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Between nature and industrial heritage - the Emscher-Weg


Between nature and industrial heritage - the Emscher-Weg

Bike Touring Collection by komoot



2-3 h

/ day

61.1 mi

675 ft

1,100 ft

Are you looking for a relaxing bike ride through beautiful nature? Then come to the Ruhr area. What at first sight may seem like a contradiction, is in fact a fascinating opportunity to explore the hidden treasures in the Ruhr area. On the 60 mile (100 kilometer) long Emscher-Weg, you will experience stunning nature and industrial heritage in an exciting and varied way. Along the river, you will witness changing times for example in the form of huge, former industrial areas that have been re-natured and converted into recreational areas. You will also cycle through huge parks that have just been created or are in the process of being created, follow idyllic river landscapes discovering countless works of art along the way, and you will get to know the rich history of the Ruhrgebiet. Cycling through the Ruhr area reveals an unembellished behind the scenes view of the region with its factories, highways, and concrete deserts. It is precisely these contrasts that make the Emscher Weg an incomparably exciting cycle path.

We have divided the 60 miles (100 kilometer) long and completely flat river bike path into two equal stages. The structural, landscape and urban changes don’t just stop at the bike path either. Again and again, the sections are redirected or moved to run through freshly renatured areas. Your journey begins in Holzwickede, in the courtyard of a renovated half-timbered farm where the Emscher bubbles in a pond from the ground. You will then cycle through the romantic Aplerbeck to the huge Phoenix Lake and half around Dortmund. Industrial areas and nature reserves are side by side here, as factory chimneys and sheep herds are neighbors. Long stretches of the bike path run along re-natured areas. Between Recklinghausen and Herne, you will reach the Rhein-Herne-Kanal meaning you have made it halfway.

Right at the beginning of the second part of the Emscher-Weg, you will reach the Hoheward dump, the largest waste tip of the Ruhr area. You will find many interesting artworks along the path such as a singing mountain, concrete sheep or a dancing power pole – you’re sure to be amazed many times. The Halde Wehofen, just before the end of the Emscher Trail, will also catch your attention, because it has been burning for over 70 years. After 60 miles (100 kilometers), the Emscher flows through a river power plant into the mighty Rhine leaving many rich impressions, contrasts and experiences behind you.

On The Map


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Der Emscher-Weg

61.5 mi

725 ft

1,150 ft

Last updated: December 2, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    30.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    350 ft
    675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The cycle path along the Emscher begins directly at its source in Holzwickede, southeast of Dortmund. From the station Holzwickede the Emscherquellhof is about two kilometers away. In this beautiful half-timbered courtyard is the spring of the Emscher and here begins the approximately 100-kilometer Emscher

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    by komoot

  • Intermediate
    30.4 mi
    10.0 mph
    325 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second half of the Emscher Trail begins between Recklinghausen and Herne at the city harbor Recklinghausen. From here to Oberhausen, the Emscher flows parallel to the Rhine-Herne Canal.


    After two and a half kilometers, a short detour to the Hoheward heap is worthwhile. Together with the Hoppenbruch

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    by komoot

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    61.1 mi
  • Duration
    06:09 h
  • Elevation
    675 ft1,100 ft

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Between nature and industrial heritage - the Emscher-Weg

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