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Step back in time on a historic long-distance trail – the Bergische Weg

© Dominik Ketz

Step back in time on a historic long-distance trail – the Bergische Weg

Hiking Collection by Naturarena Bergisches Land

11-25

days

3-6 h

/ day

168 mi

18,175 ft

17,525 ft

The Bergisches Weg (Ber­gisch Trail) follows a 100-year-old long-distance trail through the heart of Germany’s Bergisches Land. Taking you from Essen to Königswinter on the Rhine, the 260 kilometres (162 mi) route connects the two naturparks Bergisches Land and Siebengebirge in 14 stages.

Along the way, countless picturesque stream valleys await you, alternating with scenic hills. You will wander through lovely river valleys and secluded forests, visit castle ruins and stately castles. Historic half-timbered villages invite you to take a tour or stop for a bite to eat. After the hikes, you can explore numerous museums – the perfect combination of nature and culture.

The Bergisch Weg has been awarded the title ‘Quality Trail Wanderbares Deutschland’ by the German Hiking Association. The forest and field paths, the small side roads and the hiking trails are all excellent to walk and wonderfully varied. You can expect some long days with up to 27 kilometres (16.7 mi) while other stages are more leisurely and there is enough time to discover the sights.

The route passes railway stations and bus stops frequently, so you can plan your Bergisch Weg individually. If the start and end points of the stages are not directly in a town, marked access routes will lead you back to the stages from the town centres, railway stations and hosts. You can easily reach the starting point in the south of Essen by train and S-Bahn. You also have access to the railway network at the finish in Königswinter.

In the towns where the stages take place or along the route – should you change your schedule – you can stay in the friendly accommodation of the Bergisches Wanderland. Many hotels and B&Bs are specially geared to the needs of hikers with provisions for the next stage, shuttle and luggage service. This includes all types of accommodation; from comfortable hotels to cosy holiday flats and rustic country inns. So at the end of each stage, a good dinner and a cosy bed await you. Hiking perfection!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:11
    7.14 mi
    2.2 mph
    700 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Bergische Weg starts in the urban area of Essen, but already in the middle of the countryside. So you can travel comfortably by train and then take the S-Bahn to the Essen-Stadtwald stop in the south. From there, the route to the starting point of the long-distance hiking trail on the Baldeneyer Berg is marked.The first section runs …

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  • Difficult
    06:49
    15.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage first leads you down into the Hesper Valley, and then immediately ascends again and hikes via Rottberg to the next valley, through which the Eselsieper Bach flows. This motif remains with you until you reach the stage destination: a hill follows each valley.Shortly before Neviges you can make a detour to Hardenberg Castle. Afterwards, it is …

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  • Difficult
    07:05
    16.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this day there is a reunion with the Düssel. Its picturesque watercourse accompanies you for several kilometers. At almost 26 kilometers, the route is one of the longer on the Bergisches Weg. But their turns allow for many shortcuts.With a clear view you hike from Düssel over meadows and fields past Schöller, which with the towers of a …

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  • Difficult
    06:58
    14.8 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the steep slopes to the left and right of the Wupper, this stage brings together a few meters in altitude and many fantastic views. You leave Graefrath to the east. Through a wonderful landscape you hike a wooded slope down to the Wupper, which you cross immediately to climb on the other side uphill through the Arboretum Burgholz. It is worth taking a careful look here, because trees from all over the world can be discovered.

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  • Difficult
    08:01
    17.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage is in no way inferior to the last - no, with a few kilometers more it even goes a little further. So the motto is: start early and don't worry, the many kilometers don't seem that long on the varied route.The first ten kilometers lead you along the wonderful paths high above the Wupper. A highlight shortly after the start is the Sengbachtalsperre, from which you have a great view over the water.

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  • Difficult
    05:35
    12.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    As soon as you leave Altenberg, you have already reached the first stream of the day: The Pfengstbach starts today, which leads you up to Scheuren. Then you cross the Scherfbachtal and hike to the Eikamper Höhe with a view over the Rhine Valley.Soon you will reach Herrenstrunden, which with its cafés and restaurants is a good place to …

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  • Intermediate
    03:49
    8.80 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this stage you have a long foray through the Königsforst - a leisurely half-day hike with a few meters of altitude. From Bensberg you climb through the Milchborntal up to a couple of ponds and then cross the Moitzfeld district.Behind the bridge over the A4 you dive into the extensive Königsforst. The forest is slightly hilly and crossed …

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  • Difficult
    06:07
    13.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Even on stage 8 it remains wooded and many wonderful paths await you. You hike down to the banks of the Sülz, where a look into the village of Hoffnungsthal with its beautiful church and half-timbered houses is worthwhile. Then it goes uphill on the other side of the river to the Lüderich, where the last mine in the region was closed in 1978. The imposing headframe is a reminder of this. Today there is a golf course here.

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  • Difficult
    05:01
    11.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,075 ft
    850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Winding paths through lonely valleys bring you to Much on this day. The steepest part of the ninth stage is done right at the beginning while you climb out of the Aggertal. Alternating across meadows and through small forests you will find your way into the picturesque Naafbachtal.An idyllic section on the water follows a piece over meadows and …

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    9.54 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On stage 10, the sparsely populated Wahnbachtal is your guide. You walk right on the water, but also high above the valley. So at the end of the day with many scattered climbs, a few meters in altitude come together.From Much it goes straight south through a forest. Then you climb a bit up the slopes, only to go …

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  • Difficult
    05:37
    12.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage promises wonderful views and wonderful paths along the Wahnbach dam, which you hike in its entire length. The route begins on rather wide paths and then changes to narrow paths.It is only about one kilometer from Neunkirchen to the dam. Its entire bank is wooded, which makes the views particularly picturesque. You follow the curves of …

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  • Intermediate
    04:21
    9.33 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Many a rocky path joins the leisurely forest paths on this day. In good weather you can look forward to a distant view of the Siebengebirge and the Eifel. The stage begins with a descent to the banks of the Bröl, which you then follow a little to the northeast.Then it goes uphill through a forest where you cross …

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  • Difficult
    05:02
    11.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave the once fortified core of Blankenberg through the Katharinentor and then follow the city wall until you dive into a forest. Here it goes on a beautiful path along the Ahrenbach until you hike over an elevation to Uckerath, which you cross immediately.On the other side of the village, the terrain is now more open and you …

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  • Intermediate
    04:13
    8.61 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    As the grand finale of the Bergisches Weg, you can once again enjoy beautiful views over the Bergisches Land on this stage. And since the best views are known to be higher up, this goes hand in hand with a few meters of altitude - but it's really worth it.At the beginning the slope is moderate uphill through a …

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    168 mi
  • Duration
    76:01 h
  • Elevation
    18,175 ft17,525 ft

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Step back in time on a historic long-distance trail – the Bergische Weg