On the 20th of March 1938, during the initial stage of the establishment of the settlement on the top of Mount Hanita, as part of the Stockade and Tower operation, the settlers built an intermediate camp at the upper part of the Hanita Forest. The camp that was called ‘Lower Hanita’ currently encompasses the Stockade and Tower. At the site- reached by turning off from highway 8993 ascending from Shlomi towards Kibbutz Hanita- visitors will find a full scale reconstruction of a Stockade and Tower like that which pioneers used to build overnight upon establishing a new settlement; besides a spacious parking area comprising explanatory signs, KAKAL (Jewish National Fund) picnic tables, outdoor grill facilities, a bonfire site and water-fountains.
בVisitors will realize, fairly quickly, that the tower is more than enough for the children: something in climbing this tower makes it addictive to them, leaving everyone with sweet memories. The parking area is accessible and adapted to the disabled.
At the lower part of Hanita Forest, near the Shlomi intersection, there is another parking area that includes picnic tables and water fountains, however, contrary to the previous one; this parking area is not accessible to the disabled. The Be’er stream trail, starting here, is comfortable and suitable for the entire family. This and other forest trails will lead travelers by car or on foot among coniferous forest trees and orchard trees. The forest vegetation also includes seasonal Geophytes, orchids and annual plants.
Those who wish to enjoy a beautiful outlook on the villages of South Lebanon and the valley of Tyre, can continue driving upwards to the northern gate of the Kibbutz, where they will join the signed trail to the summit of the ancient settlement of Tel al-Marad, whose remains can be seen here.
For information only: On the northern slope of the hill is a karst cave known as the Ladder Cave (Me‘arat Sullam), which is now closed to the public for safety reasons. Broken clay pottery from the Hellenistic and the Chalcolithic period were found here. During the struggle to establish the State of Israel this cave served to conceal Palmach members following the failed attempt to blow up the bridge at Al-Zib during the “night of the bridges” (Haganah operation) (see Yad la-Yud Dalet memorial).
The visit in Hanita Forest can be concluded at the unique museum located in the kibbutz (see the Stockade and Tower Museum), that includes, alongside the division describing the establishment of the settlement, a division of archeology and a division of nature.