The Ruhr Valley Cycle Path connects Duisburg with Winterberg
The way is the goal and the Ruhr is the compass: On the 240-kilometer RuhrtalRadweg, the bikes roll from the Sauerland to the Ruhr region mostly downhill or on flat terrain. There is plenty of industrial culture to experience along the way. Staging posts such as Bochum, Hattingen, Essen, Oberhausen and Duisburg have long since transformed former factories, smelters, coal mines, power plants and train stations into visitor hotspots. In the Sauerland region, dams, visitor mines in Ramsbeck and Nuttlar, and museums in Arnsberg, Fröndenberg and Hagen provide industrial cultural variety. And the fact that idyllic Ruhr reservoirs, such as Lake Baldeney, were artificially created to cleanse the formerly polluted Ruhr of industrial pollutants is hard to believe today.
The Ruhr-Sieg Cycle Path connects the Ruhr and Sieg Valleys
Cycling where the trains of the industrial age once rattled: on 113 kilometers with little incline, the Ruhr-Sieg Cycle Path leads through a hilly region full of natural experiences and follows former railroad tracks over long stretches. One of the many highlights: the view over the mighty Biggesee, a popular vacation paradise and, as one of Germany's largest dams, still important today for the water supply of the Ruhr region. Another worthwhile stop is the excellently preserved Wendener Hütte, whose charcoal technology is a precursor of the later coke blast furnaces on the Ruhr. Real railroad feeling comes when you go underground: in the Fledermaustunnel between Eslohe and Finnentrop and in the Hohenhainer Tunnel near Freudenberg.