Part of the fun of staffing trips multiple times is getting to see changes to various sites. The Majrase is a perfect example of this. The Marjrase Nature Reserve is located in northern part of Israel in the Galilee region on the Daliyot Stream (nahal in Hebrew). It is believed that the name, meaning grinder, comes from the gristmills once found in this area. When I was there last year, I would have called it “acceptable.” Nothing to write home about (or blog about) but certainly not the worst site we visited.
However, they have done major work over the past year to make it more handicap accessible in a way that integrates the accessible pathway with the typical path beautifully. The Majrase is a path that goes through the river; literally you walk in the river for 90% of the hike. It starts about ankle deep with a step down from the path and ends about knee deep at a staircase to walk up the riverbed. They have now added a paved walking path, called the “dry trail,” which parallels the “water trail.” In addition, there are three spots for viewpoints where people walking on either of the two trails can interact. Sol and I took the “dry trail” stopping at each viewpoint to wave to his friends. Then when we arrived at the exit point, Sol was able to take the steps down to the water and enter the stream where it is not nearly as slippery or rocky.
It’s amazing to watch places like this increase their accessibility. In fact, while we were splashing around in the water, the Majrase staff was paving a platform which will make it easier to get in and out of the water at the exit point. I look forward to visiting again and seeing even more developments for the disabled!