Today, we went to the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. Tel Dan was once a Canaanite City, then the central city for the Tribe of Dan during the time of Joshua. It is the location of Nahal Dan (Dan River) which feeds into the Jordan River. There are archeological remains from the City of Dan and a Canaanite Gate. In addition there are lots of different plant samples and a wading pool full of very cold water.
The best part of Tel Dan is how accessible the grounds are. They have a boardwalk that goes from the main entrance down to the wading pool (top-left picture). From the wading pool you can take a concrete path up to the Dan City walls and then continue on to the Canaanite Gate (middle-right picture).
But Tel Dan isn’t just paving roads; they are consciously creating an experience for those with physical disabilities. If you look at the bottom-left picture, it shows a concrete semi-circle added to the pathway. When we stopped and spoke to a groundskeeper, he explained they added this semi-circle so that people in wheelchairs could see straight through to the City of Dan gate. Without this added semi- circle, people limited to the walkway can only see the walls of the city and the gate at a sharp angle. I was so impressed with their attention to detail and desire to create a complete and meaningful experience for all their visitors.
And it doesn’t stop there. The picture on the bottom-right shows construction currently taking place to continue expanding Tel Dan’s accessibility. The grounds are quite large and include a lot of areas with tree roots and rocks. They are adding more walkways and cement paths. While there, we saw a number of groups with participants in wheelchairs or limited mobility. It’s exciting to see people with varying abilities and disabilities sharing a pathway that has been walked by so many before.