Kristof

Riding through nature on Frankfurt’s doorstep – Nidda Cycle Path

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Riding through nature on Frankfurt’s doorstep – Nidda Cycle Path

Bike Touring Collection by Kristof

At 700 metres (2,300 feet) above sea level, in the volcanic Vogelsberg Mountains between the cities of Frankfurt, Gießen and Fulda, springs the Nidda River. Curiously, it doesn’t spring at the source of the Nidda, but slightly above at Landgrafenborn. Here, a tiny river trickles out of the rocks before meandering almost 100 km (62 miles) through the central German state of Hesse and flowing into the Main between Höchst and Nied, two city districts of Frankfurt.

The landscape changes constantly, from wooded low mountain ranges to high moors, reservoirs, and parks – everything you could want for a great bike trip. Many nature reserves, that are home to various plant and animal species including birds, also lie en route. As well as wonderful nature, you pass cultural sites such as castles, pretty old towns with half-timbered houses, and several works of art.

A few years ago, I lived in Frankfurt for a short while, but I unfortunately didn't have my bike with me. If I had known back then that there was such a great cycle path just outside the city, I would definitely have brought my bike. That’s why I decided to create this Collection. If you live in and around Frankfurt, you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of the city on your two wheels. You can follow the river from its source to its mouth in just a weekend, or even a day. So get out and head to the Vogelsberg Mountains!

You can reach the cycle path with the train, but you can take the Vulkan-Express-Bus with your bike to Hoherodskopf peak, which is just four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Landgrafenborn. For more information (in German), see: rmv.de/c/de/start/vgo/freizeit/vulkan-express/allgemeines. It’s even easier to get home from the mouth of the river via Frankfurt-Höchst railway station, which is the second largest station in the metropolis of Main and an important regional transport hub. On your adventure, you’ll find several places to stay overnight ranging from campsites to spa hotels. You can also hop on and off the train at several places en route or choose to only ride the third stage in Frankfurt’s green belt. Of course, there’s no shortage of good, regional food to keep you energised on your rides either. So now you see, it’s easy to get out into nature – you just need your bike and your legs.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Easy
    01:17
    15.7 mi
    12.3 mph
    150 ft
    2,100 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the midst of beautiful nature, an inconspicuous little river splashes out of the earth. The Nidda rises at Landgrafenborn and flows into the Main 100 kilometers later in Frankfurt. Unfortunately there is no railroad far and wide that can bring you to the source. It was dismantled as early as 1960. But don't worry, a Vulkan-Express bus will take you to Hoherodskopf, about four kilometers from Landgrafenborn. You can find information here: rmv.de/c/de/start/vgo/freizeit/vulkan-express/allgemeines.The first stage is particularly easy to drive. It's only 25 kilometers long and it's almost always slightly downhill. Right from the start, extraordinary natural sights await you: the raised bog in the Breungeshainer Heide, one of only two raised bogs in Hesse. Then you come to the rafting pond to the nature reserve Bannwald Niddahänge. There it is worthwhile to briefly leave the cycle path and walk to the babbling Nidda.The first major place on this stage is Schotten. Shortly before you drive into the city, the bird park with a café, petting zoo and a sensory park is on the left. The old town of Schotten is enchanting with its many half-timbered houses. Here you can spend your lunch break. South of the old town, directly on the Niddaufer, is a beautifully landscaped park.You drive comfortably past the Nidda reservoir and across meadows. Again and again the path leads you directly along the Nidda. The destination of the stage is in Nidda, which has a train station. There are two options for the next stage: Either continue directly along the Nidda or take a short detour via Bad Salzhausen.

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    Intermediate
    02:44
    29.3 mi
    10.7 mph
    350 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For the second stage you have two options, which only differ in the first ten kilometers. In this variant you drive from Nidda via Ranstadt.If you haven't already done it, you should drive into the old town in Nidda. There are many beautiful half-timbered houses, a castle and in the Johanniter Park even a church tower without a church.The tour continues through floodplain landscapes, where animals and nature feel comfortable. There are also bird watching stations and information boards along the way. Not only interesting for ornithologists, but also for everyone who wants to get out of Frankfurt a bit to get close to nature.A longer stop is worthwhile in Staden. There is a nice restaurant in the architecturally interesting Ysenburg Castle there. Next to it you will find a park and not far from it, right on the bike path, a nature reserve and a fountain where you can refill your water bottle.The further stage always takes you directly along the Nidda and you follow the river as it meanders through beautiful meadow and floodplain landscapes and flows through pretty villages. For even more variety, there are also some works of art that were set up next to the bike path.The end of the second stage is in Bad Vilbel. After the stage you can cool off in the outdoor pool, get on the train or, if you still have strength and inclination, join the 20-kilometer third stage. It leads you through the Frankfurt green belt to the mouth of the Nidda in the Main.

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  • Intermediate
    02:45
    29.5 mi
    10.8 mph
    500 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For the second stage you have two options, which only differ in the first ten kilometers. In this variant you drive from Nidda via the health resort Bad Salzhausen.A little detour into the old town of Nidda is worthwhile. There are many beautiful half-timbered houses, a castle and a few cafes. In Nidda you drive over the river of the same name. Not far from your bike path is the Johanniterpark with a church tower without a church. Then it goes over a small slope to Bad Salzhausen, where you can relax in the spa gardens.The tour continues through floodplain landscapes where animals and nature feel comfortable. There are also bird watching stations and information boards along the way. Not only interesting for ornithologists, but also for those who want to get out of Frankfurt a bit to get close to nature.A longer stop is worthwhile in Staden. There is a nice restaurant in the architecturally interesting Ysenburg Castle there. Next to it you will find a park and not far from it, right on the bike path, a nature reserve and a fountain where you can refill your water bottle.The further stage always takes you directly along the Nidda and you follow the river as it meanders through beautiful meadow and floodplain landscapes and flows through pretty villages. For even more variety, there are also some works of art that were set up next to the bike path.The end of the second stage is in Bad Vilbel. After the stage, you can cool off in the outdoor pool, get on the train or, if you still have strength and inclination, join the 20-kilometer third stage. It leads you through the Frankfurt green belt to the mouth of the Nidda in the Main.

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    Easy
    01:14
    13.2 mi
    10.7 mph
    150 ft
    200 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last stage on the Nidda cycle path is short and very easy to ride. At the same time, it is an idyllic excursion through the wonderful nature in Frankfurt's green belt. If you live in or near Frankfurt, this short stage is also a nice idea for a half-day excursion. The tour begins in Bad Vilbel, the starting point is easily accessible by train.From Bad Vilbel you first drive directly along the Nidda and follow its meanders through the fields. To the left and right of the river there are always larger and smaller sections left in their natural state, so that plants and animals have enough space to develop.In Bonames you can make a detour to the old airport, which has now been renatured and converted into a park. There is a nice café in the former tower. Then it goes on through the green belt of Frankfurt. There are great parks on your way, such as Volkspark Nidda or Brentanopark.After you passed under the second oldest railway bridge in Germany, you will soon have reached the mouth of the Nidda. It flows almost unspectacularly into the stately Main, 100 kilometers after it drips from a rock.If you follow the course of the river for a few meters, you will reach the small but special Höchst old town with its castle. Not far from there you can get on the train at Frankfurt-Höchst station.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    87.7 mi
  • Duration
    07:59 h
  • Elevation
    1,150 ft

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Kristof

Riding through nature on Frankfurt’s doorstep – Nidda Cycle Path