Cycling towards the horizon – the Emsland Route in Northern Germany
© Emsland Tourismus GmbH, Birgit Janknecht
Just before the German mainland merges with the sea behind East Frisia, the beautiful Emsland region stretches along the Dutch border. With views stretching as far as the eye can see, this flat landscape is a wonderful place to cycle. Both the nature and culture lover in you will be satisfied as you ride between canals, floodplains and unspoilt moorland to historic towns, villages and sights, such as the star-shaped Clemenswerth hunting lodge.
To give you even more leeway when planning your trip, we present two different ways of riding the Emsland Route. Depending on how much time or effort you want to invest, you can ride the route in a 402 kilometre (250 mile) lap or in a shorter 316 kilometre (196 mile) variant. If you wish, you can also split your adventure into two routes. You can find all the information and Tours you need for planning in this Collection.
No matter which option you choose, your journey begins at Meppen train station, making it convenient to reach with public transport from anywhere. From Meppen, the Emsland Route first takes you to the north to the port city of Papenburg, close to the East Frisian border. Here, giant cruise ships decorate the horizon as they are assembled in the Meyer shipyard. Next, you curve east to Haselünne, reaching the southernmost point of the Emsland route in Rheine, just after the North Rhine-Westphalian border. From there, the route continues to Lingen and back to Meppen.
The route’s flat gradients make it ideal for beginners or families with children. And, of course, you don't have to do all the stages, which are sometimes a bit long, in one go. You’ll find great places to stay along the route such as rustic country inns and accommodation for cyclists. To keep you energised, you can try a range of tasty regional and international specialities. In times of need, however, you can also simply visit a farm shop or a chic mill café to experience Emsland hospitality.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: April 27, 2023
They start your journey through the Emsland ... Well where? On the Ems, of course. More precisely in the city of Meppen at the local train station. In Meppen, the Hase and Ems flow together and both flow into the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which not only accompanies many ships on their way to or from the North…
With Papenburg you have already reached the northernmost point of the Emsland route. Shortly before the East Frisian border, the cycle path makes a bend towards the southeast. However, it takes a moment before you have cycled out of Papenburg - although the way is not far, there is a new interesting…
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The short variant of the second stage takes you on a direct route south from Börgermoor to Sögel. This way you can save almost exactly 50 kilometers of the total distance. You won't get past the concentration camp memorial in Esterwegen or the beautiful Erikasee, but other great highlights await you…
Your journey on the third stage of the Emsland route begins at the Hase in Haselünne, that idyllic river that you last met briefly at the beginning of your journey in Meppen. The cycle path follows a short stretch of this wonderful river landscape to Herzlake, where it branches off to the south.
The shortcut between Haselünne and Meppen, which you can use to easily split the Emsland route into two smaller rounds, for example, runs comfortably on the cycle path along the Hase. You follow the playful course of the river and cross idyllic floodplain landscapes, while hardly a larger town crosses…
Today's stage goes back to the Ems. She will also accompany you on the rest of the route until you finally get back to your starting point in Meppen. Before you get to the Ems, you make a short detour from Spelle to the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which you follow to the city of Rheine - the southernmost point…
The last stage on the Emsland route takes you from Lingen over an approximately 43-kilometer detour towards the Dutch border and then back to your starting point in Meppen. If you prefer to drive directly to Meppen - that is, along the Ems - we recommend the shorter version of stage 5. It saves you 35…
The short variant of stage number 5 takes you directly from Groß Hesepe to Rühle. You skip the generous extra round in the direction of the Netherlands, but you cycle comfortably over fields and meadows along the meandering Ems.
If you want, you can make a short detour to the river and visit a hydropower…
Bike Touring Collection by NORTH STAR PEDALING
Bike Touring Collection by Emsland Tourismus GmbH
Mountain Biking Collection by Scotty Laughland
Hiking Collection by sianannalewis