Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 18, 2012

1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail

This post kicks off the Hike the Bible series surveying major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible. This inaugural post reviews the 40-mile Jesus Trail from Nazareth to Capernaum.

The Jesus Trail was established in 2007. It re-creates possible routes that Jesus may have walked when He traveled from Nazareth to Capernaum near the beginning of His ministry (Luke 4:16-37). Jesus undoubtedly traversed all or parts of the trail during His sojourns in Galilee.

Visitors to Israel might want to incorporate hiking part of the trail in their itinerary. It gives a different perspective on the land from what one gets from riding in tour buses. The best way to get a feel for the land that Jesus knew is to hike the routes He most likely followed.

Hikers typically take 3 or 4 days to cover the entirety of the trail, but segments can be hiked to get a feel for the country.

Israeli summers can be hot, and winter rains can turn trails to muck. The best hiking months are March, April, and September through November.

The Jesus Trail
The objective of the Jesus Trail is to provide the best possible hiking routes between Biblical sites in Galilee, and to provide resources and services for hikers along the trails.

Here is the official Trail Guide and Map for the Jesus Trail. It includes accommodation and transportation information. A $25 guidebook is available here.

Here’s a complete Trail Network Map showing the main Jesus Trail and the major branch trails. This page includes both a schematic map and a topographical map.

Here are maps for Day Hikes on the Jesus Trail.

Here are the Jesus Trail Routes on Google Maps with topography.

The Jesus Trail has been mapped for GPS devices. You can rent hand-held GPS devices with pre-loaded Jesus Trail tracks, or you can download free GPS files (gpx or kmz formats) for your own GPS device. Click Jesus Trail GPS for rental info and GPS files.

Interesting sites on the Jesus Trail include:

  • Nazareth – where Jesus grew up.
  • Mt. Precipice – traditional site where the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off a cliff (Luke 4:28-30). Good views of Jezreel Valley, Mt. Tabor. This site is just south of Nazareth, but it’s at the end of the return loop of the Jesus Trail.
  • Mt. Tabor – traditional site of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8).
  • Sepphoris (Zippori) – important Roman administrative city in Jesus’ day; not mentioned in the New Testament.
  • Mash’had – claims to be the city where Jonah was born.
  • Cana – site where Jesus turned water to wine for a wedding (John 2:1-12) and where He performed a long-distance healing of the nobleman’s son in Capernaum (John 4:46-54). Hometown of Nathaniel (John 21:2).
  • Horns of Hattin – double extinct volcanic hills where Saladin defeated the Crusaders in 1187. Great view of the Sea of Galilee.
  • Nebi Shu’eib – claims to hold the tomb of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law.
  • Arbel Cliffs – bird’s-eye view of the region. Explore caves used in the 167 BC Maccabean Revolt. They were also used by Josephus in the defense of Galilee during the 66 AD revolt against Rome.
  • Magdala – hometown of Mary Magdalene.
  • Tabgha – traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-14).
  • Mount of Beatitudes – traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) where Jesus proclaimed the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).
  • Church of the Primacy of St. Peter – traditional site where Jesus ate with his disciples after His Resurrection (John 21).
  • Capernaum – base of Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:12-17).

Here is a 15-minute video documentary of a 3-day, 40-mile hike of the Jesus Trail from Nazareth to Capernaum. The hiking couple tried to recreate 1st-century conditions as much as possible by using 1st-century dress, cooking over fires, eating 1st-century Galilean food, and sleeping in tents. Many views of the trail show what it’s like. (Date: April 28, 2011)

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the first installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the sequel:
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday January 18, 2012 A.D.

Read my January 2012 newspaper column:
Adam’s Mythical Diary 5.

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)


  1. […] I think I can add this to a wish list for a visit to Israel some day: hiking the Jesus trail. […]


  2. Excellent write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site.
    Keep it up!


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