• Shouf Biosphere Entrances

HEAD OFFICE, MAASSER PARK HOUSE

The headquarters of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve is located in a restored and refurbished Lebanese house in the main square of Maasser el Shouf. In addition to providing visitors with information, rest rooms, conference room, gift shop, bike rental station, and walking/hiking needs, it also serves as the administrative center of the Reserve. Thanks to funds from Agence Francaise pour le Developpement (AFD) and the Maasser el Shouf Municipality the Reserve was able to purchase an old house of Levantine/Ottoman architecture in the main town square. During 2009 – 2010 the Park House was completely rehabilitated thanks to funds from the Italian Cooperation in collaboration with Directorate General of Antiquities. The work was executed by local craftsmen experienced in traditional stone and iron work. A sustainable solar energy system, generating electricity for 6 hours per day, was installed in September 2010.

RESERVE ENTRANCES

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MAASSER CEDAR FOREST

The Maasser entrance opens directly onto 16 hectares of the oldest and most impressive cedar trees. It is also famous for the old Lamartine cedar tree that overlooks the western slopes of Mount Lebanon. The wooden hut at the entrance provides tourist information, rest rooms, and a gift shop with organic products and souvenir items. The Maasser forest has several self guided walking trails as well as a qualified guides for longer trails.

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BAROUK CEDAR FOREST

The Barouk entrance is located 2 km from the center of Barouk and includes tourist information, rest rooms, and a gift shop for organic products. From the Barouk entrance there are several hiking trails one can follow to explore over 400 hectares of cedar forest. For bird and animal lovers, there is a stone “blind” above the “Hill lake” to observe wildlife. Visitors can also adopt a cedar tree at the entrance.

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AIN ZHALTA/BMOHRAY CEDAR FOREST

This entrance is located 4 km from Nabe el Safa and includes tourist information, gift shop, organic products, and rest rooms. There are a number of hiking trails covering 170 hectares of cedar forest.

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MROSTI ENTRANCE

The Mrosti entrance is a newly established gate through which you can reach the Roman oak trail with its old trees and a wonderful panoramic view to the western villages of the Reserve.

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NIHA FORT

This entrance provides visitor information and a gift shop for organic products and souvenir items. Rest rooms are available. A quick hike will lead you to the medieval Niha fort that overlooks the Aray and Marj Bisri valleys. A much longer hike will take you to the Nebi Ayyoub Shrine – a majestic place where you can enjoy one of the best views of the Lebanese mountains.

AMMIQ PARKHOUSE, TAWLET AMMIQ

This entrance was recently built to exacting specifications and is considered the most eco-friendly building in Lebanon. The building also serves as an information center, conference room, gift shop, and sells some of the finest wines from the Bekaa. An old walking trail from Ammiq to the Shouf is very popular.

Opening hours: Entrances: Summer (9:30-18:00); Winter (10:00-16:00) Head Office: Summer (8:30-16:30); Winter (8:30-15:30)