Ruhr Valley Cycle Path: 8 days
From the Sauerland to the Rhine.
From the spring to the estuary in 8 days.
One of the most varied and versatile rivers in Germany invites you to discover an entire region with its riverside paths. No other river combines culture and nature in such a small area. On the 230 kilometers from the source near Winterberg to the confluence with the Rhine near Duisburg, the Ruhr connects the original landscape of the Sauerland with the exciting and eventful Ruhr Metropolis. In the Sauerland you cycle mostly downhill through the expanse of mountains and forests, before the valley in the Ruhr area is framed by industrial monuments, castles and half-timbered towns. Here the river is dammed up several times to form large lakes, which serve as attractive leisure and recreational areas and are lined with beautiful bike paths.
1. day Arrival Winterberg
Look forward to Winterberg, the well-known holiday resort in the Hochsauerland near the source of the Ruhr, because Winterberg is not only beautiful in winter! If you have a little time, you shouldn't miss a trip to the observation tower and the fascinating Hochheide on the Kahler Asten. Winterberg can be easily reached by train. If you want to arrive by car, you can park directly at the hotel for the duration of the entire bike tour.
2. day Winterberg - Meschede 41 km
At the source of the Ruhr near Winterberg, at an altitude of 654 m, you start your varied journey along the Ruhr. From there it’s mostly cycling downhill through light forests with wonderful views to the award-winning rose village of Assinghausen. This place has been a officially recognized rose village since 2007 and on a worthwhile tour you will discover beautiful gardens and houses that are decorated with over 150 different types of roses.
At lunchtime, you can take a delightful break in the freshly selected Kneipp spa in Olsberg with its charming cafes and historic restaurants. Also worth seeing is the herb garden and orchard garden in the renatured Ruhr meadows. Finally, via Bestwig, it goes to Meschede with the pretty pedestrian zone. Here you can take a nice excursion to the Hennesee. The park-like Henne-Boulevard leads directly to the "Himmelstreppe", which leads up to the dam with 333 steps.
3. day Meschede - Neheim 43 km
Today the Ruhr runs deeply cut and is framed by the Arnsberg Forest Nature Park. As soon as you are in the saddle, the beautiful park of the moated castle Laer offers a first photo stop. Later in the morning you can take a excursion to the Hünenburg before you come to the old town of Arnsberg, which is almost completely surrounded by the deeply cut Ruhr. Counts, electors, Hesse and Prussia have left their mark on this historic city with the imposing castle ruins, the Landsberger Hof with the Sauerland Museum and the classicism quarter in the well-preserved medieval timber-framed town. In the afternoon you continue cycling along the Ruhr to Neheim with its neat half-timbered houses, the typical Burgmannshöfen and the striking “Sauerland Cathedral”. Here you can end the day in the spacious pedestrian zone or have a sporty tour around the Möhnesee.
4. day Neheim - Herdecke 52 km
Today you leave the Hochsauerland, the surrounding hills become gentler and the valley floodplain becomes wider and forms a scenic new section of the Ruhr valley cycle path. Small towns like Wickede or Fröndenberg invite for a break from the saddle. The route leads leisurely through wide meadows and fields to the old Hanseatic city of Schwerte, with lovingly tended half-timbered houses and the last historic mustard mill in Westphalia (tastings possible). In the afternoon, the Ruhr valley becomes narrower again and a sporty excursion up to the viewpoint of the Hohensyburg ruins is possible. However, the bike path leads flat directly along the banks of the Hengsteysee, a popular local recreation area, and on to the idyllic Herdecke with its new promenade at the Ruhr bank.
5. day Herdecke - Hattingen 38 km
In the morning, the cycle path leads to the “cradle of Ruhr mining” and to the first foothills of the classic Ruhr area. But the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path mostly runs in the countryside and leads over long distances through popular local recreation areas directly on the old towpath on the river bank.
