Terschelling is thirty kilometers long and three to four kilometers wide. The wide beach plains, dunes, forests, salt marshes, mudflats and polders provide a unique natural landscape. About eighty percent of the island's natural and managed by the Forestry Commission. Terschelling has a number of official nature monuments, such as the Boschplaat and Noordsvaarder. Boschplaat is an important breeding area and is therefore in the breeding season (spring and early summer) closed to the public. The Noordsvaarder is best known for its varied vegetation.
From the seventies for recreation was Terschelling increasingly important and there were many kilometers of hiking and cycling trails. A large part of the route of the Bears Loop executes on these paths. Combined with a few kilometers of the beach, it's no wonder that the course is known as one of the finest and toughest of the Netherlands.
The first part of the Bears Loop takes you through the various villages on Terschelling , all with their own special atmosphere. The largest of the island village is West Terschelling , where the ferry arrives. The face of West Terschelling is determined by the Brandaris, the 55 meter high lighthouse, which dates from 1594. The Brandaris is therefore chosen as the start and finish point of the Bears Loop . From West Terschelling is a road east along the several villages, such as Midway, Baaiduinen, Midsland, Formerum, Lies, Horn and finally Oosterend. The marathon runners see all villages are passing by; the participants in the half marathon strike in Formerum in the direction of the beach.
The entire distance of the Bears Loop is a real challenge for runners. The route leads over the island, from West to Boschplaat and back, through the polders, dunes, forest and the beach. Start and finish are at West under the Brandaris.
Half the distance from the Bears Loop offers runners a beautiful and varied route . Starting in West carries out the route of the main road to the villages Midsland and Formerum. Then it goes through woods, dunes and along the beach back to West. Along the way there are lots of atmosphere and music and the runners are fully encouraged.
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