Israel hiking trail wins award

15th Oct 2012

More people could be checking out a trail in Israel which has been recognised in a prestigious round of awards.

The Beersheba "ring trail" claimed third place in the European Travellers' Association's annual environmental competition.

Measuring 42km, the hiking trail winds through various historical and heritage sites, parks and observatories. It's the only city-encompassing path in the country.

The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) and the Committee for Israel's Hiking Trails, which planned the pathway, were named the recipients of the award.

Various hiking trails were looked at in the contest, but the Beersheba claimed the prestigious honour thanks to its "inspiring" combination of environmental, leisure and social activities.

The urban-environmental model on which it is based was a primary reason for the award, judges said.

The idea for the trail came about in 2007, when teens participating in the SPNI's scouts programme accidentally came across Byzantine ruins on the outskirts of the city.

It was decided the ruins should be preserved and linked to all the sites surrounding Beersheba, also setting out clear lines along the trail to incorporate future urban development.


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