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From the River Rhine to the Main – R9 Cycle Route in Hesse


From the River Rhine to the Main – R9 Cycle Route in Hesse

Bike Touring Collection by Tobias



2-3 h

/ day

62.0 mi

3,450 ft

3,400 ft

The R9 cycle route through the state of Hesse in Germany may be small, but it packs a punch. At just under 100 kilometres (62 miles), it may be the shortest of the nine long-distance cycle routes through this green state but it has it all – culture, scenery, and just the right amount of physical challenge.

Your journey begins in one of the oldest cities in Germany, Worms. Nestled in the Rhine Valley, this city of the legendary Nibelungs clan has many stories to tell. It’s worth arriving the evening before you set off to explore the city. You can divide the long-distance cycle path into a ‘Stage festival play for three days and an eve’, paying homage to the German operatic composer Richard Wagner’s epic musical drama ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ (The Ring of the Nibelung).

The trail takes you deep into the Odenwald (Forest of Odes) and high up into the low mountains, which contrast to the flat landscapes of the plain of the River Rhein. As you climb into the mountains on paved paths, you can enjoy views that stretch far into the distance. The cycle path ends shortly after Hainstadt before you reach the River Main and the Bavarian state border. I’ve included the section to the River Main near the town of Obernburg in this Collection. After all, the route’s motto is ‘from the Rhine to the Main’.

To give you enough time to enjoy the endless culture and wonderful scenery, I’ve divided the route into three stages. If you want to cycle faster or challenge yourself, you can of course cycle the route in a day or two. The route is also linked to various other cycle paths which are a great way to lengthen your Tour. You can find details about these as well as train arrivals and departures in the stage descriptions.

Each stage ends in a town or city with ample places to stay, but it still makes sense to plan and book your accommodation in advance. This way, you can be sure your trip will run hiccup-free and truly relax in the evenings. On your rides, you can fill up on delicious Hessian cuisine, served in rural settings, to keep your strength up. Don’t forget to try the traditional ‘Äppelwoi’ apple wine, too.

With well-developed paths that are easy to access, the R9 is suitable for almost any kind of cycling adventure, whether you go on a weekend trip with the whole family, take your racing bike out for the day, or want to explore the Odenwald on your MTB. The R9 is a wonderful journey between the Rhine and the Main.

On The Map


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Hessischer Radfernweg R9

57.4 mi

3,325 ft

3,250 ft

Last updated: December 15, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Worms nach Heppenheim – Hessischer Radfernweg R9

    18.4 mi
    10.3 mph
    275 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You start your journey on the Hessian long-distance cycle route R9 at Worms main station. The actual bike path does not start until you have crossed the Rhine in the direction of Bürstadt, but you shouldn't miss a visit to the Worms old town, St. Peter's Cathedral and the Nibelungen Museum if you are

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    by Tobias

  • Difficult
    15.3 mi
    8.2 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The second day on the Hessian long-distance cycle path leads you out of Heppenheim in the north and around the Schlossberg. Through the Hambacher Tal, you initially climb gently, later with a significant gain in altitude directly into the Odenwald, which is very impressively defined here in the west

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    by Tobias

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  • Intermediate
    28.4 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third day on your way to the Main already has a few more kilometers in its luggage than the previous two. In return, the elevation profile flattens significantly and only puts a notable hump in your way, which should be done in no time after your drive through the Odenwald.


    The path meanders along

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    by Tobias


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    62.0 mi
  • Duration
    06:33 h
  • Elevation
    3,450 ft3,400 ft

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