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ajloun forest reserve Your Evergreen Escape

Reserve and Trails Guide | Map


Ajloun Forest Reserve Located in the Ajloun Highlands in the north of Jordan, this beautiful nature reserve consists of 13 km2 of rolling hill country dominated by open woodlands that are home to a diverse collection of plant and animal species. The rich greenery makes Ajloun a popular spot for picnickers and hikers, especially in the spring, when the reserve is coated in a wide variety of wildflowers. Ajloun Forest Reserve was established in 1987 to help conserve the important Evergreen Oak forest ecosystem. Its trees account for a significant part of Jordan's forested area, which covers only about 1% of the country. After the reserves establishment, RSCN initiated a captive breeding program aiming to reintroduce the locally extinct Roe Deer in 1988, RSCN has managed to release a number of Roe Deer into the reserve, where they have continued to grow within their natural habitat.

Staying in Ajloun Forest Reserve

Lodging is located in a large grassy clearing enclosed by carob, oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees. There are 5 cabins offering private facilities and small terraces open all year round and 10 four-person tented bungalows with nearby showers and toilets that are open from mid March to the end of October. Near the campsite, you will

find a visitor center, restaurant, meeting room, and The Nature Shop that is full of creative handicrafts made by the local people living in and around RSCN's nature reserves. You can also find peaceful seclusion in the Biscuit House B&B located in Orjan village deep in the fig and pomegranate laden valley, offering 2 rooms with a capacity of 8-9. The B&B is open year-round.


Ajloun Handicrafts from Nature

Make sure to visit Ajloun Houses that are located in the nearby Rasun and Orjan villages:

the local community. Tasali presents a new spirit of Jordanian delights. Products include molasses and tahini sandwich cookies, olive oil crisps, and energy bars.

The Soap House

At the Soap House located in Orjan village, local women use a variety of local ingredients, including lavender, geranium, mint and pomegranate, to create high-quality handmade natural olive oil soaps called Orjan Soap.

Orjan soaps are all produced using pure olive oil, combined with other natural oils, plant extracts, and pure essential oils.

House of Calligraphy

Want to learn more about the Jordanian culture and the Arabic language? Visit the House of Calligraphy in Rasun village. It offers tourists and locals alike the chance to have their names and favorite phrases written in fine Arabic script on leather, clothes or silk, as well as to interact with local workers in the area.

The Biscuit House

The Biscuit House located in Orjan village is the kitchen where Tasali Jordanian delights are created. These products are handmade by local women and consist of natural ingredients, some of which are produced by

The Nature Shop

Browse through the Nature Shop and find truly original gifts and souvenirs. This shop contains nature crafts produced by the local people at the reserves.


Activities Soap House Trail (year-round)

Guided or self-guided Grade: Moderate Distance: 6-7 km Time: 2-3 hours

Group size: 4-18 people

Roe Deer Trail (year-round)

Guided or self-guided Grade: Easy

Distance: 2Km

Time: Less than 1 hour

Group size: 4-18 people Description

This short circular trail starts at the campsite and offers great views over the reserve. Not far from the campsite you will find an old stone wine press. Early in the morning, you may be lucky enough to see Roe deer before you return to the visitor center.

Description This trail begins at the Reserve's Visitor Center and takes you to the Soap House in the neighboring village of Orjan. On the way, you will hike through thick, healthy woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, and oriental strawberry trees. Take a short detour to view a ruined wine press before you pass one of the oldest strawberry trees in the Reserve on your way down into the valley. The trail climbs to 1100m above sea level at Eagle's View Point, and then descends to the Soap House where local women follow the traditional process of making Orjan pure olive soap. * You can continue walking The Houses Trail or the Village Tour once you have reached The Soap House


Orjan Village Trail (year-round) Guided only

Grade: Moderate Distance: 12 km Time: 6 hours

Group size: 4-18 people

The Houses Trail (year-round) Guided only

Grade: Moderate Distance: 6-7 km

Description Continuing from the Soap House, this tour takes you through wooded valleys to the lush green orchards of Orjan village, giving you the chance to discover the rural lifestyle of the region.

