When you hear Leverkusen and Wuppertal, you might immediately think of grey industrial cities. However, the Wupper Trail (Wupperweg in German) proves that both cities have much more to offer and that their surrounding countryside is a real hikers’ paradise. As a long-distance trail of 127 kilometres (79 mi), it leads right through the Bergisches Land, starting at the mouth of the Wupper in Leverkusen, via Wuppertal to its source in Marienheide.
Here, I present the gentle part, those six stages from the mouth of the river to Wuppertal, before heading into the more challenging Bergisches Land. The stages are designed so that you can easily complete them in half a day. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the noise of the traffic, you will be able to relax as you go, surrounded by nature along the rippling, murmuring Wupper.
You can easily reach the stages’ start and end points by public transport. Daily connections and information can be found (in German) here: vrr.de/de/startseite. Accommodation and refreshment stops are available along the route. However, bear in mind that the Wupper riverbank regions were also badly affected by flooding in the summer of 2021, so some options are limited. It's best to find out in advance so that you don't get any nasty surprises.
So what are you waiting for? Lace up your boots and explore one of Germany's most exciting rivers. No matter what time of year, the Wupper Trail is always a great hiking route.
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Last updated: October 28, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
This short initial hike takes you from the mouth of the Wupper into the Rhine through extensive meadows to Leverkusen-Opladen. From its source, the Wupper has covered a good 115 kilometers with a drop of almost 400 meters. With more than 60 tributaries, the last and largest is the Dhünn, whose mouth…
The hike, which is a good eleven kilometers long, scores with many very interesting highlights that are well worth seeing: historic buildings, palaces and castles as well as an educational fish trail and a foray through the picturesque fruit orchard of the region.
You start in Leverkusen-Opladen, cross…
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The hike on the Wupperweg is a good 13 kilometers long on this stage. A loop to the Sengbachtalsperre, which is well worth seeing, adds another three kilometers and a few meters in altitude. In general, the power of the water is the most impressive thing on this stage - of course, in addition to the…
This stage of the Wupperweg is wonderfully wooded, close to nature and green. Just the right thing to clear your head. You start at the foot of the Burger Schlossberg and only a few meters further you pass the church and the historic Engelsfriedhof of Unterburg. Always with a view of the Wupper, it then…
On this stage you can expect a wonderful wooded hike and finally a walk through the idyllic district of Obere Rutenbeck with the numerous, lovingly maintained half-timbered houses. But first, if you like, you can start with breakfast in the beach café on Kohlfurther Bridge. On the weekends, the inn opens…
You will be amazed at how green it is south of Wuppertal! Once past the radio tower Rigi Kulm, you reach the wonderful Gelpetal, the Christbusch and the Kothener Busch.
At the entrance to the Gelpe Valley, you can find out all about nature around Wuppertal in the “Nature and Environment” station in the…
Hiking Collection by Schöffel Sportbekleidung
Hiking Collection by Lust auf Leverkusen
Bike Touring Collection by Saaleradweg
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson