Bergischer Weg Kennzeichnung mit einen Schild, © Das Bergische gGmbH

Ber­gisch Trail

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.

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Die Müngstener Brücke liegt auf dem Bergischen Weg, © Uwe Völkner-Fotoagentur FOX
Bergisch Trail, © Das Bergische gGmbH

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