Geography of Israel: The Gospel Trail
The Gospel, or Jesus, Trail offers pilgrims and tourists, individuals and groups, the opportunity to discover the cradle of Christianity by experiencing – both physically and spiritually – the same biblical landscapes and sites of the Galilee where Jesus and his disciples once walked. The Gospel Trail incorporates over 60 kilometers (40 miles) of specially-signposted footpaths and roads which can be traveled on foot, by bicycle and/or car, culminating in the spiritual highlight of sailing on the Sea of Galilee.
Route of the Gospel Trail
The modular trail, which became fully open to the public in November 2011, follows historical routes and paths that Jesus is believed to have taken when he left Nazareth, the home of his childhood, for Capernaum on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which became the center of his ministry. Luke 4: 29 -31: “And they led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, he went his way. Then he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee…”
The main section of the trail, which begins at Mount Precipice, includes Jezreel Valley, Beit Qeshet Oak Reserve, along the Arbel Mountain through Magdala, Tabgha and Capernaum. Secondary routes of the Gospel Trail will take visitors to Mount Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration, Kafr Kanna, the Horns of Hitim, Mount Arbel, and the Mount of Beatitudes. All of these routes will end at the main destination at the Capernaum center, where Gospel Trail walkers will be able to continue their spiritual journey on the Sea of Galilee itself. A special dock has been constructed, and there will be areas for prayer and inspirational solitude on the shoreline.
The Israel Tourism Ministry in cooperation with KKL-JNF invested more than $700,000 in the Gospel Trail's infrastructure. This includes unique signage hewn into basalt rocks that blend into the natural landscape and feature the relevant scripture readings for the site, safety barriers, shaded rest areas, stone benches, picnic sites and tourist information.
Sources: Israel Ministry of Tourism