Time: 3-4 hours 40 minute walk between the houses; extra 1-2 hours are given for the houses visit Group size: min. 4 and above Description

This trail takes you through a tour of Ajloun’s popular three houses; The Soap House and The Biscuit House in Orjan village and the House of Calligraphy in Rasun village. From the Eagle’s View Point you can descend towards the House of Calligraphy, then wind your way to the other two houses. An alternative route takes you first from the Soap House. At the House of Calligraphy, you can take the first steps towards learning how to write some Arabic words. At The Biscuit House, you can visit the workshop where Tasali Jordanian delights are created.

A poplar-lined spring provides a wonderful contrast to the arid mountains of the previous stages of the trail. As you hike, note the dramatic rock walls, old water mills once used by local people to grind their seeds and the hollow walnut tree. Enjoy a delicious traditional meal in an orchard of fig, pomegranate, apple and apricot trees.


Rockrose Trail (year-round) Guided only

Grade: Moderate Distance: 8 km

Time: 3-4 hours

Group size: 4-18 people Description

Named for the flowers that can be seen around the trail every spring, this hiking loop passes through thick woodlands, orchards, farms and villages in and around the reserve. It offers beautiful views of the West Bank, Syria, and the Jordanian countryside. About halfway through the hike, observe the wine and olive press from the Byzantine and Roman eras, and just before reaching the end of the trail, rest in the shade of a large Maloul tree. Each season has different vegetation to enjoy. The first half of the trail is uphill and the second half is downhill; there are steep scrambles en-route that demand a reasonable level of fitness.

The Prophet’s Trail (year-round)

Guided (donkey assisted) Grade: Moderate Distance: 8.5 km Time: 4 hours

Group size: 4-18 people Description

This hike takes you from Ajloun Forest Reserve Visitor Center to Mar Elias, the ruins of one of Jordan's oldest churches. It is named for the Prophet Elias, or Elijah, to whom Mar Elias is dedicated. The trail leads through fig and pear orchards, amongst forests of oak and oriental strawberry trees. The stone walls that crisscross the valley guard the farmers' crops inside from both the winter rains and wild boar. Relax in the shade with a glass of tea before climbing to the hilltop ruins, which provide sweeping views of the surrounding area. The hike also includes a locally prepared picnic lunch near the ruins.


Nearby Attractions Ajloun Castle Trail

(year-round, except during Ramadan) Guided (donkey assisted)

Grade: Difficult with steep Inclines Distance: 18 km or 9.5 km from Mar Elias

Time: Fulll day or 4 hours from Mar Elias

Ajloun Castle

(14 km)Located in the town of Ajloun, known as Qal'at Ar-Rabad. The fortress was built by Saladin's nephew Izz Al-Din Usama in (1184 AD) to protect the country from the Crusader attacks, and is a fine example of Islamic architecture.

Group size: 4-18 people

Description Once you have reached Mar Elias, you have the option of continuing on this challenging trail, which takes you by small farm house and their adjacent orchards on your way to Ajloun Castle, built between AD 1184-1188 by Salahadin's nephew. In the first section of the trail you can enjoy views of the West Bank and Syria, before you descend into a wooded valley. The final difficult uphill is rewarded by the incredible castle and the marvelous views that accompany it. The hike also includes a locally prepared picnic lunch.

Jerash

(Around 22 km east of Ajloun) Jordan’s second most important tourist site. This famous Roman City, Gerasa, belonged to the ten cities of the Decapolis and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Roman architecture outside Rome.

Um Qais & Yarmouk Nature Reserve (60 km north of Ajloun), Umm Qais another Roman site on the northern border of Jordan, overlooking the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee.

Yarmouk Nature Reserve, is one of the newly established reserves in Jordan and home to Jordan’s national tree “Al Maloul”. It is an area that speaks volumes about who we are both as a nation and as a people and, thanks to the conservation efforts of RSCN, it will continue to bear witness to our history for generations to come.


