Beautiful lakes, rivers & canals — cycling in Emsland

Bike Touring Collection by Emsland Tourismus

Water is omnipresent when cycling in the Emsland, be it in the form of the river Ems, which gives it its name, the Dortmund-Ems Canal or the numerous lakes and streams. There is sometimes a maritime flair when you admire the ships of the open-air museum in Papenburg or watch the sailing boats on the Haselünnersee in peace and quiet.

In this collection we show you the eight most beautiful day trips in Emsland, which take you along the Dortmund-Ems Canal, through the magnificent Ems floodplains and to picturesque lakes such as the Haselünnersee or the Geeste reservoir. The circuits are between 14 and 43 miles (22 and 69 kilometers) long and almost free of gradients. Besides the wonderful nature you will experience a lot of culture in different open-air and local museums as well as the charm of the shipping town Haren, the old town of Meppen and the maritime flair of Papenburg.

But the Emsland also has a lot to offer besides the water: The region is criss-crossed by an almost gravel-free cycle path network with a total length of 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometers). Historic wind and water mills, magnificent manor houses, the unique Clemenswerth Castle and mysterious moorland landscapes provide for varied cycling tours. There are a total of 45 day tours in Emsland, all of which are dedicated to a specific theme. In addition to the eight day tours in this collection, you will also find the remaining 45 tours in our profile.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:54
    30.3 mi
    10.4 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Spooky or man-made, a wetland biotope or a flower-rich sand-dry grassland - the See (h) -Tour links different natural areas on both sides of the Ems north of Lingen. The tour starts at Geester Speichersee, which is on the one hand a popular area for surfers and other water sports enthusiasts. On the other hand, but also in protected areas to a habitat for rare animal and plant species was. Biking and hiking trails make the variety of waterfowl and amphibians come alive.Passing by particularly pronounced meanders of the Ems, the tour takes you to the Wachendorf nature adventure trail. At about 3.5 kilometers, you will discover a variety of sandy habitats: inland dunes, pine forests, sandy dry grasslands, heathland and lowland meadows, which are particularly rich in different flowers and butterflies. On the way there are also a primeval juniper grove and the Biener Busch, one of the largest preserved floodplain forests of the Ems. Often flooded in winter, in the summer it gives an impression of what European primeval forests once looked like.In addition, you pass the Dalum-Wietmarscher Moor, which you can overlook from a lookout hill. The diverse nature impressions of this compact tour can be fabulously complemented with a canoe trip on the Ems.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:14
    42.9 mi
    10.1 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Trade and harbors, leisure activities and nature experiences on the big waterway as well as the scenic beauties of the northern nature park area you will experience on this round trip. Between Old Port and Museum Harbor you first explore the historic core of the traditional boatman town of Haren (Ems) - possibly including an excursion trip with the passenger ship Amisia, which also leaves again after your return.Along the Ems and the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal you will reach Meppen. Here you can explore the historic sights and take a stroll through the shopping streets. Maybe you also feel like a snack or a museum visit? In the Borkener paradise you will then experience the contrast between lively city and the idyllic peace. The nature reserve within an Ems arm is just a bit outside Meppen. An old Hutewald is preserved here: grazing areas with huge solitary trees, under which even today cows and horses graze.On the "Dandelion Discovery Tours" you will get to know the Fullener forest and its animal inhabitants. On the way to the Netherlands you will experience more and more moor. And just behind the border you can visit the Veenpark in Barger-Compascuum: two museum villages with traditional craftsmen, boat tours over the moor channels, the tedious work of peat cutting. The Veenpark is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe and can hardly be explored on a flying visit. So you can remember the park for a later day trip. Afterwards you will enjoy the return journey towards Haren - past the kart track Emslandring, at the Ferienzentrum Schloss Dankern with its large bathing lake and the Mersmühle with the mill museum.

