Surrounded by pine and oak trees, Lake Poyrazlar sees thousands of visitors every year, mesmerizing them with bird species and natural beauty and offering a chance to soak up what remains of the summer.
Located 10 kilometers away from the city center, people in the Black Sea and Marmara regions can easily access the lake for a quick weekend getaway. Moreover, since the lake and its environment were declared a first-grade natural protected area in 1993 by the Council for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage, it offers visitors the opportunity to observe many bird species. The lake is a popular spot for professional and amateur bird watchers since it is the habitat of 153 bird species of which 64 are resident, 36 which live there in winter and 47 in summer, and six of which stop by during migration. A wide variety of butterflies are also seen during early May.
Visitors to Lake Poyrazlar, which offers scenery of pine and oak forests, pass the time riding horses, going on nature tours on quad bikes and playing paintball.
As it offers a secure environment, Lake Poyrazlar also serves as a picnic area where families can enjoy their time as they would like. Freshwater fish are a popular menu draw for the site as well.
The lake offers great opportunities for photography, space for grilling and going for walks. Some couples memorialize their wedding day by having their wedding photos taken in the area.
Manager of the picnic area, Hakkı Tank, declares that everyone must see Lake Poyrazlar and its unique nature.
"The order of the picnic area is maintained by a cleaning team," said Tank, who added that the facility became popular thanks to visitors who mentioned it to their friends.
"The area turned into a popular spot for brides and grooms for wedding shoots. We even hosted couples from Istanbul and Kocaeli. For example, we have 10 couples who have come for a wedding shoot right now. We are open to visits by all and our people can come and spend time here whenever they want. We offer a secure area at night also it is also illuminate. Alcohol is strictly forbidden. We don't permit even car horns. Here, we offer a peaceful environment for families," Tank said.
Explaining that they try to improve the facility each day on the basis of the advice they get from visitors, Tank expressed his gratitude to the officials who help them.
Lake Poyrazlar's picnic area makes visitors feel at home thanks to its peaceful environment and satisfying facilities. "Here visitors get what they need from the kiosks, have lunch and breakfast at our facilities and enjoy the lake scenery. Nature is splendid here. We offer bikes, pedalos and an excursion train. Families enjoy the lake scenery with the train tour accompanied with music," Tank said.The area is also perfect for morning sports. Paddling and all-terrain vehicles are offered in the nature park. The facility provides convenience for those who come for morning sports with free entrance between specific hours. Many visitors prefer the area due to the free entry between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.
The 4.5-kilometer path encircling the lake, which is home to various bird species such as wild duck and goose, has a beautiful forest view at one side.
One of the partners of the facility, Ayhan Tank, said that this year there is a great deal of attention on the area.
"We call Lake Poyrazlar the unexplored heaven" Tank said, and added that the picnic area offers 2,000 picnic tables in addition to pedalos, bikes and quad bikes.
"The area has accommodation spots for birds. Around 150 different bird species are found around the lake during the migration period. Our visitors have the opportunity to watch them. You cannot come across even a single cigarette butt here. We are extremely meticulous in the upkeep of the area so that our visitors can spend a peaceful time. We worked on every single one of the trees located in this 4,200-decare area. This is a family-run business. Sixty of the 100 personnel consist of family members. I can say that this park is a heaven maintained by us."
Controlled on a weekly basis, the deepest point of the lake is 8 meters and it is forbidden to swim in it. Visitors can be accommodated at the park in tents they bring.
Manager of the restaurant at the picnic area, Soner Kazancı, said that they serve between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day and offer various menus, including stewed fish and a mixed breakfast.
Also, the 100-square-meter dance floor at the center of the restaurant makes the facility a suitable spot for events like alfresco weddings, engagement ceremonies and circumcision parties.
Kazancı also said they do their best to attract visitors to the restaurant and they welcome everyone as their guest. DAILY SABAH WITH AA