Those who are familiar with Terschelling know what breathtaking nature can be found there. You can stroll along endless wide beaches and kilometres of rugged dunes. But on Terschelling you will also find extensive forests and viewpoints with beautiful panoramic views. There are many ways to discover Terschelling. From covered wagon rides and cycling to blokarting and kite surfing.
One of the most popular ways to experience Terschelling remains walking. There are many different walks to be made. Whether you just want to get some fresh air, go on a hike or go on a adventure with your children. There is something for everyone.
200 kilometres of trails on Terschelling
The popularity of hiking is evident from the more than 200 kilometres of paths that can be found on Terschelling. One of the most special places to walk around in is nature reserve Boschplaat. Here you can walk in peace in 50 square metres of unspoilt nature. But some of the best walks also start in West-Terschelling, where the ferry arrives.
Staatsbosbeheer (the Dutch Forestry Commission) has marked out a number of beautiful routes on this Wadden Island. You can choose between routes from four to 18 kilometres long. It is possible to connect routes so that you can walk around the whole island. The routes are very varied. You walk through different landscapes such as dunes, beach, meadow and forest. You don’t need to be able to read stars to find your way back, there are plenty of markers. You can get lost if you want to, but you don’t have to. We have listed the most special hiking trails for you.
1. Walk starting at the Groene strand (Green beach) on Terschelling
From the ferry you can already see this beach, so this walk starts near the village of West-Terschelling. With a beautiful view of the highest point of Terschelling, this is a nice route over the Groene Strand. The walk is about 4.5 kilometres long and takes you not only along the beach but also through special dune areas.
On the way, you will see the dune lake called Doodemanskisten (Dead man’s chests) which owes its name to an old saga. In the lake, sailors are said to be buried who were washed up on the beach after being shipwrecked. Another special feature of this walking route is that you can spot the famous cranberry bushes in the dunes. They flower in August and September and are picked at the end of September.
2. Challenging walk across highest dune on Terschelling
This challenging hike of over 11 kilometres leads over a forester’s path through the rugged dunes on the north-west side of the island. The starting point of this hike is the ferry terminal in the harbour of West-Terschelling. It is a real hike because during this walk you climb quite a few dunes.
Those who dare to go on this sporty hike will be rewarded with worthwhile vistas. Because you mainly walk on the edge of the dunes, the view on both sides is fantastic. At low tide, you may be lucky enough to see seals lying on the sandbanks. These are not the only animals you will encounter along the way. Birds such as the avocet and Kentish plover can also be spotted here.
3. Taking a hike in the Boschplaat nature reserve on Terschelling
Part of Unesco’s World Heritage Site ‘Het Waddengebied‘ are the salt marshes of Boschplaat, on the east side of Terschelling. This walk is 18 kilometres in total, but you can shorten it by turning around at the first bird-watching post. The Boschplaat nature reserve has an impressively wide beach.
Every year, thousands of birds breed here and sometimes fly hundreds of kilometres to come to this special place. Are you coming in the autumn? Then you can spot the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. You can only walk on De Boschplaat from September to February. During the breeding season, you are not welcome in the largest breeding chamber of the Wadden Sea. At 18 kilometres, Boschplaat is the longest walking route.
4. Forest walk at Formerum on Terschelling
Near the village of Formerum on Terschelling, between 1920 and 1935, the Formerumerbos was created. This was necessary to ensure that the dunes did not spread too far inland. A wide variety of trees have been planted here. That is why the Formerumerbos is one of the most versatile woods on Terschelling.
The walking route is five kilometres and very varied. Not only the many different trees, but also the overgrown dunes in the Formerumerbos make this walk quite unique in its kind.
5. The nicest walks with small children on Terschelling
Also for children of all ages there are hikes, treasure hunts and adventure trails on Terschelling.
Gnome trail on Terschelling
The gnome path is a fun and short walking route for toddlers and preschoolers. Look for tracks along the way and who knows what you will find. The route starts at ‘Badweg Hoorn’ and the booklet is available at the local tourist office.
Climbing forest Klimdaris on Terschelling
Do you have adventurous children or are you in need of a little rest yourself? Then send your kids to the Klimdaris climbing forest. There are five courses in the climbing forest. Two for small children up to 130 centimetres and three courses for children and adults from 130 centimetres. Especially the last high ropes course is fun and challenging for young and old, should you want to join in! Highly recommended in the forest just outside West-Terschelling.
Children’s walk on Boschplaat with the forest ranger
There is also a special children’s walk on Boschplaat under the guidance of a forester. This walk takes about two hours. The walk goes towards the mudflats and then past the duck decoy and the birch forest. Via the dunes, the tour ends near the village of Oosterend. Along the way, you will spot hares, spoonbills, curlews and grebes. You can register for these and other walks at Staatsbosbeheer.
Let an authentic sailing ship take you to Terschelling
If you are considering a few days of hiking on Terschelling, let an authentic sailing ship take you there. Not only is this a sustainable and playful way to reach the Wadden Islands. These flat-bottomed vessels are made for sailing through this area.
On the way, you can explore the various sandbanks, salt marshes and dunes through binoculars. Even more fun is the unique information the skipper can tell you about the special nature in this area. If you are lucky, he will share his personal favourite places with you or maybe he will be your guide on a unique walk.