Ankara, Turkey

METU University, Forest, and Lake Eymir

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The area around Metu University, which includes trails around a large national forest and Lake Eymir at the southern end is one of the best spots for a run in Ankara. The Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) is a large university that spans 11,000 acres, 7,500 of which are a national forest. We describe a run in three sections, which can be combined.

University Campus. The heart of the campus lies just south of the D200 road (metro: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi), and has numerous pedestrian paths that are OK for running. It’s easy to create your own route of 3-4 km on the campus itself. There’s a great running track at the METU Stadium at the center of campus.

METU Forest. The campus grounds spill over to the large METU forest, which has many km of trails that are popular for trail running, mountain biking, and other activities. Even though it’s called a ‘forest’, much of the area is open and the paths are generally wide with a gravel surface. This is create your own route territory, since there isn’t a particular route or a very good map. The forest starts at the southern end of the campus. It’s up to 7 km south to the D750 road, and then additional paths are east of the D750, heading toward Lake Eymir. NOTE: the section just south of the university is very hilly (500m over 5 km).

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Lake Eymir. This natural lake is adjacent to the METU forest and is about 20 km south of Ankara center. It’s a popular spot for walkers, runners, and bikers. A full loop around the lake on the very runnable road is 10.6 km. You can also just choose a section. There are some terrific views. There are numerous access points. Just off the 0-20 highway at the southern end of the lake is a bike rental shop, which can be a good start point. At the northern end, adjacent to the Forest, is a parking area at the Vineyard House.

Essentials
  • Campus: 3-4 km of paths; Forest: many, many km of trails; Lake Eymir: Full perimeter loop is 10.6 km (6.6 miles)
  • Forest is very hilly, especially the section just south of campus. Lake Eymir loop is 117m (383 feet)
  • Depends on route chosen
  • METU University: Metro Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi