The Trail

cabbage fields – region Westfriesland

Total length of the trail is 2,150 kilometres, about 1,335 miles. When the trails crosses the border between Germany and the Netherlands, you are about halfway. The trail is modulated to an average walker, so each day generally is between 20 and 25 kilometres. Reckon if you are a thru-hiker about 100 days of walking. This long-distance trail follows the coastline of former Frisia. It explores the places that Frisians roamed and exploited according to the old sources.

Many current toponyms, from the west in the Netherlands to the northwest of Germany still remind of this: regio Westfriesland in province Noord Holland (NL), Provincie Fryslân (NL), Region Ostfriesland (DE), Landkreis Friesland (DE), and Kreis Nordfriesland (DE). With that almost covering the entire Frisia Coast Trail still.

Except for dunes, terps and dikes, the terrain is flat. So, no climbing or rock scrambling during the trail. That sounds easy, but actually it is not. Every hiker knows a flat surface for long is taxing on (certain) muscles. There is a Friezenberg part of a nature conservation area, which translates as ‘Frisians Mountain’. However, this mountain is located off track in the region Twenthe in the Netherlands, and only still 40 meters high.

The coastline is essentially a delta. The Nile Delta but in a more humid climate. Yes, Frisia is a delta. Of rivers, creeks, dunes, islands, inlets, bays, sandbanks, dunes, barrier beaches, (former) peat lands, (former) woods and tidal marshlands. The delta is so huge that it drains a large part of the European continent, and it therefore spans several countries. When you rotate the map of Europe 45 degrees clockwise -top pointing northwest- you will see Frisia is but a big pimple on the southern fringes of the North Sea.

This itinerary of the Frisia Coast Trail is, in fact, not the first. The credits for the first itineary goes to a Welshman of Flemish descent, Wizo Flandrenis. Wizo fitz Walter, son of Walter, was born in Wiston Castle, Pembrokeshire around 1135. He hiked through Frisia in 1157 to return the relics of Saint Odolphus to the monastery of Stavoren (in 830 Saint Odolphus had founded a church at Stavoren), and wrote the Itinerarium Fresiae. These relics were sold on the market by a Viking in London in 1034. The Vikings, however, declared the relics were sold to them by the monks themselves.

Lastly, when designing the trail, and which is in our opinion a continious process, we make use of the trailblazers before us, like the European Coastal Path (E9), Zuiderzeepad, Groot-Frieslandpad, Floris V-pad, Noord-Hollandpad, St. Odulphuspad, Waterliniepad, Pronkjewailpad, Kromme Rijnpad, Jabikspaad, Romeinse Limespad, Klompepaden, and many more.

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