Ain al Baidha

Ajloun Trails Map

The Biscuit House

T H

Return by Bus

r Wadi A

Eagle’s View Po

Wadi Ar Rayyan

Orjan

Rayyan

AjlounCastle Trail Map

View Point Mar Elias Brunch Returnby Bus

View Point of Or Rasun Villages

A Yard

Old Wine an Olive Press The Su Main V

Nature Water Jar Lunch Break Point Nature Curved Stones

Baun

Trail Stops Ajloun Castle Old Pistachio Tree Bus Tea Time

A Big Space Surrounded by Trees w Wadi Bau’

Wa Tourism Trails di The Prophet’s Trail Ar Ra yya n Ajloun Castle Trail

View Point to We Bank Mountains

n

Al-jubb Valley

Shiteau Va

eau

it Wadi Sh

Donkey Rendezvous

Tea Time Old Pistachio Tree

Mihna

Tea Time Ajloun Castle

Return by Bus

Wadi Bau’wn

Mihna

View Point Mar Elias Brunch Return by Bus

Ishtafaina

Kilometers


ma

ala

zZ

iA

d Wa

Lunch Break Bus Ajloun Castle

Donkey Rendezvous

iA ad W

Tea Time

a am al zZ

Visitor Center View Point Big Oak Tree House

Rasun

House of Calligraphy

Site of Interest The Quarry Eagle’s View Point Big Space with Trees The Reserve Gate

oint

Spring Trail Mark Village Spot Height

Tourism Trails

Soap House Trail The Houses Trail Orjan Village Trail Roe Deer Trail-Long Roe Deer Trail-Short Rockrose Trail The Prophet’s Trail

WaAjloun Castle di Kh al MainlatRoads Um ar

Trail

Secondary Roads

rjan and

ummit View Point

Wadi

Wadi Khallat Um ar

nd

alley

Roe Deer Trail

Old Pistachio Tree

The Soap House

est s

Activities Highlights

Trail Stops

Reserve Boundary

Elevation in Meters 1200 - 1300

Wadi K ha

llat Um ar

Beginning of Wadi Rasun

1100 - 1200

To Wadi Rasun

1000 - 1100 900 - 1000

View Point for the Visitor Center

800 - 900 700 - 800 600 - 700

Paved Street The Reserve Gate

500 - 600

The Visitor Center

400 - 500 300 - 400

Big Oak Tree The Quarry

200 - 300 100 - 200

Fruit Orchards

0

Wadi al A

- 100

- 100- 0

lqa

- 200- - 100 - 300- - 200 - 360- 300

Um el Yanabee

Short trail offering great views, a visit to the old stone winepress, and a chance to spot roe deer.

Soap House Trail Take in the sights at the Eagle’s View Point and watch local women produce natural olive oil soap.

The Houses Trail Visit Ajloun houses; The Soap House, House of Calligraphy and The Biscuit House in the villages of Orjan and Rasun.

Orjan Village Trail Hike through the reserve, visit the Soap House, and enjoy a traditional homemade brunch.

Rock Rose Trail Pass through heavily wooded valleys and ridges, offering beautiful panoramic views of the West Bank and Syria.

The Prophet’s Trail Hike towards the beautiful church mosaics of Mar Elias and savor a locally prepared lunch.

Tiyyara

Ajloun Castle Trail

a

di Wa

hna

Ma

Continue on from The Prophet’s Trail through orchards to reach the historical Ajloun Castle.

All of the trails begin from the Reserve’s visitor center. Trails availability vary according to weather conditions and Ramadan, so it is always recommended to check before you book any hike.


How to Get There

Irbid

Ajloun Forest Reserve

Mafraq

Dibeen Forest Reserve

Jerash

Balqa

Main Road Established Reserve

About 85 km to Ajloun Reserve

Ajloun

Zarqa

Amman

From Amman, the trip to Ajloun is 85 km and takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Go to Jerash, taking the ring road (Jordan Street) out of Amman. Once you reach Jerash, follow the signs to Ajloun. Enter Ajloun City and at the Ajloun circle, go straight toward Eshtafena. 5 km from the Ajloun circle you will find the Eshtafena junction. At the junction, turn left towards Ajloun Forest Reserve. Follow the signs to the site.


Hiking Tips Hit trails early for the best chance of seeing wildlife and to avoid being exposed to the sun during the hottest part of the day. Stay on trails to avoid injury.

