Several years ago some private individuals developed the “Jesus Trail” for travelers who wished to walk from Nazareth to Capernaum. We described this effort at some length last year. Yesterday the government Israel dedicated the “Gospel Trail,” a route that travels the same ground as the “Jesus Trail” and apparently competes with it. The Jerusalem Post reports on the story:
Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov inaugurated on Tuesday the new Gospel Trail pilgrimage route which has been created by the Ministry of Tourism along with the Jewish National Fund.
The trail, which cost NIS 3 million to develop over three years, is designed to further increase the already large numbers of Christian tourists and pilgrims who visit Israel each year.
The route of the Gospel Trail follows the path which Jesus walked at age 30 after he was evicted from Nazareth, as related by the New Testament.
The trail, which runs for 63 kilometers, starts at Mount Precipice just outside Nazareth and continues eastwards down to Capernaum, taking in a number of important Christian holy sites.
These include the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount; Magdala (Migdal today) the home of Mary Magadelene; Tabgha, the site of the Feeding of the Five Thousand; and Capernaum, where Jesus established his ministry and met his first disciple Peter.
Those traveling the trail will be able to do so by car, bicycle and, more traditionally, on foot – despite the current lack of amenities and accommodation along the route. The ministry says it is working on a program to encourage entrepreneurs to develop tourist facilities to provide services for those walking the trail.
The story includes a 3.5 minute video which features interviews with Christian pilgrims pleased with the announcement.
A search for Gospel Trail takes one to www.gospeltrail.com, a site owned by Jesus Trail™.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism website includes a description of the Gospel Trail route and the infrastructure created by the $700,000 investment. The site also includes links to a 12-page booklet (which includes the map posted below), a stage-by-stage guide, and a high-resolution satellite map with the trail marked.