The Israel National Trail: Background information when reading To the End of the Land

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

To the End of the Land

A Novel

by David Grossman

To the End of the Land by David Grossman X
To the End of the Land by David Grossman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 592 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2011, 672 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Israel National Trail

Print Review

In To the End of the Land, the central characters backpack along the northern stretch of the Israel National Trail, which is also known as "The Galilee."

The Israel National Trail (INT) is a 597 mile long (955 km) hiking trail that crosses the entire country of Israel, north to south, running from the city of Dan on the Lebanese border to Eilat on the Red Sea (map).  The trail offers remarkable variety, winding through deserts, forests and mountains, as well as providing access to historical and archaeological sites.

The INT was the brainchild of Avraham Tamir, a writer and journalist for an Israeli children's magazine.  In 1980 he hiked the Appalachian Trail in the United States, and returned home with the idea that a similar long-distance hiking trail could be created in Israel.  He approached the Israel Trails Committee (ITC), and its director, Ori Devir, fell in love with the idea.  Through fifteen years of hard work, the committee eventually pieced together a network of existing trails into what is now the INT.  The ITC conducted an opening ceremony on Passover, 1995, presided over by then-president Ezer Weitzmann.

trail marker The trail is well-marked with tri-color blazes, orange, blue and white.  The white strip always points north, while the orange points south, making it difficult to get lost.   In addition to fortress ruins and monuments, the trail passes through many small villages and kibbutzim, making resupply easy.  There are also numerous "trail angels" along the route who offer lodging to through-hikers. The trail does not cross the disputed territories of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Tens of thousands hike parts of the INT every year, although not many have the time or stamina to complete the full trail in one season.   It takes 30 to 70 days of continuous travel to cover the entire length on foot.  Most who attempt it are Israeli, although it's gaining popularity with international tourists.  The sections that pass through or near well-known tourist attractions are often very busy, but most sections of the trail are quiet and peaceful.

People primarily traverse the trail from north to south.  The northern areas are less rugged, with more water and more opportunities for resupply.  It's consequently easier to fix gear and food errors in the north than it would be in the southern regions of the trail, which pass through largely unpopulated desert.  A typical long-distance hike will start in the spring (February – May) as there is still adequate water during that time of year along most of the trail.

Article by Kim Kovacs

This article was originally published in October 2010, and has been updated for the August 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.