Hiking from the Ruhr Area to the Drachenfels on the Rhine
The Bergischer Weg (Bergisch Trail) is a challenging hike through Bergisches Land, but variety is the hiker’s reward.
Following in the footsteps of a 100-year-old hiking trail, the Bergischer Weg (Bergisch Trail) carves its way through the heart of Bergisches Land from the Ruhr Area to Königswinter on the Rhine. Divided into 14 stages, it runs for nearly 260 kilometres through historic villages and idyllic countryside, passing castles, palaces and monuments on its way. Shortly after opening, the Bergisch Trail was awarded the “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” seal of quality.
Highlights on the path include the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, where visitors can take a journey back through time and the history of human evolution. The mighty Schloss Burg in Solingen, one of the largest restored castles in western Germany, is visible from afar. The castle offers more than just a view over the Wupper – it also hosts the Bergisches Museum, which is definitely worth a visit. Exhibitions offer an insight into the history and culture of the Middle Ages, castle life and the typical culture of Bergisches Land.
Although far less well-known than its Cologne counterpart, Altenberg Cathedral in Odenthal is equally worth visiting and is also not far from the trail. The imposing building is part of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1133 and has the largest stained glass window north of the Alps in the shape of its west window, which dates from around 1400. Another equally impressive building along the trail is the Müngsten Bridge, the highest steel grid bridge in Germany at 107 metres.
The Bergisch Trail also has plenty of scenic highlights to offer. It begins near the idyllic Baldeneysee reservoir in Essen and ends on the spectacular slopes of the Drachenfels on the Rhine near Königswinter. In between, it passes through picturesque locations such as the medieval town of Blankenberg and Lindlar, which invites hikers to visit its open-air museum.
Given the route it takes through Bergisches Land, the trail is rated as rather difficult, since hikers are continually confronted with steep ascents.