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Four Rivers Tour – Hessian Long-distance Cycle Route R2


Four Rivers Tour – Hessian Long-distance Cycle Route R2

Bike Touring Collection by Jesko



3-6 h

/ day

125 mi

5,025 ft

5,400 ft

Following cycle paths and quiet roads, the Hessian Long-distance Cycle Route R2 takes you on a journey along rivers as they flow across the state of Hesse in the west of Germany. The trail, named after four rivers – the Lahn, Fulda, Lüder, and Lauter, also leads through the Rothaar Mountains and the Vogelsberg range. You pass through numerous typical Hessian half-timbered villages and cover many kilometers through extensive forests and meadows.

Around 80% of the R2 is paved and perfect for touring bikes, but you can ride on a road bike with a wider tread or gravel bike too. You should have a certain basic fitness level to enjoy the low mountain sections on stages 2 and 3. However, the climbs are never very steep.

Most of the time, you ride on cycle paths close to rivers or occasionally also on roads (towards the end of the southern part of the route). You pass train stations en route so you can easily ride sections of the entire route or combine it with other bike paths.

I have divided the 202-kilometer (125-mile) Tour into three daily stages, each of which ends in cities with various overnight stays. This makes it easy to enjoy a long weekend along the route. You can travel to the starting point Bad Laasphe by train from Marburg, among other places.

Hesse has an extensive network of bike paths, including nine different official long-distance bike routes. These numbered paths are linked together at various points so you can combine them together as you like. They also sometimes overlap with other bike paths.

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Hessischer Radfernweg R2

125 mi

5,025 ft

5,375 ft

Last updated: November 6, 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

  • Intermediate
    43.0 mi
    10.5 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your four-river tour begins at the Hessian border between Bad Laasphe and Wallau. Not far from here, in the North Rhine-Westphalian part of the Rothaargebirge, the Lahn rises from the Lahntopf. This is not a classic spring, but a spring pond. A detour is definitely worth it if you have enough time. The

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    by Jesko

  • Difficult
    44.3 mi
    9.8 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today several typical Hessian half-timbered towns are waiting for your visit. The second stage is much more hilly than the first. Right at the beginning there is a somewhat steeper ascent between Neustadt and Willingshausen.


    Now you are at the drift. At Seibelsdorf this was dammed into a dam. The route

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    by Jesko

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  • Difficult
    37.9 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,975 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last stage of your journey through Hessen is coming up. You leave Fulda and follow the river of the same name southwards.


    There were already a lot of interesting historical buildings to see in Fulda, but it is also worth stopping on the first few kilometers out of the city. The very impressive baroque

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    by Jesko


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    125 mi
  • Duration
    12:29 h
  • Elevation
    5,025 ft5,400 ft

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Four Rivers Tour – Hessian Long-distance Cycle Route R2

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