Dan - Nature Reserve
This web page focuses on the Nature reserve in Tell Dan, a natural wonderland of streams, springs, ponds, trees and hiking trails.
Judges 18 9: "...we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good".
This web page focuses on the nature reserve of Tell Dan, a water wonderland on the west side of the ancient site. The park has scores of brooks streaming into the Dan river, water ponds, walking trails among the trees and water, and a water-powered flour mill. While visiting ancient Dan, this natural playground adds to the fun of the Bible Walks.
For a general description of Dan - see the overview page.
The Dan river, originating from the springs at Tell Dan, is the largest of the three sources of the Jordan river. The other two are the Hermon (Banias) and the Snir streams.
Click on the photos to view in higher resolution...
The waters originate from two springs (Dan and Leshem) which are located on the north-western part of the site.
Watch & listen to a short video of this section. (due to its large size, 7MB, it may take some time to download, and the screen will be black until the file is downloaded)
Water seems to spring out of every corner.
Water, ferns, trees... In the dry country these sights are refreshing.
The water stream below seems to be purple, but this is a side effect of the photographic processing. However, the rainbow of colors in the nature reserve is indeed magical.
A hidden pond is located on the south side of the park. These cool, refreshing waters cast a relaxing atmosphere.
Watch & listen to a short video of this section. (due to its large size, 10MB, it may take some time to download, and the screen will be black until the file is downloaded)
The Tell Dan nature reserve, covering a total area of 120 acres, has four nature trails that cross or follow the brooks and water channels amid the dense plantation growing in this wonderland.
A number of pictures are included below, a sample of the sights along the trails.
Since the trail leads through some of the springs, there are some slippery stones... so be careful while walking the trails.
Water.. trail... trees...
In the reserve a variety of plants and trees: Syrian ash, Jerusalem thorn, Atlantic pistachio, Lotus (Ziziphus) Jujube, Alaternus, Christ's thorn and more. The tall treetops reach the sky, while at ground level there is always refreshing shade.
The fallen trees along the trails are admirable nature-made sculptures.
Even dead trees present interesting forms...
An ancient water-powered flour mill is located in the center of the nature reserve. It was built 150 years ago and operated until 1948.
The entrance to the mill, seen below, is locked.
The mill received its water from a water channel that taps to the upstream springs. The final section of the channel flows through a raised aqueduct, and the water then falls down into a chimney in the roof of the mill.
The following photo shows the entry point of the aqueduct, although it is hard to see it since the plantation totally covered it.
The water wheel was used to convert the falling water to turn a revolving shaft.
A view of the mill's structure is shown below.
The process of producing the flour was this: The falling water turned the water wheel, which spinned a vertical shaft attached to a grinding stone. The wheat grains were introduced into the wooden box (seen behind the opening in the wall), and the grains fell unto the grinding stone where they would be crushed, creating powder - flour. The flour was then collected and packed into sacks, and the owner kept one tenth of the yield as the fee.
* External sites on Tel Dan -
* Internal sites: