During summer I always stay close to home. One of the places I love to visit then is the forest in Westerschouwen, Zeeland.
Westerschouwen is the biggest forest in Zeeland and is located right in the dunes of Westerschouwen. So you can easily combine your hike with a beachday. What about hiking early in the morning and ending the day on the beach?
The forest isn’t a natural forest, the area used to be all sand, but in 1920 they planted pine trees and marram grass. When the area became more touristic they expanded the forest with broad leave trees. Nowdays it is a protected forest.
There are multiple ways to explore the forest at Westerschouwen. There are hiking trails, mountainbike trails, bike trails and horse trails. So there is a trail for everyone. There are also paved trails for people in wheelchairs.
We did the yellow hike, which is 8 km long, and takes you through the forest, by the lakes and the lookout all the way to the beach. The path starts at the Kraaijensteijnweg, Westenschouwen. There is a big parking lot at the end of the street. The path is clearly marked with yellow signs. Just pay attention at the end that you go off the trail onto the paved path back to the excursion barn. Otherwise you will keep hiking in circles.
Since the trail is in the dunes, there are a lot of paths that are just mulled sand. Besides the sand you will also hike up and down the dunes. Which can make it a challenging hike.
My favorite part of this hike are the lakes. Next time I will bring a picknick and have lunch here and hang out and hike back out at the end of the day.
I also loved the lookout, where you can see for miles. Make sure not to walk by it as it looks like a no entry zone, but the lookout is open for everyone.
You can also combine the hike with a beachday, because from the parking lot it is only a 5 minute walk to the beach.
Oh and when you go early, there is a really big chance you will get to see deer in this forest.
Have you ever been to Westerschouwen?