Westerwald-Taunus-Bergstraße – Hessian long-distance cycle route R8


Westerwald-Taunus-Bergstraße – Hessian long-distance cycle route R8

Bike Touring Collection by Jesko



3-6 h

/ day

177 mi

8,425 ft

9,025 ft

Crossing the state of Hesse lengthwise, you experience diverse nature and enchanting low mountain ranges. In between the mountains, you discover the river valleys of Eder, Dill and Lahn as well as typical Hessian villages with their half-timbered houses, castles and palaces. The cities of Dillenburg, Limburg an der Lahn, Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt also lie en route. This adventure offers lots of culture as well as nature and tranquility and you’ll remember the wild Westerwald, the dreamlike Taunus and the opulent Odenwald mountains for a long time to come.

The Hessian long-distance cycle route R8 takes you on an exciting journey of discovery through Hesse, a state in western Germany. You mostly ride along paved bike paths or on some gravel and forest trails. A road bike would be suitable for most of this adventure, but a classic touring bike or gravel bike will definitely be more comfortable.

As you cross several of Hesse’s low mountain ranges, the elevation profile is hilly throughout. Get ready for a few climbs – an e-bike may come in handy here. If you’re up for it, you’ll be rewarded with great views and plenty of descents. After all, what goes up has to come down! This is probably the best way to get to know the contours of Hesse.

Both the starting point, the town of Frankenberg an der Eder, and your destination in Heppenheim have excellent rail connections. You pass numerous train stations en route too, which is useful if you just want to cycle individual stages or change your plans. I’ve divided the total route into five stages, which you can use as a rough guide. You can, of course, adjust the stage lengths depending on your mood and fitness level.

Hesse has an extensive network of cycle paths, including nine different official long-distance cycle routes. These numbered routes are linked together in various places so you can easily combine them. In some cases, they also overlap with other cycle paths. You can also find the other Hessian long-distance cycle routes in my Collections.

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    35.8 mi
    8.9 mph
    2,275 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It starts in Frankenberg an der Eder in northern Hesse, just around the corner from the local train station. Incidentally, the Hessian long-distance cycle path R6 and the Ederauen cycle path also run along here, if you prefer to travel by bike. A short detour to the city center, which is well worth seeing, can't hurt. In addition to many …

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  • Difficult
    40.2 mi
    9.4 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave Simmersbach and roll on gently sloping paths through the beautiful landscape until you come across the banks of the Dill near Dillenburg. Dillenburg is on Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse, so it's not surprising that the old town has some beautiful old buildings to offer. The ensemble is crowned by the sight of the impressive Schlossberg with Wilhelmsturm and casemates. It …

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  • Intermediate
    28.3 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,100 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Behind Hadamar you leave the Westerwald, in front of you is the Lahn and behind it the Taunus. Before you leave Limburg again over the Lahnbrücke, you should definitely pay a visit to the nearby old town. Not only is the cathedral impressive, the entire historic old town has largely been preserved in its original state and is now a …

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  • Difficult
    37.0 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,775 ft
    2,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    You leave Idstein behind you and roll on gravel roads in the direction of Dasbach. The Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes, the border wall of the Roman Empire at that time, ran nearby about 2,000 years ago. The striking watchtower above the village marks the ground monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will soon reach Eppstein via Oberseelbach and Oberjosbach. The …

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  • Difficult
    35.9 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The fifth and last stage on the Hessian long-distance cycle route R8 is coming up. It is best to get water and provisions in Dreieichenhain, because until Darmstadt you will only be out and about in the forest. You also only briefly touch the big city in the eastern part before heading back into the forest. Of course, you can …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    177 mi
  • Duration
    19:13 h
  • Elevation
    8,425 ft9,025 ft

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Westerwald-Taunus-Bergstraße – Hessian long-distance cycle route R8