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From mountains to the Ruhr – ride the Lenneroute through the Sauerland

Julian Ref

From mountains to the Ruhr – ride the Lenneroute through the Sauerland

Bike Touring Collection by Johanna



2-4 h

/ day

89.6 mi

4,025 ft

5,875 ft

The Lenneroute winds its way through the picturesque Sauerland region in western Germany for just over 140 kilometres (87 miles). From the mountains, where the Lenne, the most important tributary of the Ruhr River rises, you cycle downstream through beautiful nature characterised by deep green forests and wide meadows. You follow the river as it loops through a valley, hugged by hills. En route, you enjoy unforgettable views of fairytale castles and relaxing breaks in idyllic villages nestled along the riverbank.

In this Collection, I show you how to ride the Lenneroute in three stages, ranging in length from 38 to 66 kilometres (23.6 to 41 miles). If you like an even sportier challenge, you can combine the first two stages and ride the complete Tour in two days. Your adventure through the Sauerland starts in the town of Winterberg which you can reach with the regional train from Dortmund. Your journey ends in the town of Wetter (Ruhr) where you can travel home with the S-Bahn in the direction of Dortmund or Hagen.

From the starting point in Winterberg, you first cycle to the source of the Lenne River, which rises on the Hohe Asten, the highest mountain in the Sauerland. Afterwards, you ride mostly downhill, but you still gain plenty of elevation along the way, which makes the first two stages a bit more challenging. Staying close to the river, you finally reach Hagen, where the Lenne flows into the Ruhr after 129 kilometres (80 miles). But your journey doesn't end here. For a fitting finale, you roll along the impressive Ruhr reservoirs into the beautiful town of Wetter (Ruhr).

En route and in the stage destinations, you can look forward to good infrastructure. The region has many accommodation options such as hotels, guesthouses and holiday rentals. You can find a generous selection of places to stay in all of the stage towns. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you always have the choice to hop on a train. Your physical well-being is also well taken care of – cosy restaurants and charming cafes are great places to stop and reflect on your journey and replenish your energy for the kilometres to come.

On The Map


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89.0 mi

4,025 ft

5,875 ft

Last updated: November 15, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Winterberg nach Saalhausen – Lenneroute

    24.4 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,525 ft
    2,650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of the Lenneroute is in the beautiful Winterberg. The best way to get to the idyllic place is by regional train from Dortmund. At the train station in Winterberg you get on your bike and cycle off.


    At the beginning it is a bit uphill, because your path leads you to the Kahler Asten

    translated byView Original

    by Johanna

  • 02:31
    23.8 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,550 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage of the Lenneroute begins with a short but crisp ascent. As a reward for the effort, you can enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding landscape with its wooded hills along the way.


    Then it goes on a rapid descent down to the banks of the Lenne. In the valley you follow the playful loops

    translated byView Original

    by Johanna

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  • 04:17
    41.4 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third and last stage on the Lenneroute starts in Plettenberg directly on the river bank. With a view of the water and the surrounding, extremely idyllic landscape, you follow the bike path. It leads you through picturesque meadows and several times over the river. So you can enjoy spectacular views

    translated byView Original

    by Johanna


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    89.6 mi
  • Duration
    09:30 h
  • Elevation
    4,025 ft5,875 ft

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