On the way to Haifa, to visit my amazingly lucid 99 years old mom, this past glorious most warm sunny winter Saturday, we got diverted off the direct shore course, yet most congested Hwy 2 , in favor of a stop at the National Sharon Forest Park, which is situated in Hedera, off the older Hwy 4, . that leads from TLV to Haifa.
(entrance through the Hadera West Railway Station or behind Hedera Dor Alon Gaz station on Hwy 4)
The 6,000 dunam park, where we spent only a short hour, consists of a remnant from the swamps which used to cover the whole region, causing malaria disease and preventing the cultivation of the land.
Instead of the swamps which were dried out. with the help of planted Eucalyptus trees
financed by the Baron Rothschild and drainage tunnels, a small charming winter pool/lake welcomed us, surrounded by many tall eucalyptus trees, planted there in the early twentieth in order to dry out the swamps..
Further more, the large area which once was also populated by extended Oak forest that covered the country from the Hermon mountain in the North, to Ayalon stream in the south, consists now of a large forest full of Carob and Mount Tabor Oak trees.
The green flat grassy lawn surrounding the winter pool, were dotted by many picnicking families who frequented the park with their loads of kids.
The children were running after each other or after the dogs that lead the way, as if taken from an impressionism painting. .
A croaking musical quire of unseen frogs was loudly heard at the walking trails around the lake's water edge. And along the trails over the hilly sand dunes which stretch toward the near by sea shore, patches of spectacular wild flowers covering the still muddy earth, were trampled by annoying speedy small off-road vehicles.
Heron/egret were either resting by the water, or hoovering and scouting for the "catch of the day" .
The park is well worth a visit in winter time, and for more than just an hour,.
But the need to continue to Haifa, had us take this last glance at the natural
beauty of the park, and then we went on our way.