Nature and history
Thy National Park covers 55 km of the north-western coast line of Denmark by the North Sea - in an area called Thy. The unique landscape - Denmarks largest wilderness - consists of fairly unspoiled dunes, dune heaths and more than 200 lakes. Its a landscape created by the power of nature: the sea, the wind, the salt and the sand. As a response to sand drift and harsh living conditions for local people, trees have been planted in the area since 1817, creating socalled dune plantations.
Thy National Park is a perfect place for plants, birds, animals and humans who enjoy a lot of space, high skies and lots of fresh air. The extent of the dune heaths in Thy, you will only find in few other places in Europe. The nomination as a national park guarantees the protection and preservation of the dunes and the dune heaths for the future. The national park contributes to visitors experiencing great nature without causing damage to the vulnerable countryside.
Everywhere nature shows signs from the sea, the wind, the sand, and the salt. Hiking between leaning, crooked, wind-shaped trees, or staying overnight in shelters listening to the roar of the waves are attentive nature experiences. Here is a lot of fresh air and no crowds. A vast number of hiking- and biking paths are described and shown on maps in the local hiking folders and the Nationalpark Thy app.
Animals and plants
Lookout towers and points near the hiking trails give you the opportunity to watch animals and birds, especially if you bring binoculars. Thy National Park has got a nice population of red deer and roe deer. You may also be lucky to hear and see cranes breeding in the open areas. Hardy plants, able to live in the low nutrient sand and wet hollows are growing in the dune heath, such as crow berries, bog bilberries, cranberries, heather, cross-leaved heath, bog myrtle, sea buckthorn, and willow. The plantations are dominated by pine trees and spruces, which originally comes from Central Europe and North America.
Nature´s powerful forces have always been of great importance for the life of the people of Thy. During several periods sand drift has damaged cultivated areas and forced the inhabitants to move. Beach grass and trees were planted to protect against the sand, making up the national park´s large plantations today. Formerly the fishing was exclusively done from the beach in small boats – at the high risk of loss of human lives. Therefore it was a great improvement when lighthouse and lifeboat services were developed seriously during the 19th century. Lighthouses and sea marks were built, still towering the landscape along the coast. Today all trade fishing takes place from the modern port of Hanstholm. But in the villages along the sea you can still meet anglers setting out in their boats from the coast catching crabs or plaice.