All time record of Israeli hikers set over Sukkot

A record 1.23 million Israelis visited Israel's national parks and nature reserves over Sukkot, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA).

  NAHAL TZALMON NATIONAL PARK (photo credit: YAAKOV SKOLNIK)
NAHAL TZALMON NATIONAL PARK
(photo credit: YAAKOV SKOLNIK)

A record 1.23 million Israelis visited Israel's national parks and nature reserves over Sukkot, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA).

The record number of hikers marks a whopping 23% increase than the same period in 2019, last year being under lockdown.

Some 150,000 people visited the parks and nature reserves on Tuesday alone.

The holiday also saw 23 incidents where hikers needed to be rescued mostly due to dehydration and falls, the INPA said. 

In addition, two people died in the INPA's nature reserves during the holiday. The first was a case of drowning, and the second occurred when INPA retiree Peretz Giladi fell from a cliff while trying to assist a hiker in Nahal Amud in the Galilee.

"In 2019, 80,000 people visited the [INPA's] sites, but despite the significant drop in tourism, Israeli hikers brought about a significant increase," said Raya Shoreki, head of the INPA's Visitor and Community branch.

A MAN STANDS beneath a waterfall at Nahal David in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve area, near the Dead Sea. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)A MAN STANDS beneath a waterfall at Nahal David in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve area, near the Dead Sea. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

"We prepared activities that were appropriate for life under COVID in order to enrich the visitors' experience," she said.

Shoreki thanked all of the hikers for visiting the national parks and nature reserves, and for "enjoying Israel's beauty and uniqueness both in its nature and its history."