Exotic birds, enchanting half-timbered villages, and quiet monastery gardens are some of the surprises and new impressions with often lesser known sights that can be found along the cycle paths in NRW. Re-cycling strongly recommended!
Exotic birds in the Zwillbrocker Venn
On the Flamingo route
The Münsterland region turns pink in spring and summer, as flamingos have chosen the Zwillbrocker Venn to found the northernmost flamingo breeding colony in the world. They can be observed particularly well from the specially installed vantage points from March to July, though successful breeding can continue until September. The Flamingo route, around 450 kilometres long, leads through the bird paradise and other nature preserves.
Pilgrimage by pedals
Out on the Kloster-Garten route
Artfully laid out abbey gardens with useful herbs and magnificent flower beds, as well as historically relevant churches and monasteries adorn the path along the Kloster-Garten route (abbey garden route) through the Teutoburg Forest. Particularly heavenly sights include the UNESCO world heritage site of Corvey, the Abbey of Marienmünster, and the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Höxter- Brenkhausen, originally founded by Cistercian nuns, passed into the hands of Benedictine nuns, and now run by Egyptian monks who will cordially welcome their visitors. Other sights can be found along the 190-kilometre-long route as well, including the organ museum in Borgentreich and the Weser Skywalk near Beverungen.
Beauty in black and white
Out on the historical town centres cycle path
Time seems to have frozen in many historical town centres with their small half-timbered houses in black and white, gabled brick buildings, brightly coloured shutters, and narrow alleys. The pretty town centres of Warendorf, Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Rietberg, Lippstadt, Soest, Werl, Werne, Steinfurt, and Tecklenburg are strung like pearls on the approximately 390-kilometre-long round tour of historical town centres.
Fresh fruit and rural idyll
Out on the Rhineland apple route
The Rhineland apple route is centred around meadow and apple orchards, picturesque villages, and beautiful views. In particular at the times of the fruit blossom in spring and harvest in autumn, the 120-kilometre-long round route offers many a feast for the eyes, while the numerous farm shops and farm cafés along the route please the palate.
Cycling to graduation houses and brine springs
Out on the Westphalian salt route
The Westphalian salt route connects places connected to historical salt production between Unna on the edge of the Ruhr area and Salzkotten in the Teutoburg Forest on 77 kilometres. This region has mined and used salt, not least for health reasons, for centuries. You can treat yourself to a trip to one of the graduation houses or brine springs along the cycle route to enjoy a deep breath or submerse yourself in the water. The “Westfälische Salzwelten” (Westphalian Salt Worlds) adventure museum in Bad Sassendorf in the Sauerland region, also integrated into the route, presents the history of salt production and allows an experience of the significance of this crystal for health close up. For example, visitors can extract brine or try out the work of a salt worker from centuries ago.
Following on the tracks of mounted messengers
On the Friedensroute
Cyclists can follow the communication channels of the 17th century through the Münsterland on the route of the former Reichspostlinie from Münster to Osnabrück, now marked as the “Friedensroute” (peace route), connecting the two cities’ historical town halls. Mounted messengers used to ensure exchange of news between the two negotiation spots chosen for the peace talks at the end of the Thirty Years War. It leads through the Münsterland park landscape and the foothills of the Teutoburg Forest as well as along places steeped in history such as the “Friedenssäle” (peace halls) in either town hall, historical post stations still serving as inns today, and other places where the Peace of Westphalia was negotiated, such as the moated castle Haus Marc in Tecklenburg.