Water & history – 6 days on the Römer‑Lippe Route

Bike Touring Collection by

On the six stages of the Römer-Lippe-Route, you will cover around 190 miles (300 kilometers) as you explore the beautiful floodplain landscape around the Lippe. As you go, you'll cycle alongside charming canals and discover the traces of the Roman legionaries who walked this route millennia before you. And if history isn't your thing, you can rule out any museum visits and simply enjoy the beautiful nature you're about to cycle past — the choice is yours.

But now a few facts: During the reign of Emperor Augustus, the Roman troops made numerous advances to Germania in order to conquer the area and declare it a Roman province. The river Lippe was used by boats and barges in order to transport troops and supplies more quickly. Only in the year 9 AD Arminius, also known as Hermann, put an end to these plans of conquest during the Battle of Varus in the Teutoburg Forest. The Roman-Lippe Route takes you and your bicycle from Hermannsdenkmal near Detmold along the course of the Lippe to the Rhine and the archaeological Roman Park in Xanten.

Only on the first stage, which runs through the foothills of the Teutoburg Forest, few hilly sections await you. Aside from these, you'll be comfortably cycling over flat terrain the whole way. Along the route, you will visit small towns and tranquil villages; place that perfectly combine archeology and tranquility into one picturesque experience. The Roman Museum in Haltern, the Roman Park in Bergkamen-Oberaden and the magnificent Archaeological Park in Xanten are the noteworthy Highlights for all Roman enthusiasts.

Regarding finding a place to rest after a day in the saddle, you'll find numerous accommodation options in each of the route's stage destination. You'll also encounter many cafes, inns, and restaurants where you can reward yourself with a relaxing break. What's more, as all the destinations can be reached easily by train, you can put together your own personal multi-day ride on the Römer-Lippe Route or even just go for a simple day trip and take the train home afterward.

If you can't get enough of the Römer-Lippe-Route, then the eleven thematic loops visible at roemerlipperoute.de are a hot tip for you. The side trips will take you off the route to other Roman remains and beautiful rivers, streams and springs.

The Römer-Lippe-Route is recommended in the brochure "Deutschland per Rad entdecken" by the ADFC (German Cyclist's Association).

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    30.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,325 ft
    2,175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your tour on the Roman-Lippe-Route spoils you right at the beginning with a brilliant entrance. At the foot of the Hermannsdenkmal begins your search for the Romans in Westphalia. From Hermannsdenkmal it goes through the tranquil town of Detmold, past the impressive Externsteine ​​and up to the Lippe spring in Bad Lippspringe. From here you cycle over wide fields to the stage destination Paderborn.Starting point is the monumental statue of Hermann, the Cherusker. In the year 9 AD, he united numerous Germanic princes under his banner and defeated with them the mighty army of the Roman governor Varus. The Romans then withdrew behind the Limes and behind the Rhine - and who knows: Without Hermann today we might even speak Latin.From Hermannsdenkmal, which stands on the wooded summit of the Grotenburg, the cycle path meanders along the slope and descends to Detmold. Here you cycle through the small old town, where a detour to the Lippisches Landesmuseum is worthwhile. Here you can get to the bottom of the story about the Varus Battle in the Teutoburg Forest.After the museum stop, you cycle out of Detmold on the green banks of the Friedrichstaler canal. From the edge of the city, the Römer-Lippe-Route winds roughly along the brook of the Berlebecke along small wooded areas and over wide fields.You will also pass through the villages of Heiligenkirchen, Berlebeck and Holzhausen until you reach the next highlight of today's tour. The famous "Externsteine" rock formation towers above a mirror-smooth pond in a beautiful wooded area. The stones have been visited for centuries by people who have left their mark on the rocks here. If you like, you can even climb a staircase and enjoy the view.From the Externsteine, the bike path meanders through the wooded valley of the Strothe. Afterwards you cycle again over wide fields to the Lippe spring in Bad Lippspringe. With various restaurants, the health resort is perfect for a long break.Afterwards, the bike path leads you through fields and meadows to the stage destination Paderborn.If you want to save yourself the rather steep climb to Hermann before the start of your tour, then you can go from Easter to early November with the bicycle bus line 792 from the station Detmold to the Hermannsdenkmal. The station Detmold is well connected to the regional and long-distance traffic network of the German course. The timetable of line 792 can be found at lippemobil.de/de/infothek-service/touristiklinie-792.If you prefer to travel with your own car, you will find various parking garages with low daily rates in Detmold. An overview can be found at stadtverkehr-detmold.de/parken/parkgebuehren-in-detmold.

