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Die Route der Industriekultur per Rad führt auch am Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord vorbei, © Thomas Berns

Cyc­ling the Route der In­dus­triekul­tur (In­dus­tri­al Her­it­age Trail)


Dis­cov­er­ing the his­tory of the Ruhr Area by bike

Dis­cov­er­ing the Ruhr Area by bike: the In­dus­tri­al Her­it­age Trail links out­stand­ing at­trac­tions, such as the Gas­o­met­er, Zollver­ein Coal Mine and Land­scape Park Duis­burg North.

The net­work of cycle paths link­ing the many in­dus­tri­al monu­ments on the Route der In­dus­triekul­tur (In­dus­tri­al Her­it­age Trail) between Duis­burg and Hamm cov­ers 700 kilo­metres. The two main paths, the Em­scher­parkrad­weg (Em­scher Park Cycle Path) and the Rundkurs Ruhrge­biet (Ruhr Area Cir­cuit), run more or less in par­al­lel, but are linked up in sev­er­al places by side paths. This gives cyc­lists plenty of free­dom to choose their own route – wheth­er for a day trip or a longer tour of the re­gion.

There are cer­tainly enough in­ter­est­ing sights to fill an ex­ten­ded tour. The Gas­o­met­er in Ober­hausen is the tallest ex­hib­i­tion space in Europe, with fre­quently chan­ging dis­plays and in­stall­a­tions. The Zeche Zollver­ein (Zollver­ein Coal Mine), a UN­ESCO World Her­it­age Site, in Es­sen and the Den­k­malp­fad Zollver­ein (Zollver­ein Her­it­age Trail) provide a very dif­fer­ent kind of mu­seum ex­per­i­en­ce. Also worth a stop-off is the Land­schaft­s­park Duis­burg-Nord (Land­scape Park Duis­burg North) – wheth­er for its climb­ing fa­cil­it­ies, a balmy even­ing at the open-air cinema, or simply to get a close view of the im­press­ive in­dus­tri­al her­it­age site with its blast fur­naces, cast houses and blast­ing halls. An­oth­er in­ter­est­ing de­tour is the old Schiff­shebew­erk Hen­richen­burg, a boat lift in Wal­trop, which was in­aug­ur­ated by Kais­er Wil­helm II in 1899 and is now a mu­seum. Vis­it­ors can learn how the Dortmund-Ems Canal and the lift were con­struc­ted and also see his­tor­ic­al ships at close quar­ters.

Traces of the 150-year in­dus­tri­al his­tory of the Ruhr Area can be found all along the cycle route, from the wind­ing towers and former work­ers’ set­tle­ments that keep ap­pear­ing in the dis­tance to the dis­used rail­way tracks on which some sec­tions of the net­work now run. The route is any­thing but grey and in­dus­tri­al, how­ever: it fol­lows river banks and winds its way through forests in many places. The Ruhr Area may be well-known for its in­dus­tri­al her­it­age, but it also has its share of pleas­ant green land­scapes.

In 2006 the “Route der In­dus­triekul­tur per Rad” was made North Rhine-West­phalia’s Cycle Route of the Year 2006. In 2014, the Ger­man Cyc­lists’ As­so­ci­ation (AD­FC) cer­ti­fied it as a three-star qual­ity route.

Map of NRW

Tour overview


Info, data & tour route

Distance in km
700.0
Duration in days
-
Walking/Journey time in hours
2

Highest point in metres
109
Uphill altitude difference
273
Downhill altitude difference
273
Tour Level
Level of difficulty
easy
  • Round trip
  • Family-friendly
  • Wheelchair-accessible

Images and videos


Be inspired: images of your NRW

Der Gasometer in Oberhausen - beliebte Etappe auf der Route der Industriekultur, © Jochen Schlutius / RTG
Die Zeche Zollverein in Essen gehört zum Unesco-Welterbe, © Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
Die Route der Industriekultur per Rad führt auch am Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord vorbei, © Thomas Berns

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