Schwäbische Alb

Prehistoric landscapes and the Ice Age – cycling in the Brenz region

Landratsamt Heidenheim, Fouad Vollmer

Prehistoric landscapes and the Ice Age – cycling in the Brenz region

Bike Touring Collection by Schwäbische Alb

11

Tours

42:18 h

385 mi

17,575 ft

150 million years ago, marine dinosaurs inhabited the tropical Jurassic Sea. Millions of years later, meteorites smashed into the earth with tremendous force. At some point in time, masses of meltwater from Ice Age glaciers rushed through layers of rocks, forming cave systems. This may sound like an apocalyptic film, but it’s actually the history of how the unique landscape of the Brenz region in the Swabian Alb was formed.

Today, you won’t notice any of these dramatic events as you ride over the rolling Härtsfeld hills, along the winding Brenz, Lone and Egau rivers, through the meteor crater close to Albuch and the lonely forests around Heidenheim. However, the landscapes are fascinating witnesses to prehistoric times and the Ice Age.

In this Collection, we present 11 bike Tours that could not be more varied. As their names suggest, each Tour has a different focal point. The routes take you along the Brenz from its source to its mouth, from crater to crater, to huge stalactite caves, along the historic train lines of the Amstetten-Gerstetten local railroad and into the endless history of the Heidenheim Brenz region.

The Brenz region not only has unique landscapes, enchanting river valleys and hills. You cycle through many small towns with charming medieval alleys and houses. As you ride, you can take a break at one of the countless pubs, restaurants serving Swabian delicacies, or small lakes. There are also many interesting museums en route such as the Riff Museum, Meteor Crater Museum, Steiff Museum, the Vogelherd Archaeopark, the HöhlenSchauLand interactive experience museum at the Charlottenhöhle or the train between Amstetten and Gerstetten. You explore the area on a network of bike paths, some of which have been awarded four stars by the ADFC.

As you can see, there is something for everyone in the Heidenheim Brenz region – whether young or old, solo or with friends and family, a short trip or a multi-day cycling holiday.

If you want to spend several days in the Alb, then take a look at the Alb Valley Cycle Path: komoot.de/collection/1127178.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:30
    35.4 mi
    10.1 mph
    775 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Do you want to cycle along a river from its source to its mouth? No problem! Take a day and two bikes and take the train to Königsbronn, where the …

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  • Difficult
    03:18
    29.1 mi
    8.8 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of the round tour is at the Heidenheim-Schnaitheim train station. Along the Brenz you leave Schnaitheim and descend over a hill into the Steinheim basin, which was …

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  • Difficult
    03:19
    29.1 mi
    8.8 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,975 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Explore the Swabian Alb, step on the pedals and enjoy a cool drink after rushing descents. All of this combines this bike tour. It starts at the train station in Heidenheim.After you have left the pretty town behind you, the first and at the same time crispest ascent of the whole tour to the Hochberg begins. Once at the top you cycle through a wonderfully quiet landscape, through enchanting forests and past lonely courtyards.

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  • Difficult
    07:08
    68.0 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Follow the Brenz from its source to its confluence with the Danube and back over Härtsfeld: on this varied tour you will explore the entire eastern Swabian Alb. Do not be put off by the more than 100 kilometers of route length, because you can easily divide the tour into several stages and thus have more time to explore the countless highlights along the way.

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  • Difficult
    03:41
    33.1 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,125 ft
    925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The Danube-Härtsfeld tour begins in Lauingen, where the Brenz meets the Danube. You start with a drive through the pretty old town and then down to the Danube promenade. Then …

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  • Intermediate
    01:38
    16.2 mi
    9.9 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Swabian Alb is not only exceptionally worth seeing on its surface. Some of their most interesting treasures can be found underground. Thanks to geological activities, countless caves have been …

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  • Intermediate
    02:42
    22.7 mi
    8.4 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The cliff tour begins at the train station in Heidenheim. Steady, gentle inclines accompany you through the Ugental. The valley is hard to beat in terms of idyll and you …

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  • Intermediate
    01:29
    13.4 mi
    9.0 mph
    500 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The local railway cycle path is the perfect excursion for large and small railway fans! The short tour begins in Gerstetten, in the midst of a prehistoric landscape. Of course, the best way to get there is with the local train itself, some of which are on the way with historic cars. It is possible to take bicycles with you!

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  • Intermediate
    02:57
    26.3 mi
    8.9 mph
    700 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this tour you follow the Lone from the source to the mouth and discover unique natural treasures along the river. The 40-kilometer tour starts at Amstetten train station.After …

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  • Difficult
    03:16
    29.7 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The name says it all on the water and stone tour. It is best to take a whole day for this beautiful and somewhat hilly circuit from Schnaitheim, so that you have enough time for the many highlights along the route.The tour starts at Schnaitheim train station. Immediately afterwards you drive gently uphill on a wonderful path through the Möhntal. In Steinweiler you can look into an old quarry and take a break.

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  • Difficult
    09:20
    81.5 mi
    8.7 mph
    5,125 ft
    5,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    As calm and charming as the Swabian Alb is today, the story of its creation is intoxicating and exciting. Clashing continental masses and mighty meteorites formed this beautiful area. On this tour you will explore the geological and scenic highlights of the Alb. Since the route is quite long at 131 kilometers, it makes sense to spend the night once or twice in between.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    385 mi
  • Duration
    42:18 h
  • Elevation
    17,575 ft
Schwäbische Alb

Prehistoric landscapes and the Ice Age – cycling in the Brenz region