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Beskayalar Natural Park
Beskayalar Natural Park – Kocaeli; The Beskayalar Natural Park is in the district of Golcuk, 26km south of Kocaeli (Izmit), and covers an area of 1154 hectares.
The park can be reached by the road from Kocaeli. There are regular bus service from Istanbul to Kocaeli.
The area of Beskaralar has a great scientific and educational importance because of the species of plants in the valleys. The 2500 hectares of forest surrounding the Sicakdere and Kirazdere rivers provide great trekking routes, and also has good sightseeing. The name Beskaralar, meaning Five Rocks, comes from the high rocks at the point where the rivers join.
In the area, the vast selection of plant species includes black pine, badger tree, fir, beech, oak, hornbeam, silver birch, elm, lime, chestnut, ash, poplar, hellebore, plane, hazelnut, alder, cherry, black fruit, elder, forest rose, wild apple, wild plum, wild cherry, forest ivy, smilax, blackberry, belladonna, spurge olive, arnica, great mullein, mint, yarrow, violet, fibre herb, nettle, gallium and wild strawberry. Wolves, bears, jackals, foxes, pigs, rabbits and squirrels inhabit the area.
Because of its location in between Istanbul, Ankara and Kocaeli, it is easily accessible and is a popular weekend getaway out of the city.