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Discover Germany by bike

Long-distance routes and tour tips

Emscher Cycle Route - A river with a future

Riverside nature and industrial heritage: the Emscher Route crosses the Ruhr region from east to west, offering a unique perspective on the transformation of an area once defined by coal mining and steel.

The history of the Ruhr region has always been closely linked with that of the Emscher river. Now, the Emscher renaturalisation project aims to restore the river to its former glory. The scenery constantly changes as you cycle through the heart of the Ruhr region from idyllic Holzwickede to Lake Phoenix in Dortmund. Further along the route you’ll encounter industrial plants, waterworks, historical parks, man-made waste heaps and vibrant natural beauty. Along the Emscher Route, the future of the river, its people and its fauna and flora is already beginning to take shape.

Terrain: flat, family-friendly route along the Emscher river. The paths are mainly surfaced with crushed brick or stone, some are on asphalt and most are traffic-free.

Scenery: as the route follows the Emscher river across the Ruhr region, river scenery and conservation areas continually alternate with industrial landscapes and industrial monuments.

  • Length: 106 km
  • Starts: Holzwickede
  • Ends: Dinslaken where the Emscher flows into the Rhine
  • Dortmund 14 km | Essen 27 km | Duisburg 22 km
  • About the route: mainly flat, easily managed by children, majority of route suitable for trailers

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