The 1625 hectares of the park were designated as a Uzungol Nature Park in 1989 because of the rich plant life, wildlife and sightseeing potential. The dominant tree species is Eastern spruce, and there are also badger, bearded, alder, horn-beam, hazelnut, oak, mountain elm and silver birch trees. Species of animals include mountain goat, roe deer, bear, wolf, wild boar, marten, badger, lynx, jackal, fox, rabbit, squirrel, wild ducks, birds of prey, trout and various kinds of reptiles.
The most important river in the area is the Demirkapi, and the Uzungol Lake was formed as a result of the rocks closing the mouth of the river. 10km south of the lake is the Norizca mountain, with an altitude of 300m. The best time to visit the park is between April and October.
Uzungöl (English: Long lake) is a lake situated south of the city of Trabzon in the Black Sea region of Turkey. Over the years it has become a major tourist attraction along with a nearby village of the same name. The lake is situated about 99 kilometers from Trabzon and 19 kilometers from the Çaykara district. It was formed by landslide turning the riverbed into a natural dam in the valley of Haldizen River. The area is famous for its outstanding natural beauty located in a valley between high rising mountains. The lake and village seem at first to appear inaccessible with the surrounding dense mountain forests and due to fog occasionally enveloping the lake in the evening. But, in recent years a major tourism boom has attracted a number of hotels, restaurants, and tourism shops to be built in the area. The Haldizen River created Uzungöl at the Demirkapı Plateau collecting several tributaries before emptying into the Black Sea.
Uzungöl is a reward for travelers at the end of about a two hour drive on a bumpy stretch of road past Çaykara. Entered across a arched stone bridge, the village of Uzungöl – also known as Şerah is a charming collection of old wooden houses. A road follows the breathtaking course of the Solaklı River as it flows downwards from Uzungöl through the forest. In spots the river can be crossed on wooden footbridges as it moves through a forest thick with underbush glittering from the spray of several waterfalls and an abundance of rainfall. In the village of Atakoy on the Çaykara-Bayburt road about one kilometer beyond the Uzungol turnoff are also wooden houses built with the traditional Black Sea region architecture. Trekkers can take a four hour walk from the village of Uzungöl to the glacier lakes of Mt. Haldizen located on the treeless grasslands at 2,800 meters in altitude. The peak itself is a fairly easy climb beyond the lakes and offers spectacular views of the Çoruh River Canyon at a distance to the south. The snow covered Demirkapı summit lies at 3,376 meters and a bit lower down on the right the summit of Karakaya sits at 3193 meters.
Uzungol LakeIf you wish to drive, an auto can reach the village of Demirkapı, formerly called Haldizen, via a fairly bad road, but more than worth the drive. In the highland meadows with green forest cover below sits the village of Şerah with its old traditional Black Sea wooden houses facing the Uzungöl Lake. The Yedigöller or Seven Lakes are glacier lakes in the foothills of Demirkapı of the Soğanlı mountain range. Their names: Balıklı Göl, Aygır Gölü, Sarıçiçek Gölü, Birömerin Gölü, Karagöl, Çifte Göller and Ikiz Göl. Balıklı Göl, (English: Lake with Fish) being the only lake among all of these seven that contain trout. The Demirkapı mountain pass has been transporting people for centuries – from caravans to villagers bringing mountain grown fruit over these snowy passes to the Black Sea markets. But the 3000 meter pass is now pretty easy to traverse in a car now due to the transportation infrastructure being vastly improved. A 99 kilometer asphalt road connects Trabzon with Uzungöl with a rocky road traversing the 12 kilometers between Uzungöl and the Demirkapı Plateau with a minibus (Turkish: Dolmuş) making regular runs during the summer.
Uzungol Lake in Demirkapı tourist facilities are just in the process of starting, but you can pitch a tent or find some sort of accommodation in homes or small pansiyons. A cable car will be operational sometime in 2012 for scenic rides during the summer and for skiing in the winter. Heliski tour companies will offer their services for skiers who seek high mountain powder snow skiing in this amazing and pristine area. Many locals are concerned about adverse effects of helicopters operating in the area on the environment and recently the government proposed to build a wall around the water on the lake with cement fortification effectively destroying the shores of the lake. The reasoning behind this idea was so that water from waves on the lake would not wet the nearby roads around it. Of course, this has been met with a lot of protest from locals as well as environmentalists concerned with the environmental damage. They have said that this rediculous idea would turn the Uzungöl Lake into a giant artificial pool.
Only 70 kilometers southeast of Rize the village of Uzungöl has traditional Black Sea wooden houses, as well as modern hotels, restaurants and tourist facilities. Tourist accommodation in small hotels like the Sirin Motel which offers rustic-style bungalows on the edge of Uzungöl Lake. All their bungalows have a balcony overlooking the lake and include satellite TV, free Wi-Fi internet connection and private bathrooms. The valley in which Uzungöl is situated is dominated by the two minarets of the mosque standing on the bank of the lake. The lake is about 1 kilometer long, a half a kilometer wide with an average depth of 15 meters. Uzungöl lies at an altitude of 1090 meters in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains. These mountains are mostly covered with mixed forests with many mountain lakes and streams. Due to heavy rainfall, the surrounding of Uzungöl is one of the greenest areas of Turkey. Containing more than 60 local plant species the area around Uzungöl has become a popular destination for hiking and climbing.