Weather Ajloun has a mild, Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and cool, damp winters. The hottest period is between June and September, when average temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius, while rain and snow are common from December to February. What to Bring Cap, sunscreen, bathing suit, comfortable shoes and clothes, drinking water, snacks, backpack, flashlight, extra clothes, binoculars, ID, wildlife guides, first aid kit. The Reserve is not responsible for the loss of any valuable belongings.

To get through a heavy day’s hike, rest at regular intervals and enjoy the views. Don’t overdo it! Wildlife Ajloun Forest Reserve holds the presence of several faunal species, which is restricted in its distribution to the forested habitats of Jordan such as the Stone Marten and the Persian Squirrel. Moreover, other species were recorded in the reserve including the Wolf, Asiatic Jackal, Hyaena, Red Fox and the Indian Crested Porcupine. As well, the reserve is characterized by extraordinary floral contents where several common trees species are present such as Evergreen Oak, Pine, Carob, Wild Pistachio and Oriental Strawberry Tree. Other annual plant species, including Black Iris, anemones, rock roses, several orchids, and wild tulips were recorded in the reserve.


Useful Arabic Words English Word Hi

Arabic Pronunciation

Arabic Translation

Marhaba

îòăĎŃ

Ahlan wa Sahlan

‘ ŌēōŜ ‘ ŋã Ŝ

Good morning

Sabah al Khayr Sabah al Noor

ĎŔĈĿíāîòě čŎňĿíāîòě

Good evening Response

Masa' al Khayr Masa' al Noor

ĎŔĈĿíàîĔŃ čŎňĿíàîĔŃ

(male) Shu Ismak?

ĺńēíŎė

Shu Ismik?

ĺńēíŎė –

Welcome Response

What is your name? (female) My name is...

Ismi...

Œńēí

I am... fine

Ana... kwies(eh)

ĺĿîăIJŔĻ ĺ–ĿîăIJŔĻ îŇí (ó ĒœŎĻ

Please

Low Samaht

öĄńēŎĿ

How are you? (male)

Keef Halak?

(female)

Keef Halik?

Thank you

Shukran

Response

You're welcome

Goodbye

Masalama

No I'm sorry No Problem Yes

La Asif(eh) Mafi Mushkila Aywa

‘íĎļė ‘íŎĴī

ôŃŜĔĿíĪŃ ś (ó IJēá ôŀļĘŃŒijîŃ ʼnŎœí ĖœĊķ

How much?

Gdaish or Adaish

I need help

Bidi musaadah

óĊīîĔŃőĊŔñ

I don't understand

Mish fahem(eh)

(ó łŋîijĖŃ

(To describe a female, add an 'eh' at the end)


Rules and Regulations • Stay on the trails with the guide and do not wander alone in the Reserve; camp and climb only in official sites. • Protect all nature; no hunting or collecting of plants, animals, rocks, artifacts, or firewood. Leave things as you find them. • Avoid damaging trees and shrubs; do not add graffiti anywhere within the reserve. • Respect nature; keep noise to a minimum, be kind to living creatures. • Respect the lifestyle of the local people and ask before taking pictures. • Keep the area clean and deposit your litter in the appropriate place. • Leave your vehicles in the parking area.


The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and Wild Jordan Created in 1966 under the patronage of His Majesty the late King Hussein, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) is a non-governmental organization devoted to the conservation of Jordan's natural environment. Wild Jordan is the socio-economic development and eco-tourism division of RSCN that is dedicated to developing viable naturebased businesses for those living in and around RSCN’s protected areas while generating support for nature conservation throughout Jordan.

RSCN Membership

Becoming an RSCN Member is great for both you and nature! For information, contact (+962 6) 5337 931 member@rscn.org.jo

Contact us

For booking and infomration contact Tourism Unit at Wild Jordan Tel: (+962 6) 4616 523 email:tourism@rscn.org.jo or contact Ajloun Reserve directly at Tel: (+962 7) 9 9062 210 email:ajlounreservation@rscn.org.jo

www.rscn.org.jo

Follow us on wildJordan1

@rscnjordan

rscnjordan

Ajloun Forest Reserve hiking trails  

Hiking trails in Ajloun forest reserve, Jordan

Ajloun Forest Reserve hiking trails  

Hiking trails in Ajloun forest reserve, Jordan

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