First you cycle next to the Harkortsee, one of a total of six Ruhr reservoirs. Later you cycle via Wengern with the historic town center to Muttental, the cradle of Ruhr mining. Here, the first chunks of black gold were brought to light almost 200 years ago. In the “Zeche Nachtigall” industrial museum, which is well worth seeing, it goes back to the time when horizontal tunnels were driven into the slopes for coal mining and the first shafts were dug into the depths later.
Then you reach the Kemnader reservoir and from there it is not far to Hattingen, where a stroll through the historic old town is worthwhile.
6. day Hattingen - Kettwig 37 km
In the morning you can first plan a tour of the disused Henrichshütte in Hattingen and follow the varied circular route vividly on the trail of iron up to the top of the blast furnace.
Today, the cycle path leads again in an idyllic rural setting right along the river bank. In the morning there its the possibility for a excursion to the Bochum-Dahlhausen Railway Museum with its more than 180 old steam locomotives, wagons and rail buses. You can then comfortably cycle along the Baldeneysee with its many refreshment stops. Here you can visit the Villa Hügel, found in 1873 by the industrialist Alfred Krupp. With so much culture along the way, today's bike stage to the half-timbered old town of Kettwig is kept short!
7. day Kettwig - Duisburg 32 km
The last day of cycling is also packed with highlights. In the morning, the bike path offers an idyllic alternative right on the riverbank to Mülheim. It leads along Broich Castle to the award-winning Aquarius water tower with its multimedia museum on 14 levels. At the end of the trip the route continues on separate cycle paths to where the Ruhr flows into the Rhine. Here, at the end of the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path, symbolically stands the fascinating Rhine Orange, a luminous 25 m high landmark in the middle of the impressive panorama of the Duisburg harbor.
Hopefully you will have enough time in the afternoon to take part in a harbor tour through the largest inland port in the world. You can end the beautiful journey in the renovated inner port in one of the numerous restaurants, pubs or bars.
8. day Duisburg Abreise
The impressive tour on the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path with its diverse scenic and cultural impressions will certainly remain in your memory for a long time! If you want to go back to Winterberg, we offer a practical return transfer in a minibus including bike transport (only on Sundays).
prices & services
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Minimum number of participants
Velociped can withdraw from the tour twenty-one days before the starting date of the tour, at the latest, in case the minimum number of participants stated under the tour description is not attained. You will duly be informed without any delay in case of a withdrawal. Velociped will of course refund the paid tour price immediately. Please note our General Terms and Conditions.
Prices are per person.
09.04. – 15.04.2023
16.04. – 06.05.2023
01.10. – 14.10.2023
11.06. – 01.07.2023
17.09. – 30.09.2023
07.05. – 10.06.2023
02.07. – 16.09.2023
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- GPS tracks on request
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Worth knowing about your trip in the Ruhr Valley
Below you will find specific information about the Ruhr valley bike tour from Winterberg to Duisburg. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Arrival by train
Winterberg is accessible from by train. You first go to Dortmund and from there a local train brings you to Winterberg within 2 hours. It is possible to take bikes with you on the train. Current schedule information and price information can be found at: www.bahn.de.
Train schedule information
Parking facilities at the hotel
Free public parking spaces are available in the immediate vicinity of the hotel; reservation in advance is not possible. You will receive detailed information about the parking options at the hotel booked for you with the detailed travel documents approx. Two weeks before the start of the journey.
Conditions of the bike paths
The Ruhr river bike trail leads mostly on sphalted bike paths without any traffic, paved paths or small roads with few traffic. The bike path is well signposted from Winterberg to the Rhine River. During the first 35 km you will have to climb some rises but after that the route is mostly flat. This bike tour is suitable as well for beginners, groups and families with children from 12 years.
Available rental bikes
If you would like a velocipede rental bike for the tour, we will bring it to your starting hotel and of course pick it up at your destination. You can choose from women's and men's bikes with either a 7-speed gear hub and coaster brake or 27-speed derailleur gears and free-wheeling. All women's bikes have a deep step-through and men's bikes are available in different frame sizes. Our women's bikes are suitable for all cycling enthusiasts from 150 cm in height and the men's bikes from 165 cm. Furthermore, 8-speed unisex e-bikes are available on request. Simply state your bike requirements when booking.