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  • Intermediate
    27.3 mi
    10.2 mph
    250 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In addition to the Roman camp Anreppen stands on the second leg of the Roman-Lippe-Route, the enjoyment of nature quite clearly in the foreground. From Paderborn you cycle along the Pader River to Lake Lippesee and out of the city between idyllically situated Baggerseen lakes. Through the picturesque Lippeauen and along the quiet Bokerkanal it then goes towards your destination. Shortly before you reach Lippstadt, the Römer-Lippe-Route takes you back to the Lippe, which then accompanies you into the city.At the cathedral of Paderborn begins your stage today. You follow the course of the Pader through a long green area, until the river on the outskirts together with the Alme flows into the lip. A little later you reach the Lippesee. In fact, it is not the lip but the tuna that are dammed up in the large artificial lake. Originally, the Lippe was also a tributary of the reservoir, but measurements have shown that the water quality of the lip deteriorated significantly after it flowed through the lake. Therefore, you have created a floodplain south of the lake, so that the lip can once flow around the lake. The cycle path leads directly along this floodplain landscape.Afterwards, the bike path meanders past some artificial lakes, which once served as dredging holes for gravel quarrying. In contrast to Lippesee, bathing is strictly prohibited due to possible dangers. After crossing the village of Bentfeld you will reach the Roman camp Anreppen on the meadows of the Lippeauen. During excavations traces of a large military camp were discovered here. On site you can find out about the state of research in a hut. The old streets and parts of the trenches have been reconstructed on the wide meadow, so you can get a good overview of the former dimensions.A little later you reach the village of Boke, where you can take a break in various restaurants or cafes. After your rest you leave first the run of the lip and cycle north. You cross the narrow Delbrück-Oppeler-Graben and soon after hit the Bokerkanal, which flows straight through a picturesque landscape of fields and meadows.The Römer-Lippe-Route follows the course of the canal and you are literally floating there on the well-maintained cycle path. After following the canal for about ten kilometers, the cycle path bends back south. You now cycle past the Alberssee and shortly thereafter you hit the lip again. Along the shore, the path leads you into the stage destination Lippstadt.

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  • Intermediate
    35.3 mi
    9.9 mph
    475 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    On your third leg, the Romans will just let you be Roman and instead dedicate yourself to the lip. Today, the Roman-Lippe route runs for long stretches along the renatured Lippe. On beautiful cycle paths, you follow the meandering course of the river, which just a few years ago flowed straight through Westfalen like in a tight corset. Now you enjoy the varied landscape and peaceful nature on your way to Hamm.Your tour starts right on the banks of the Lippe in the center of Lippstadt. The Römer-Lippe-Route will take you along the river and after a few minutes you will cycle through beautiful nature. Wide meadows, small wooded areas and beautiful views of the narrow river are a real treat on the first section of the stage.Without much effort, you cycle quite comfortably through the floodplains of the Lippe and pass the two villages Benninghausen and Eickelborn, which are located directly on the river. Various rest areas and viewpoints invite you to take a break and discover the renatured landscape. At Hovestadt you cross the Lippe and cycle into the neighboring Herzfeld. Both places are perfect with cafes and inns for a longer and well-deserved break.Afterwards, the Römer-Lippe-Route leaves the Lippeaue for a few kilometers and instead leads you across wide fields and meadows. After cycling past Haus Assen, a moated castle today used as a boarding school, the cycle path takes you back through Lippborg back to the lip.The rest of the route to the final destination winds its way along the Lippe, across wide fields and on the banks of the Datteln-Hamm canal into Hamm.

