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stage 5: Mid Frisia

River Lauwers (NL) to River Ems (DE)

  • Length: 170 km (105 miles) in 8 sections

  • Terrain: flat

  • Region: East Frisia


​From the River Lauwers to the River Ems, marking the border between province Groningen, the Netherlands and region Ostfriesland, Germany. When you cross the border between Germany and the Netherlands at Bad Nieuwenschans you are about halfway the trail, a thousand kilometres behind you..

​Trail Sections

  • section 5.1: Zoutkamp – Piloersmaborg

  • section 5.2: Piloersmaborg – Ezinge

  • section 5.3: Ezinge – Saaxumhuizen

  • section 5.4: Saaxumhuizen – Warffum

  • section 5.5: Warffum – Uithuizen

  • section 5.6: Uithuizen- Delfzijl

  • section 5.7: Delfzijl – Termunten

  • section 5.8: Termunten – Bad Nieuweschans



According to the early-medieval law code the Lex Frisionum ‘Law of the Frisians’ this area belonged to the sub-region East Frisia, the area inter Laubachi et Wisaram ‘between [the rivers] Lauwers and Weser’.


​The coastal area of present-day province Groningen, named region Ommelanden used to be a salt-marsh area. This was part of the terp region stretching from the (former) River Vlie to the River Weser in Germany, although in province Noord Holland in the Netherlands and in Kreis Nordfriesland in Germany, also terps have been built. Terps (i.e. artificial dwelling mounds) are called wierde in the province Groningen, and Warft or Wurt in Germany. Read our Manual Making a Terp in 12 Steps to learn more about these artificial settlement mounds.


​At the coast the UNESCO protected Wadden Sea stretches from the Netherlands’ north-coast along Germany to the southern tip of Denmark. The Wadden Sea is separated from the North Sea through a ridge of many islands.

Along the coast of the mainland salt-marshes still exist outside and unprotected by the high sea dikes.

​Region Ommelanden, just like that of the coastal area of province Friesland (stage 4 of the Frisia Coast Trail), was in the Roman period partly the territory of the Frisii maiores ‘greater Frisians’, including parts of current province Drenthe. Read our blog post The Killing Fields, that of the Celts. The eastern part of province Groningen might have been the territory of the Chauci. A tribe known for its large-scale piracy and who caused more than a headache to the Romans. Read our blog post It all began with priracy.

​The Frisian language has disappeared for centuries and was replaced by the Grunnings dialect of the Low-Saxon language.

Recommended posts for this stage



​For a first, visual impression of this stage, click here

Trail Map

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