balkantrasse-die-bergischen-drei, © Die Bergischen Drei

Balkantrasse Cycle Path

On the tracks of the Balkan Express railway

A convenient way to see the sights: the Balkantrasse leads cyclists to the Rhine lowlands along a disused railway line.

The Balkantrasse provides an ideal route for cyclists to pedal through the hills of Bergisches Land before descending to the Rhine lowlands. The name is a reference to the “Balkan Express”, as the former railway line between Leverkusen-Opladen and Remscheid-Lennep was commonly known. From 1868 until the 1980s, trains rolled along this route and now attractive sights and insights can be enjoyed from the vantage point of a bike saddle: forests, meadows, ornate houses and gardens, the town centres of Lennep, Bergisch Born, Wermelskirchen and Burscheid – town life alternates with country idyll along the Balkantrasse. Milestones serve as a reminder of the railway’s past along the approximately 28 kilometre stretch. There are places to rest, cafés and restaurants.

Remscheid-Lennep train station is the perfect start or end point for a cycle tour. The historic town centre is pure Bergisch idyll: cobbled alleys, romantic squares and angular half-timbered houses with black slates, vibrant green shutters and gleaming white door and window frames. The almost circular layout has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages, and most of the houses are protected monuments. Those thirsty for knowledge can visit the German Röntgen Museum and journey into the world of the discoverer of X-rays, Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen.

The Balkantrasse forms part of the NRW Panorama-Radweg (NRW Panorama Cycle Path) network, which combines individual routes into an overall system more than 300 kilometres long. It links up the former railway lines in Bergisches Land, the south of the Ruhr Area and Sauerland and creates connections between popular cycle paths along the Rhine, Ruhr and Sieg rivers. Around 175 kilometres run along very flat former railways and even the connecting paths have only a few strenuous sections.

More information:
Deutsches Röntgen-Museum (German Röntgen Museum)
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00

Map of NRW

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