Velociped rental bikes
Back transfer to Winterberg
Every Sunday at around 9:00 a.m. there is the possibility to transfer back to Winterberg in a minibus (with bicycle transport trailer) (arrival there at around 11:30 a.m.). The driver comes to your hotel and drives you back to your starting hotel with your luggage and if necessary with your private bike and ensures a perfect return journey service without the hassle of changing trains or lugging suitcases. If you bring your own bicycles, an additional fee of €19.00 will be charged. The minimum number of participants for this transfer is 2 people.
Extra costs which are not included in the price
A possibly applicable city tax is not part of the tour price and has to be paid at the hotel locally.
7 day hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty surprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
Corona travel information:
Before booking your trip, please inform yourself about the measures in place to contain the Corona pandemic.
Information on current decisions of the German Federal Government can be found here:
Current information on entry requirements to Germany can be found here:
You can also find more information on our website at:
Corona virus and holiday planning
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
Nature, sport and culture characterise the holiday region Winterberg and Hallenberg - you will encounter them at every turn. The charming high heath landscape on the Kahlen Asten or the "New Hagen" near Niedersfeld will always remain in your memory - no matter whether you come to visit in summer or winter. Blossoming mountain meadows, nature reserves, premium and theme trails will bring you wonderful moments in nature. Discover clear waters, historic buildings, the charming Winterberg old town or the Hallenberg half-timbered backdrop.
Assinghausen Village of Roses
Assinghausen is a picture-book village. Well-kept, black and white half-timbered houses with ornate facades and the slate roofs so typical of the Sauerland represent the backdrop for a very special spectacle: the residents have transformed the place into a fantastic rose garden. From about May to September, visitors indulge in bewitching scents and admire the lavish variety of colors of the "Queen of Flowers". More than 150 varieties of roses not only fascinate botanists and garden lovers. Rare varieties such as Yellow Angel, Black Madonna or Heidefeuer thrive in the front gardens. Four rose paths lead through the middle of the village.
In addition to the residents, the Rose Association takes care of the staging, maintenance and guided tours. Assinghausen is one of only six certified rose villages nationwide - that is an obligation.
Discover the vibrant regional administration and university town of Meschede! From hours spent relaxing on the Hennesee lake to the easygoing hustle and bustle in the pedestrian zone: Meschede combines all of these. Meschede is the administrative centre of the Hochsauerlandkreis region and is located directly at the foot of the Hennesee lake. The landscapes of the Arnsberger Wald forest nature park and the Homert hill surround the attractive shopping town. The region around the Hennesee lake is fascinating at any time of the year due to the wonderful location in the middle of extensive forest areas.
Arnsberg is the historic gateway to the "land of a thousand mountains", the Sauerland. Here swinging landscapes, clear lakes, green forests, lush meadows and sparkling clean half-timbered houses characterize the landscape. And Arnsberg, too, with its districts and villages is romantic, varied and close to nature in a beautiful, wooded landscape. The well-preserved medieval old town with imposing castle ruins and the classicism district are unique in the wide area and invite you to stroll and linger.
The northern shore of Lake Harkort is particularly popular: The attractive boardwalk, which runs along the lake from Herdecke, is used by walkers, cyclists and skaters alike. The Ruhr Valley cycle path also runs here. Its inviting culinary offering, mini-golf, boat rental and leisure pool (a natural pool) await visitors and the passenger ship MS "Friedrich Harkort" encourages you to take a trip around the lake. Harkort lake is a lake popular among young and old alike and therefore quite busy.
Witten, Nightingale Mine
The Nightingale Mine is located at the entrance to the idyllic Mutten Valley in Witten. This is where mining in the Ruhr began more than 300 years ago. Initially horizontal galleries were driven into the hillside to get to the "black gold", and subsequently vertical shafts were also built. In the low galleries in our visitor's mine you can relive the special working atmosphere in the past. After the mine ceased operations a quarry and brickworks business moved on to the site. Our exhibitions allow you to immerse yourself in the world of raw materials and the pioneering days of mining.
