Shiloh ATVs: It’s Not Just Adrenaline

Shimshon Citrin is an outdoors kind of guy. As a child, he grew up playing with the horses at his father’s ranch, but even then, he loved ATVs. “I’m not a man of words,” he admits. “Let’s go out for a drive, so you can get a feel for the vehicle and the region.” It’s a burning hot summer afternoon, and my expectations, to tell the truth, aren’t too high. But Shimshon and I set out with Shiloh ATVs.

Shiloh ATV 1

Poetically Extreme: The Sharp Transition from Pumping Adrenaline to Complete Serenity

As we exit the community, Shimshon turns off the paved road to a narrow, winding dirt path, and we’re off. The adrenaline starts to flow, as I start realizing that I’ve embarked on an adventure. Shimshon is totally confident and unafraid, and offers explanations about the landscape we see all around us. So many dirt paths, and not one that he hasn’t memorized. I clutch the handle on the door for dear life as Shimshon continues the off-road driving as if it’s a totally casual experience. “I wonder what it looks like when you drive alone,” I comment, never uncurling my fingers from around the handle. “Um,” he laughs, “much faster than this!”

Driving with Shimshon, you can feel his love for the vehicle he is steering as well as his love for the mountains, springs and various vantage points along the way. The experience is such an interesting combination of emotions: on one hand, driving in the Ranger makes your heartbeat go up and your excitement peak. On the other hand, when the Ranger’s loud engine goes quiet next to a spring or a gorgeous overlook, all of a sudden, the noise and quick rush is transformed into utter silence, tranquility and a breathtaking view. This is definitely a singular experience.

“Everyone who comes on a tour - leaves ecstatic”

As we drive, between catching my breath, I manage to talk to Shimshon about his passion for off-road driving and the Shiloh ATVs experience.

Did you always figure that your love for this vehicle would turn into a business one day?
Truthfully, no. This business has been running for a year and a half, but before that, I worked for many years in various jobs. I was a lifeguard, I worked at a local winery and as a construction worker. Afterward, I managed the “Etz Hasadeh” flour mill for five years. At some point, I opened a company that sold products from Judea and Samaria all over Israel, and when the company was sold, I opened this business.

What about ATVs attracts you so much?
I’ve always been crazy for off-roading. On our ranch, even as a little boy, I always loved riding on the ATV. Of course, I loved the horses too, but I’m crazy about driving. It’s my true love, and what constantly pushes me forward is my love for this region and its landscapes.

Shiloh ATV 2

What do you mean when you say that the region pushes you forward?
Look, every path, corner and spring here are a fascinating discovery for visitors. I have the opportunity to help visitors see and get to know this gorgeous region of our country. It’s something that’s important to me, and I enjoy seeing how visitors are so taken aback by the beauty of the land, time and time again.

Do you think that anyone can enjoy driving an ATV?
The Ranger tours are self-driven tours. After a year and a half of running this business and meeting so many visitors, I can guarantee to you that everyone who leaves for a drive comes back simply ecstatic. Thousands of trips have been made and all of the people have come back beaming with excitement, even if they had no prior experience with off-road driving.

What do you think causes this reaction?
First of all, it’s a drive in a vehicle with truly amazing capabilities. There’s nothing it can’t deal with. Drivers come back feeling satisfied and proud that they succeeded in driving even on the more challenging paths. Second, the guided tour and explanations about the region are fascinating and entertaining.

Who is the tour guide?
His name is Boaz Bar-Ad, a professional tour guide who is an inseparable part of our tours. He drives a vehicle at the front of the tour, and each vehicle that follows him has a speaker device and can listen to Boaz explain and tell stories about the region around them. He is very knowledgeable and his stories are truly captivating.

Shiloh ATVs: It’s Not Just ATVs!

Let’s say I want to go on a Ranger tour. What are the options?
For the Ranger tours, there are two options: a one hour or two hour tour. The longer tour reaches Nahal Shiloh, Oz Spring and returns via Nahal Ilit. At the spring, we will stop to enjoy juicy watermelon and drink coffee. The one hour tour heads toward the Shiloh hills, bringing the visitors to overlooks where they can see the entire Jordan Valley before their eyes. But the truth is that we’re flexible about the routes, and I always listen to what the customer would like to experience on the tour. There are so many beautiful places to stop in the region.

Shiloh ATV 3

Do you also offer tours to visitors who are scared to drive the ATVs themselves?
Yes. We have jeep tours that are either two, four or even eight hours long. Jeep tours are offered in this region or in any other location throughout Israel, based on the customer’s request. We’ve led tours from Jerusalem to the Judean Desert, tours in the Jordan Valley, and more.

Do you offer any activities that don’t involved motorized vehicles?
Actually, yes. Here at Shiloh ATVs, we also have a paintball field for up to 30 participants. Our paintball activity is mobile and we offer it all over the country. There isn’t one community in Binyamin that we didn’t bring our paintball activity to this summer. People love it.

I saw that you also have bicycles.
Yes, this is something new that we’ve introduced recently - electric mountain bike rentals. We offer two hour trips on bicycles, with a variety of trails at varying levels of difficulty. The experience is incredible. The electric bikes are very quiet and let you have direct contact with the land, without the noise. We’re one of the first places in the country to offer an activity like this.

What type of customers usually come here?

Israelis of all types and ages: young and older couples, families. A lot of overseas tourists come, as well as tour guides who bring their groups all year round. We also get various employees committees for company retreats and team-building events, which we tailor specifically to their needs.

Do you have returning customers?
Definitely. There are some customers who have literally become addicted to us, and I already know them personally because they come on every vacation day they have. There are also families who return and choose a different activity each time.

At this point, Shimshon slightly turns the steering wheel of the Ranger, and the vehicle climbs up the dirt path back to the paved road to Shiloh and toward Shiloh ATVs. And you know what? Driving on such a wide, smooth paved road suddenly seems so boring...