With their low gradients, very rare crossings, and locations often far removed from the roads, former railway lines make for great bicycle routes that take cyclists even through hilly landscapes in a relaxed manner, interspersed with opportunities to learn more about the cultural past of these tracks.
Bridges, tunnels, and viaducts
Out on the Bergische panoramic cycle path
Cycling comfortably in the mountains? The Bergische panoramic cycle path makes it possible, allowing cyclists to travel through the region on former railway lines without any major gradients. Special highlights include the 14 tunnels, viaducts up to 40 metres tall, and the many bridges on and along the route. One of them, the Müngstener Brücke and Germany’s highest railway bridge offers the ideal place for a break.
Starting point: The Röntgen Museum
The Balkan route
The Balkan route cycle path starts out in Remscheid. This town with its historic centre with cobbled streets, romantic squares, and angled half-timbered houses is a true eye-catcher. Dive into the world of the explorer and discoverer on a small detour to the Röntgen Museum before setting out on the Balkan route.
400 million years of Earth history
The Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path
The Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path leads right across the hilly neanderland. Since cyclists use the former railway tracks here as well, the gradient also remains low. The Wülfrath time tunnel, simulating a time travel through 400 million years of Earth history, is a special highlight along the way. Used by bats as their winter quarters, it remains closed in the cold season.
A break at the bathing lake
The Sauerlandradring cycle path
Travelling the Sauerlandradring cycle path, you should make sure to stop at the Hennesee no matter if you prefer swimming, sailing, or boating. Situated in the landscape of the Sauerland-Rothaargebirge nature park, this seems like the ideal place to get off the bike for a bit and take a deep breath.
The Vennbahn route passes a number of towns that are definitely worth a visit. Cyclists should plan a stop in Aachen to take a stroll through the old town and marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage of the Aachen Cathedral. A detour to the idyllic clothier town of Monschau, enchanting with its romantic half-timbered houses and twisting alleys, is another good option.
Idyllic water landscapes
This cycle path past five reservoirs and through the region with the highest number of reservoirs in Europe, the Bergisches Land, treats dam enthusiasts to their hearts’ delight. Can anything beat a stopover in idyllic water landscapes? No matter if you like to engage in water sports or prefer a picnic on the shore, these reservoirs and lakes are ideal to take a break.
Downhill to the Sichel
The Erzbahntrasse cycle path
Get off the pedals and just roll downhill – it may not be quite as easy as that, but the Erzbahntrasse cycle path from Bochum to Gelsenkirchen has a slightly downhill gradient on about ten kilometres. Its destination is the Grimberger Sichel, a semi-circular bridge structure for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Rhine-Herne-Canal.