Hattingen Old Town is very popular as a tourist destination. With its picturesque Old Town and its attractions, Hattingen is situated in the south of the Ruhr region. You amble through serpentine alleyways and marvel at the quaint half-timbered houses with their striking black and white appearance. About 150 of this type of house have been lovingly restored surrounding the small St.-Georgs-Kirche in the town centre. If you require a short break, you can refuel in one of the many restaurants or small cafes. The Old Town is especially atmospheric before Christmas when the popular Christmas market takes place. Don’t forget to see the historic Bügeleisenhaus in the middle of the Old Town: Today it houses a museum and here you can not only marvel at the richly decorated facade, but also at the interesting exhibits of the last 100 years in ‘Made in Hattingen’.
The Villa Hügel
The Villa Huegel in Essen was home to the industrialist Krupp family from 1873 to 1945. With its 269 rooms, set in the middle of a 28-hectare park overlooking Lake Baldeney, it is far more than simply the residence of a famous entrepreneurial family – it is a symbol of the Age of Industrialisation in Germany.
This is a symbol that you can visit, enter and experience ‒ because the Villa Hügel and the park, with its many paths and sculptures, are open to the public. A permanent exhibition in the so-called Small House tells the story of the family and the Krupp company. It also houses the Krupp Historical Archive which, thanks to its extensive inventory, serves as a resource for researchers from Germany as well as abroad.
Essen, Lake Baldeney
An ordinary summer’s day in Essen: hop on the bike and off down to the Baldeneysee (Lake Baldeney). Here in Essen’s far south the city is at its best. Down on the "See", as locals call the eight kilometres of reservoir for short, there is a holiday mood. And even if it be only for one afternoon – tennis balls plop, golf balls click and the gentle wind blows the sails of the many dinghies that cross to and fro between rowing boats, kayaks and surf boards. The fact that the lake is more than just a favourite spot for water sports can be put down to the well-constructed cycle path that hems its banks. There are no difficult hills here - and racing cyclists share the smooth asphalt of the 14-kilometre round course with inline skaters and cycling families with small children. And neither the anglers on the banks nor the ducks and swans are taken in by all this.
Baldeney White Fleet
The Baldeney White Fleet sets sail from April to October – for tours of Essen’s home waters and for cruises along the Ruhr River to the neighbouring city of Muelheim – shore leave in Essen-Kettwig included upon request.
Aquarius Water Museum Mülheim
In 1893 August Thyssen erected the Styrum water tower to supply his rolling mills and collieries with water. In 1912 the industrialist parted company with his water activities on the river Ruhr, and the tower became the property of the newly established RWW Rheinisch-Westfälische Wasserwerksgesellschaft mbH. After its closure in the 1980s RWW decided to preserve the industrial monument and develop it into a place of knowledge about water. The Aquarius Water Museum was opened in 1992.
Landscape Park Duisburg Nord
North Duisburg Landscape Park is one of the Ruhr Area’s most iconic industrial heritage monuments, now transformed into a leisure park for the whole family.
A truly amazing transformation has taken place in Duisburg in the last few decades. Up until 1985, the chimneys here were still belching smoke and workers were enduring sweltering heat to produce crude steel. But all that belongs to the past. Today, a green leisure park has sprung up, providing recreation for locals and tourists alike. The old blast furnace site, which was in danger of becoming an ugly industrial wasteland, has been transformed into North Duisburg Landscape Park (Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord), and is now regarded as a symbolic landmark of the city.
The industrial heritage monument in Duisburg-Meiderich is one of the most iconic symbols of the booming industrial age in the Ruhr Area. This is where Thyssen produced steel for the whole world – until overproduction in the European market led the company to close its long-established site. It was feared that the smelting works would fall into decay after decommissioning. In actual fact, there is more going on today than ever before: concerts and theatrical performances are staged in the former workshop halls, the old gasometer is home to Europe’s largest man-made diving centre, the former ore bin has been transformed into an Alpine-style climbing garden, and a decommissioned blast furnace is now a freely-accessible 70-metre-high observation tower.