During the period 1929-1933 the Reykjavik Electric Authority (now Municipal Energy Authority) purchased the property to obtain the water rights on the upper River Sog for its power stations. The area of the property is about 1,400 ha and the company possesses four other such properties in the area to access the geothermal energy resources as well.
The Ulfljotsvatn property is situated within the active, volcanic drift zone and the geological features of the area comprise basaltic rock, Moberg (hyaloclastites), pillow lava and sediments from the latter part of the Ice Age. It is mostly vegetated with marshes, tufted areas and bushes, but the highest lying parts are barren and eroded. The slopes are carved with watercourses, which are the main causes of both wind and water erosion.
Lake Ulfljotsvatn is about 7-8 km long and 1 km wide. Its surface lies about 81 m above sea level and the average depth within 10 m. Its deepest point exceeds 60 m in the northern part. The water through this man made lake is rather fast flowing through the 19 km (12 miles) course of the river between Lake Thingvallavatn and River Hvita. The lake abounds in brown trout and lake char and it is very popular among bird watchers.
The lake’s name is derived from Ulfljotur, who was the first Law Speaker (President of the parliament). The first common law of the country was also named after him. The small and interesting, wooden church near farm Ulfljotsvatn to the west of the lake was built in 1914 (the steeple in 1924).
Many legends are connected with the Ulfljotsvatn area and highly interesting artefacts were discovered there during archaeological excavations during the first half of the 20th century.
In 1940 the Association of Icelandic Scouts acquired 25% of the property, where it built several houses for a summer camp and jamborees. The scouts have put great effort in reclaiming the eroded areas and planting trees during the decades. In 1956 the Trade Union of the Electric Authority of Reykjavik acquired 16 ha for recreation purposes and land reclamation. The Federation of Municipal Trade Unions also acquired some land for the same purposes in 1969 and built a holiday house area with a service centre.
In 1994 the Icelandic branch of the international youth organizations OMEP received about 15 ha of land for forestation. Nearby is a reforestation area for the pupils of the compulsory schools in the capital under the control of the Municipal Education Authority.
Photo Credit: Ulfljotsvatn.is