight camping trend at its recreational venues.

For INPA, the most popular sites during the holiday were Ein Gedi, the Banias River, Nahal Ayun, Nahal Prat, Nahal Amud and Einot Tzukim, as well as the Habonim, Beit Yannai and Palmahim beaches. Also popular were Caesarea, Beit She’an, Ein Hemed and the Yarkon park, INPA said.

Families partook on Saturday in sand-sculpture contests at the Beit Yannai beach and in Nahal Alexander National Park, creating various designs out of the natural resource.

Throughout the holiday week, the INPA recorded about 30 emergency rescue operations, predominantly on the Golan Heights and the Eilat mountains, mainly due to dehydration, fatigue and minor injuries to limbs.

Hundreds of thousands of cyclists took to KKL-JNF bike trails throughout the country, most arriving to those in Jerusalem, Modi’in, Ramot Menashe, Yokne’am and Yatir Forest in the northern Negev, the organization said.

The highest concentration of vacationers visiting picnic grounds came to Hamalachim and Lahav forests in the South; Bar’am, Biriya and Switzerland forests in the North; and Ben-Shemen and Canada forests in the Center.

Other leading recreation sites for the organization included Agamon Hula, a new interactive site in the Sharon region’s Ilanot Forest and the Hevel Habesor water reservoirs.

KKL-JNF noted a marked increase in the usage of overnight campsites around the country in comparison to previous years. In most parts of the country, the organization reported, visitors properly collected trash and made use of the garbage bags distributed to them.

Visitors will continue to flock to its campgrounds and municipal parks on Tuesday for Mimouna festivities, KKL-JNF said.

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