Featured Photo

Photos of the most epic hiking trail you've never heard of

I walked 17 miles from the city to the country with famous behavioral economist Dan Ariely.


April 10, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
The canoe ride I wish I could go on.The canoe ride I wish I could go on.Photo: Ilana E. Strauss
April 10, 2017 | Latest Photo

I decided to celebrate breaking and healing my foot by walking 17 miles across Israel. I wasn't alone: Dan Ariely, a famous Israeli behavioral economist and Duke University professor, invited the world to join him in a hike to celebrate his birthday. A bunch of his Facebook followers and I came along for what turned out to be a very intellectual hike along the Israel National Trail, a 680-mile path that runs all the way through the country.

The portion of the hike I joined him for started in Yarkon Park, a gigantic park in the Mediterranean metropolis of Tel Aviv, and ran far from the city into the country. Naturally, I took a lot of photos along the way.

Dan Ariely pointing out the Israeli National Trail marker.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Dan Ariely pointed out the Israel National Trail marker.

Only four out of 10 people hiking the trail complete it.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Only four out of 10 people hiking the trail complete it.

The hike began in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park actually reminded me a lot of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

These plants really spiced up the park.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

I wasn't the only one to stop and take a photo of these gorgeous bunches of purple flowers.

The trail was named one of National Geographic's 20 most epic trails.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We eventually hiked out of the park and into the country.

A lemon growing in an orchard by the trail.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Fruit grew in orchards by the trail, including this attractive lemon.

We had no idea what this structure was, other than a pretty cool trail marker.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We had no idea what this structure was, other than a pretty cool trail marker.

The trails runs through historical sites as well as natural areas and farmland.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

The trail runs through historical sites as well as natural areas and farmland.

The flora and fauna change by the seasons.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We also told embarrassing stories about ourselves. Mine involved an attempt to boil chocolate chip cookie dough like dumplings.

We had to take off our shoes and walk through a lot of these puddles.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We had to take off our shoes and walk through a lot of these puddles. I got to practice my new favorite hobby: walking barefoot.

The trails runs for almost 700 miles. (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

As we surveyed the beautiful landscapes, we talked about behavioral economics. I wish my college classes could have been more like this.

We weren't sure what these plants were for. Either hummus, peanuts or something else.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We weren't sure what these plants were for. Either hummus, peanuts or something else.

You know when you're walking through farmland and there are tons of people on motorcycles everywhere?(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

You know when you're walking through farmland and you see people riding motorcycles everywhere?

Taking a break to eat pita and then wish we had more pita.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

We took a break to eat pita and wished we had more pita.

We ran across kids splashing in puddles along the way.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Local kids had way more fun splashing in puddles than we did.

Lots of pretty fantastic flowers on the hike ...Lots of pretty fantastic flowers on the hike ... (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

National Geographic named the Israel National Trail one of 20 most epic trails in the world.

Selfie with Dan Ariely and me!Dan and Ilana. (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

No hike is complete without a selfie.

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: National Parks

comments powered by Disqus