Climb the Noordsvaarder forest ranger trail

The Wadden island of Terschelling is surrounded by the North Sea and the Wadden Sea. Eighty percent of this inhabited island is nature. Here on this narrow spit of land you will find forests, beaches, dune valleys, salt marshes, polders, heathland and friendly villages. The Noordsvaarder, a vast dynamic dune region, is located in the westernmost part of the island. The forest ranger mapped out a challenging hike here for you. Provided you are not afraid of a strenuous climb and dirty shoes, that is. If you are up for it, this boswachterpad or forest ranger trail is where you can brave the great outdoors.

Waddenzee Werelderfgoed - duinen Terschelling Noordsvaarder
Waddenzee Werelderfgoed - Duinen Noordsvaarder

The Terschelling wilderness

The forest ranger trail takes you through a stunningly beautiful nature reserve. The Noordsvaarder is a sandbar that only 'attached' itself to Terschelling in the 19th century. Today it is a paradise for nesting little terns. You will find sandy plains, shifting dunes and unusual plant species.

Although the ascent is challenging, once you reach the top you will be rewarded with a breath-taking view. The deep blue waves of the North Sea seem to cause time to stand still. Is it ebb tide? Who knows, you might even see a seal on a sandbar!

You can download the route for this 11-kilometre walk to your smartphone or tablet. Visitors are welcome to 'roam free' outside of the closed areas. The information panels on the perimeter of the Noordsvaarder tell you everything you need to know.

Waddenzee Werelderfgoed - walvis

Time to take a breather?

You can take a breather or, depending on the weather, either warm up or cool down, at the Walvis beach restaurant, which is where the forest ranger trail starts.

Winter wonderland

For the truly adventurous: hike the forest ranger trail in winter. In the freezing cold wind or driving rain, all of your senses will be activated. Intense, but it will bring you even closer to nature.

The steep climbs make this hike in the Noordsvaarder one for the true diehards!

Remi Hougee Terschelling forest ranger

Life in the dunes

As extra spectacular as the dunes may be in winter, the summer has its highlights, too. The blooming heath spotted orchid, seaside centaury and grass-of-parnassus turn the 'green' beach into a colourful sight. A fervent animal lover? During ebb tide, numerous seals and huge flocks of birds use the sandbanks along the shore as a place to rest. And if you are lucky, a peregrine falcon or roe deer will make an appearance.

Boswachterspad Noordsvaarder beklimmen