Achterhoek and Westmünsterland river landscapes
Always following the water: four rivers point the way
Cyclists following the routes through the river landscape will travel over dykes and meadows, alongside pools, mills and palaces.
In the cross-border Achterhoek-Westmünsterland river landscape (“Flusslandschaft"), four almost car-free cycle routes in total cover over 446 kilometres along the Aa, Berkel, Singe and IJssel rivers. They can be combined as needed via transfer points, in a unique system according to the German cycling association, the ADFC. The four different routes, which are between 65 and 170 kilometres long, can be interlinked via transfer points with longer cycle trails.
Along the Aa route, which covers 76 kilometres between Bocholt and Gendringen in the Netherlands, cyclists will find numerous castles and palaces. A few examples are the Museum Burg Ramsdorf castle in Ramsdorf, offering a glimpse into a past era, the Gemen water castle with its 1,000-year history, and the Anholt water castle with its impressive collection of porcelain and paintings.
The Berkel route leads along around 168 kilometres from the source of the Berkel in Billerbeck into the Netherlands, where it flows into the IJssel. Along the way, it passes the Zwillbrocker Venn fenland nature conservation area, for example, with its flamingo colony, and the bellmaking town of Gescher.
The source of the Issel lies to the north of Raesfeld. It flows through the Netherlands as the Oude IJssel river, before flowing into the IJssel at Doesburg. The 80 kilometre route towards the IJsselmeer lake includes numerous relics from the past, including the water castle at Anholt with its gardens, game park and collection of porcelain and paintings.
The Schlinge has its source in the picturesque town of Gescher, with its impressive bell museum. The neighbouring villages, Südlohn and Oeding, invite cyclists to stop for a rest. On the Dutch side, the Schlinge becomes the Boven Slinge, after which this cycle route is named. The Slinge route can be covered in two ways: along a 65-kilometre route and a 90-kilometre route.