Park Canada- an Oasis Outside Jerusalem
No, this isn't a maple or ice hockey park, as the name may imply!
Park Canada, also known as Park Ayalon-Canada is a giant, gorgeous park, situated just east of the Ayalon Valley, right near Latrun. While the park is most definitely an Israeli park, the name Canada was added in recognition of the many donations made by the Canadian-Jewish community towards the establishment of the park.
The park is full of ancient historic sites, such as remnants of churches and monasteries, old burial caves, ancient aqueducts, and even a Crusader castle! There is much exploring to be done here, for any history buffs out there. It is said that this park is actually the home to many ancient battles held between the Israelites- Joshua and the Canaanites, and The Hasmoneans and Greeks- and their enemies. Some tunnels and forts from the Hasmonean and Bar Kochba time period are still intact as well!
In modern times, Park Canada was the site of many battles during Israel's War of Independence as well. Walk along the many paths of green grass and colorful wildflowers, and step back in time, as you walk through history.
If you are more of a nature lover, and love the touch of the cool and crisp air on your body, or want an afternoon in some refreshing spring water, Park Canada is for you. The park is filled with many natural springs and even a manmade pool, perfect for a nice day with family and friends! It is full of shade, picnic tables, and lots of shade!
There are multiple hiking trails to choose from, with some of the most beautiful views of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. One of the lookout points, as you enter the park, actually has remnants of an ancient winepress carved into the stone!
So gather your friends, some food and drinks, a bathing suit, and sunscreen, and enjoy a wonderful day at this FREE national park!
Open every day between 06:00-20:00