Ruhr Valley Cycle Path

The way is the goal and the Ruhr is the compass: On the 240-kilometer Ruhr Valley Cycle Path, 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 "Steel Time Travelers" Luise & Alfred: Ruhr Valley Cycle Path


Now let's go all the way back to the beginning. Let's go to the source of the Ruhr, always against the current, Luise. On to Winterberg!

Full dialog text
Al: Now let's go all the way back to the beginning. Let's go to the source of the Ruhr, always against the current, Luise. On to Winterberg!

Lu: Take it easy! For you steeled pedal knights, that may be an incentive. But the source of the Ruhr is almost 700 meters high! Here in Duisburg we are only a few meters above sea level.

Al: We ride along the river! You won't even notice the incline. Pleasure cycling with a high goal. You are ambitious and used to mountains, aren't you?

Lu: Where there's a river, there's a train. We take the new train to the high Sauerland. So we can enjoy the ride and only the anticipation rises.

Al: Get on, you've convinced me. Then we cycle down the Ruhr, "rolling home" as the British say. In two to three day's stages we'll be back at the mouth of the river.

Lu: Then we'll surely stop at some excellent inns and let ourselves be spoiled with local delicacies and cool refreshments?

Al: You said it. Hospitality has always been very important in the Ruhr. The Benedictine monks and other religious already knew that.

Lu: ... and how to brew beer or how to extract the delicious juice from the fruits of the forest and meadows! Good luck, Alfred.

Visitor information

The Ruhr Valley Cycle Path begins at the source of the Ruhr at the Ruhrkopf near Winterberg and ends in Duisburg.

Informationen about the The Ruhr Valley Cycle Path:

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Ruhr Valley Cycle Path


Cycling where the trains of the industrial era once rattled: on 113 kilometres with minimal ascents, the Ruhr-Sieg Cycling Trail crosses a rolling countryside full of natural attractions, most of its route following former railway tracks. One of the many highlights: the panoramic view over the vast Biggesee, a popular holiday paradise and, as one of the largest dams in Germany, still important for the water supply of the Ruhr District. Another worthwhile stop is the exceptionally well-preserved Wendener Hütte, with its charcoal technology a precursor of the later coke blast furnaces on the Ruhr. Real railway feeling comes when you go underground: in the Fledermaustunnel between Eslohe and Finnentrop and in the Hohenhainer Tunnel near Freudenberg …

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Ruhr Valley Cycle Path Middle Section


On my preferred section, the Ruhr winds through wide floodplains in countless loops. It "swallows" its wild sisters Lenne and Volme south of the Hohensyburg near Hagen, and then follows a furious ride past castles, collieries and factories. There I am completely in my element. We even have to cross once. Hopefully the ferryman at Hardenstein Castle will still have a place free for us!

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Ruhr Valley Cycle Path Eastern Section


The Kahle Asten is the highlight of our trip, Alfred. From here, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Ruhr! Then in a whirlwind down to Olsberg, past the legendary Bruchhauser Steinen. Speaking of stones: Ore and slate are mined in this area - and up on the hills Christmas trees thrive splendidly. How about a pine tree for your hilltop villa? Finally, the stage takes us to Arnsberg with its old monastery, romantic castle ruins, and inns that are up to no good and are well equipped to deal with cabbage.

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