This watermill in Hopsten looks as if it is in the heart of the forest. On each side of the small stream is a half-timbered building with a tiled roof. A wooden bridge spans the stream. The mill wheel is attached to the house on the right. Rays of sunshine are shining down onto the water through the leaves of the trees.
Watermill in Hopsten ©ADFC - DpR
Cycling from A-Z

Töddenland Cycle Route – pedalling on old trading routes

The Tödden were travelling textile merchants of the 17th and 18th century whose traditions shape the Münsterland and Emsland regions to this day. You can find out who they were and what they did on this attractive tour, which has been awarded three stars by the German Cyclists' Federation (ADFC).

This circular route is around 120 kilometres in length. What today seems like a short hop was a long and arduous trip for these wandering merchants carrying rolls of material on their back. The former Tödden houses that appear time and again on the wayside tell of the customs practised by these colourful characters. The first stage of the route takes you through gently rolling countryside to Ibbenbüren, whose old town and municipal museum are well worth a look. After Ibbenbüren, there is a section along the Aa river to the Heiliges Meer conservation area, which is home to woodlarks and kingfishers. You then continue through flat moor and heathland to Hopsten, once the pilgrimage site for the Tödden, and to Mettingen, whose Tüöttenmuseum provides further insights into the lives and customs of these iconic merchants.

Terrain: The Töddenland Cycle Route uses well-maintained cycle paths and and quiet country roads in the Westphalian Münsterland and southern Emsland regions. The route is mainly flat but there are some hilly sections.

Scenery: The route runs through forests, meadows and moors and past rivers and lakes. It crosses nature conservation areas and takes in historical sites associated with the travelling merchants known as the Tödden.

At a glance: Töddenland Cycle Route

  • LENGTH: 120 km
    Circular route
  • TRAVEL: (nearest cities to the route):
    Rheine 25 km | Osnabrück 28 km
  • ABOUT THE ROUTE: mainly flat terrain, hilly in parts, easily managed with children

3-star ADFC quality-certified cycle route

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