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  • Intermediate
    23.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    400 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If, after the third stage, you are thirsting for more archeological highlights, the fourth stage will not disappoint. The path leads you along the river Lippe to the Roman camp in Oberaden. Here not only ditches and roads were laid out on the uncovered terrain, but a part of the protective wall with watchtowers was rebuilt true to the original - history to touch.From the Maximilian Park, the starting point of the fourth stage, the cycle path takes you on quiet roads through Hamm to the Datteln-Hamm-Canal. Right on the shore you cycle comfortably through the city and get so little of the daily bustle. In fact, here the canal runs directly parallel to the lip. Both waters are separated by a narrow causeway over which your bike path runs. Only on the edge of the city does the lip change from its straightened bed back to the renatured Lippeauen.The Römer-Lippe-Route leads you through the peaceful meadows and on the outskirts of Werne. With the many cafes and restaurants, the old town of Werner is also perfect for a cozy break. Afterwards you cross the Lippe and the Datteln-Hamm-Kanal and cycle past the heap "Großer Holz". If you feel like it and have enough stamina, you can even go up to the heap and enjoy the view from the top.Only a little later you reach the Römerpark in Oberaden with the reconstructed wall of the Roman camp. Between May and September the Römerpark is always open on weekends. If you want to know more about the Romans in Bergkamen and Oberaden, it is worthwhile to visit the city museum "Galerie Sole 1", which is only a few minutes away by bike.From Römerlager the Römer-Lippe-Route takes you first along the Datteln-Hamm-Canal and finally back to Lippeufer until the stage destination Lünen.

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  • Intermediate
    27.7 mi
    8.8 mph
    475 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the fifth day of the Roman-Lippe-Route you cycle from Lünen on the northern edge of the Ruhr area. Right on the border to Münsterland you get here from the huge metropolitan area but nothing. Instead, the bike path leads you across wide fields, through small towns and along the Wesel-Datteln-Kanal. Also detours in the Aulandschaft the lip should not be missed. At the end of this varied tour, you will stand on the banks of the Haltern Reservoir, which invites you on a warm day for a swim break.Along the Lippe, the fifth stage takes you right out of Lünen. After cycling a short distance along the meadows, you cross the river and then follow the Datteln-Hamm-Kanal. Soon, the bike path makes a northbound loop and leads you back over the lip and on to Bork. If you would like to take a break now, then Bork is perfect for that.Next you cycle over open fields and meadows and enjoy the wide view. Soon you'll be back on the lip, where you can admire an impressive engineering masterpiece. At this point, the Dortmund-Ems Canal in a huge trough bridge leads across the narrow river - a stunning sight.A little further downriver you reach the Alte Fahrt, an old arm of the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal. The old canal was too narrow for the growing shipping traffic and is therefore no longer used. The Römer-Lippe-Route follows the course of the canal southwards until it meets the Wesel-Datteln-Kanal at Datteln. At the lock in Datteln you can also take a break in one of the inns before continuing your bike ride.Now it goes straight along the canal. From the bike path you have a great view of the canal and the slow passing ships. Leave the canal at the small village of Naesheim and cycle north to the Haltern reservoir. Here you drive with great views along the south shore of the lake into the city.If you have started early, you can end the afternoon in Haltern with a visit to the outstanding Roman Museum. Alternatively, also lures the cozy old town with its nice streets and good food.

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  • Intermediate
    42.5 mi
    9.5 mph
    600 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The sixth stage is in every respect the culmination of the Roman-Lippe-Route. From Haltern you accompany the Lippe on their last kilometers to the confluence with the Rhine at Wesel. After saying goodbye to the lip, it's on to Xanten. There is the Archeological Park with the temple, the Roman inn, the amphitheater and the museum a must-visit for all cyclists on the Roman-Lippe route.If you have not been to the Roman Museum Haltern the day before, then you can make a detour to the museum before the start of your bike tour. Otherwise, follow the signposted Römer-Lippe route out of the city and soon after hit the Aulandschaft der Lippe.The bike path follows the course of the river and leads you through picturesque meadows and small villages. Behind Dorsten you also meet the Wesel-Datteln-Kanal, which runs parallel to the Lippe. The bike path leads you between the two waters along the direction of the mouth of the Rhine.Shortly before Wesel you cycle on the Roman-Lippe-Route through the varied landscape of the Drevenacker dunes. Here fertile wet meadows, small forests and sandy hills alternate and offer many animals a home.In your dinghy through Wesel you can also take a break in the city, because here are numerous rest stops. Immediately afterwards it is time to say goodbye. On a bridge you first cross the Lippe, which flows a few meters further into the Rhine, and then the Rhine.Along the wide meadows of the Niederrheinische Aue the Römer-Lippe-Route takes you up to your stage destination Xanten. Here you should definitely plan for the visit of the Roman park and the attached museum sufficient time. If you want to dive right, it's best to hang on for a day and explore every corner of the park.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    187 mi
  • Duration
    19:27 h
  • Elevation
    3,525 ft
    4,675 ft