Boathouse Alte Liebe along the Cologne Path in Cologne, © Johannes Höhn

River cycle paths

Al­ways dis­cov­er dif­fer­ent land­scapes along the shore

With the Ruhr, Rhine, Lippe, Lenne, or Sieg, rivers of all sizes shape the landscape along their banks in NRW in different ways. Those following them by bike from source to mouth will experience nature, history, and plenty of cycling fun with little gradient.

Bochum, Brücke Eisenbahnmuseum, © RuhrtalRadweg, Stratmann

Rur­al idyll meets in­dus­tri­al cul­ture

Ruhr Val­ley Cycle Path

From its source high up in the Sauerland to its mouth on the Rhine in Duisburg, the river Ruhr takes any cyclist following its banks past romantic places such as the old town of Arnsberg, Zeche Nachtigall in Witten, or Villa Hügel high above the Baldeneysee in Essen.

Schloss Paffendorf with moat, © Johannes Höhn

Palaces, castles, pretty places

The Erft cycle path

Luckily, the good signage here makes it unnecessary to keep one’s eyes glued to the GPS or bicycle map! Cyclists can focus entirely on enjoying the region, which has one of the greatest moated castle densities in Germany. Castles, fortresses, and cosy little villages are situated on either side of the Erft cycle path that runs along the little river from its source in the Eifel to its mouth on the Lower Rhine.

Lenneufer in Altena, © Jan Graumann

Through the land of 1000 moun­tains

The Len­ner­oute cycle path

The Lenneroute generally leads cyclists through the Sauerland along the riverbanks without any significant gradients. The odd climb is manageable. An experience lift makes even a visit to Altena Castle, towering high above the water, effortless.

Pulpit bridge at the Möhnesee in Sauerland , © Tourismus NRW e.V.

From a small river to a large reser­voir

The Möh­net­al cycle path

Following the small river Möhne from its source in Brilon to the river Ruhr at Arnsberg affords an experience of the Sauerland region without any gradient. Meadows, forests, and the impressive Möhnetalsperre dam characterise this tour.

Drachenburg Castle, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Rhine ro­mance and met­ro­pol­ises

The Rhine cycle path

The most exciting stretch of the 1,320-kilometre-long Rhine cycle path leads through NRW’s romantic landscapes, into the Rhineland metropolises, past the Drachenfelsen, the Cologne Cathedral, the old town of Düsseldorf, the industrial heritage of Duisburg, and the Xanten Archaeological Park.

View of the Hermann Monument and the surroundings of the Teutoburg Forest, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Dive deep in­to his­tory by the river

The Ro­man-Lippe route

The river Lippe used to be an important traffic and transport route for the Roman legionaries two millennia ago. Cyclists following the river can still find their traces between Detmold in the Teutoburg Forest and Xanten in the Lower Rhine region today. For exampel in the LVR Roman Museum in Xanten: The institution was built on the walls of the Basilica thermarum, which was the entrance hall to the city baths of the harbour city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana – one of the largest Roman settlements.

View into the Siegtal, © Naturregion Sieg

Ac­com­pan­ied by the river with many spe­cies of fish

The Sieg cycle path

The river Sieg, the home to more than 40 species of fish and therefore one of the rivers with the most types of fish in Germany, flows through the idyllic landscape in the very south of North Rhine-Westphalia. Around the municipality of Windeck, the river is particularly meandering, creating a charming river valley within steep, forested hills. The Schladern district offers visitors the multi-level Siegwasserfall as a special treat. The largest waterfall in North Rhine-Westphalia, it was artificially created in the scope of railway construction.

  • View from above of the floodplain landscape Bislicher Insel near Xanten in the Lower Rhine region, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Old stain, Freudenberg in Siegen-Wittgenstein, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Rheinradweg Brücke Düsseldorf, © Tourismus NRW / Dominik Ketz
  • Altena Castle Museum, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Blick auf die Lenne bei Altena, © Jan Graumann
    The Biggeblick Skywalk in Attendorn, © Tourismus NRW e.V.