Seven Lakes National Park, Turkey

Lake Locations:

Turkey -

Also known as:  Yedigoller Milli Parki, Buyukgol, Deringol, Seringol, Nazligol, Sazligol, Incegol, Kucukgol

Seven Lakes in northern Turkey are the focal point of Yedigoller National Park. These small, beautiful lakes were formed from one small mountain stream when successive landslides dammed portions of the flow in years past. The Seven Lakes are named Buyukgol, Kucukgol, Deringol, Nazligol, Seringol, Sazligol and Incegol. Water tumbles down rocky hillsides and between boulders from one lake to the next in rushing cascades. Some of the lakes are also fed via underground springs.

The Turkish word, yedigoller, means ‘seven lakes’. The entire 1,359-acre park, established in 1969, is heavily forested with oaks, beech trees, hornbeams, alders, spruce, black pines and firs producing a riot of color during September, October and November. A maze of forest trails meanders from view point to scenic overlook, drawing nature fans, photographers and wildlife watchers to this beautiful area.

Located a few miles south of the Black Sea, the Seven Lakes National Park is seldom crowded. Most locations within the park require some walking, and the only services provided are picnic tables and a few rental bungalows offered by the Forestry Ministry. Advance reservations are necessary for staying at the bungalows; all have fireplaces for chilly evenings. Campers are commonly seen setting up tents alongside one of the little lakes. Even those reserving a bungalow must carry everything in with them as no supplies are sold or provided other than water within the park.

Getting to the Seven Lakes area is a two-hour car journey from Bolu, the nearest city. The gravel road is rough and often closed in winter, making traveling to the Seven Lakes an adventure. A few commercial tours come here. One of the first stops in any Yedigoller itinerary is the observation tower atop Kapankaya peak. The sightseeing tower provides a tantalizing panorama of the Seven Lakes and their surrounding mountains. Not surprisingly, many visitors decide to explore further.

Park wildlife is protected, and numbers are increasing. Some of the wild denizens of the Seven Lakes National Park are roe deer, red deer, brown bear, wild boar, lynx, fox, jungle cat, wolf, otter and many small mammals such as rabbit and squirrel. At least 500 species of birds have been sighted here, some of which are seasonal as the Yedigoller is along the migration path. The park is open year round, although some access roads are closed in inclement weather. Although fall color visits are the most popular, trekkers arrive all during the warmer months to hike the paths and camp in the pristine wilderness.

Several of the tiny Seven Lakes teem with salmon and rainbow trout. Fishing is allowed from May to September with a permit from the Forest Ministry. Many campers purchase fish from the nearby trout hatchery at Deringol for cooking at their campsite. A couple of small cafes are located at the outskirts of the park but are mostly accessible from perimeter roads. Other than the Ministry bungalows, lodgings are found outside of the park, with the widest selection located near Bolu. Other small guest stays can be located along the Ankara-Istanbul highway and the road leading to Mengen. As Mengen is noted for producing some of Turkey’s best chefs, many visitors to the Seven Lakes stop here for lunch. Even non-athletic types can enjoy some of the park scenery just by driving the forest-rimmed 26-mile Yedigoller road, a scenic day trip from Bolu.

Those staying in the area of Bolu and Seven Lakes National Park will find a number of other local destinations worthy of a visit. Abant Lake is 25 miles southwest of the City of Bolu and offers swimming beaches, a nature park and plenty of local food vendors. Small boats may be rented locally to fish for the endemic Abant trout. Carriage rides along the lakeshore are favorites, as are picnic lunches assembled from the offerings of the local vendors accompanied by locally-produced wines. Abant is one of the most scenic lakes in Turkey, with small local farms producing a variety of vegetables near the shoreline.

The City of Bolu has natural mineral bath spas, a 14th century mosque, and the Bolu Archeology and Ethnography Museum. The small Bolu Museum also provides an excellent selection of artifacts from Bithynion-Claudiopolis, ancient cities underneath present-day Bolu. The former population center flourished in 2 AD, and the opulent luxury of its decor is recalled in the collection of marble busts, the gravestones of gladiators, and fragments of architectural detail. The entire area around Bolu and the Seven Lakes National Park holds a wealth of ancient history and modern resorts, one of Turkey’s best winter ski areas, excellent local cuisine, and getaway spas for relaxation and rejuvenation. There are plenty of local roads and pathways suitable for bicycling and horseback riding.

Going to Seven Lakes National Park takes some planning, and local tourism officials are glad to be of service. A car rental may be necessary as there is no public transportation into the park. The climate is temperate and may become quite cold in winter due to the elevation of the surrounding mountains. Much of the park is located at about 2800 feet, although there are higher areas. A light jacket is a good idea even in summer. So, while planning your northern Turkey vacation, put Seven Lakes National Park on your itinerary.

*There are few statistics available for the lakes. Those listed are for Buyukgol only.

Things to do at Seven Lakes National Park

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Seven Lakes National Park

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Seven Lakes National Park Photo Gallery

Seven Lakes National Park Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 6 acres

Maximum Depth: 49 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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