Weekend Walk: The Sorek River

The area north of Kibbutz Palmachim where the Sorek River flows into the Mediterranean offers some great hikes with excellent views.

Beit Shemesh view west of Sorek Valley 311 (photo credit: BiblePlaces.com)
Beit Shemesh view west of Sorek Valley 311
(photo credit: BiblePlaces.com)
The Sorek River originates in the Jerusalem Mountains and flows through Beit Shemesh and the Judean Plains, until it flows into the Mediterranean Sea north of Kibbutz Palmachim. The area is beautiful and offers some great hikes as well as stunning viewpoints.
Leave the car in the parking lot at the Tzanchanim grove, which has picnic tables perfect for a barbeque or snack at the end of the trip.
Take the paved footpath, which is also suitable for the disabled, and continue under the bridge on the Palmachim Road. This path leads toward the the Stone Dam and the Tortoise Island.
Then follow the footpath marked with short white poles which leads to the Cormorant Outlook. There are great views of the northern bank of the Sorek Stream from here.
Follow the path west toward the kurkar (calcareous sandstone) ridge and check out the caves, then continue toward the beautiful observation point looking out toward the sea. Head back towards the parking lot via the Cormorant Outlook.
To reach the starting point, exit Route 4 at the Gan-Rave Interchange. At the Ein-HaKore Junction take the road leading west (Palmachim). Follow signs to "The Tzanchanim Grove" parking lot and after a few meters left turn onto a dirt road and park the car at the end of this dirt road.