The New Shoham Forest Bike Trail.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The new Shoham Forest Bike Trail is the result of a successful collaboration between KKL-JNF and the Shoham Regional Council.
The new Shoham Forest bike track, which was inaugurated on Friday, January 22, 2016, traverses dense forest, passes archaeological ruins and opens up to panoramic views. Shoham, which is situated near Ben Gurion Airport, is only a 15 minute drive from Israel's urban center.
The Shoham Forest Bike Trail inauguration ceremony began when a group of a dozen or so cyclists returned from a fast ride along the 10 kilometer forest route. One of the participants was Pinchas David, who also happens to be a JNF-KKL maintenance officer. David said that the trail is “amazing” in that it passes through dense forest which opens up intermittently to the most beautiful panoramic views and ancient ruins. The circular route starts and finishes alongside the Hurvat Tinshemet archeological site.
At the ceremony, Dr. Haim Messing, Director of the KKL-JNF Central Region thanked the residents of Shoham and their leaders for their part in developing the forest for community purposes, including the bike trail. He said that whenever he presents the notion of the KKL-JNF community forests at events in Israel or abroad, he uses the successful Shoham project as an example.
Nimrod Davinsky, the Shoham Bike Riding Coordinator said: “as a representative of the cycling community, I want to thank all those involved in making this possible, including the Shoham Regional Council and KKL-JNF. They gave us this amazing route that blends into nature so well, and allows us to experience the forest in a way that was impossible, not so long ago."
The person responsible for the design and construction of the trail is engineer and cyclist Doron Amit, who also designed the three other KKL-JNF bike trails in the area. Amit said that while the 10 km Shoham route is shortest of them all, it is without a doubt the most beautiful, and was constructed with the utmost regard for its surroundings. Amit also said that the Shoham bike trail is unique because of its proximity to a town, enabling residents to pedal or even walk to the site. He invited hikers to use the trail as well.
Gil Livneh, the head of the Shoham Regional Council, told the audience that the trail is an instant success. He said that several weeks ago, bike riders from around the country started arriving soon after they heard that the route had been completed. “They did not wait for the opening ceremony, and I know that for a fact because I see scores of them every morning, when I take my dog for a walk in the forest.” Livneh thanked KKL-JNF for the close cooperation in developing the bike trail and the other aspects of the forest, referring to it as “Shoham’s natural treasure”.
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