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Easy
    01:17
    13.7 mi
    10.6 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This bike tour is like an expedition to the animal kingdom: on the route through the part of the nature reserve Emsauen between Rhede and Papenburg, you keep an eye on the natural course of the river, explore the primeval landscape of its old arms and experience an unusually diverse bird life - so remember to take your binoculars with you.At the time of bird migration in spring and autumn, you can easily see the huge swarms of seed and pale geese, whistling and teals, singing and miniature swans, even with unarmed eyes. However, in order to spot breeding birds such as the lion's vetch, the spotted puffin or the bluethroat, it is necessary to take a closer look. Or to listen attentively - for example, to the typical call of the lapwing.At the turning point of the circuit, you can take a look at the harbor of Papenburg from an unfamiliar perspective, before returning to the meadow landscape with its individual shrubbery forests. One of the highlights of the tour is not least the stop at Melkhüsken Specker-Dünhoft: Here you can enjoy delicious food made from milk, hearty fortifications, coffee and cake as well as a look into the courtyard's large rose and cottage garden.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:18
    23.6 mi
    10.2 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Continue straight on along the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal out of Meppen - and in wide curves following the course of the Ems following to Meppen into: On this tour you can enjoy the charming water landscapes north of the "capital" of Emsland. This not least includes the reservoir Geeste, at the same time a popular water sports and recreational waters and a biodiverse biotope.But along the shore you will also find plenty of good reasons to stop. For example, the parish church of St. Nicholas and Coppenrath's Knusperlädchen right next to the school bakery in Groß Hesepe. Or the farmers' garden in Rühle, which 16 tenants use for their own needs. As a guest you will also find a snack garden plot, where you can taste the typical fruits of an Emsland farmer garden.Back in Meppen, there are plenty of ways to round off the day. Perhaps with a stop at the beautiful historic marketplace, with a stroll through the city and a visit to the high school or the Propsteikirche St. Vitus? But you might also feel like visiting the Emsland Archeology Museum or the city-historical exhibition in the Arenbergische Rentei. Before returning to Meppen, make a detour from the tour: In Gross Hesepe you can cycle to the Emsland Moormuseum with its fabulous exhibition on nature and the historic settlement of the moor.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:30
    23.0 mi
    9.2 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Keep up the good work: then you will be transported from the capital of Emsland to the oldest city in the region - and back again. Again and again you will meet the sweeping, natural run of the river on the way, enjoy charming cultural landscapes on its shores and discover impressive cultural treasures. In the village of Bückelte, for example, a late-Gothic chapel, the exterior of which may seem inconspicuous - but in its choir it is decorated with some 500-year-old frescoes, which were accidentally discovered during a renovation in 1963 and then carefully exposed.You can also see mediaeval architecture in Haselünne: Burgmannshöfe, the representative residences of the service nobility, which together with proud town houses and the historic town hall shape the image of the old town. Not to forget: in Haselünne the tradition of grain burning is very much alive. A museum shows the history of high-proof enjoyment, and local companies offer eventful company visits and tastings. Last but not least, the view into the St. Vincentius Church with its beautiful Gothic vault and its valuable furnishings is worthwhile.Almost twice as old is the church that you will discover on the way back: in Bokeloh, St. Vitus was built on the banks of the Hare more than 1,000 years ago. Right next door, the Alte Schule makes learning as 100 years ago. In addition, an exhibition commemorates the work of the artist Otto Pankok in Bokeloh. Back in Meppen you can see other magnificent churches, such as the proud Propsteikirche St. Vitus. Or you relax at the coupling lock and give your tired legs a short Kneipp cure: this prevents tension and sore muscles.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:36
    38.0 mi
    10.6 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On a large round you get to know the old Emsbüren and its surrounding communities. Fresh and rested, you first cover a few kilometers to the north - and then relax on a detour to Lingen in the Hanekenfähr recreation area. Here you can enjoy the view of the Emswehr or the lock. Perhaps you would like to go on a trip on the Ems and Dortmund-Ems Canal?Then continue along the waterway by bike. First to Heitel near Lünne, where you can play a game of football golf. Then you cross the canal at the Venhaus lock, reach the Ems at Listrup and explore their meadows. A short detour to Salzbergen is worthwhile just because of the fire brigade museum with its extensive collection of historical fire engines and equipment.Through the Käsevenn with its attractive moor and water landscapes you finally reach the Emsflower adventure park. Europe's largest nursery shows the whole variety of plant cultivation: from pansies for the next season to exotic plants in the tropical garden, from Mediterranean geraniums to Asian koi in the water landscape. You can discover small garden art back in Emsbüren: in the lovingly tended herb garden of the Heimathof. In the eight half-timbered houses of this open-air museum, you will also get to know the everyday life of the rural population of the 18th century.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:26
    43.0 mi
    9.7 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    On this tour you will experience first-hand how water characterizes the Emsland region. Of course you will discover the Ems, but also numerous lakes, streams and canals with many natural and technical highlights.You start in Haselünne and drive first along the hare, a tributary of the Ems. The open-air and local history museum with an ensemble of six half-timbered houses soon invites to a first break. Here you can discover historic technology and take a look at the collection of old farm and farm equipment before returning to the Rabbit's Shore to continue your tour.The hare, its oxbow lakes and tributaries such as the Teglinger Bach, together with the drainage channels of the marshes, shape the landscape on the way towards Meppen. At the lock Meppen you cross the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal and reach the drinking-water-adventure-path shortly after the village of Schwefelingen. Topics such as drinking water treatment, groundwater protection and the natural water cycle are conveyed vividly and playfully here.Now the route reaches the Ems, which you follow on your left side and approach Geeste and the reservoir of the same name. Originally the basin was a technical building, but today the waters have long since become a meeting point for numerous water sports enthusiasts. In addition, a species-rich biotope with a number of birds and amphibians was created in a protected area. Many beautiful waterfront spots invite you for a break before heading off to the last leg of the round.On the way back to Haselünne a few technical highlights are waiting for you. So worth a stop at the home Bawinkel or at the windmill Clusorth-Bramhar. And also this area has a lot to offer - not least in the nature reserve Haselünner Kuhweide. Back in Haselünne, it is worth taking a detour to the cozy center of the oldest town in Emsland. The art of grain burning is a cultural and culinary highlight - you should not miss out on experiencing it.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:38
    25.7 mi
    9.8 mph
    350 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    On this tour you can relax and enjoy the water landscapes south of Meppen. Along the hare you will cycle to Bokeloh, which is undoubtedly the oldest and perhaps most beautiful church in the region: St. Vitus has been rising for more than 1,000 years on the banks of the Hare. Next door in the Old School, an exhibition commemorates the creative period of the artist Otto Pankok in the Emsland.In a small arc, it goes through the field and forest to the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal, whose dead straight bed you follow to the reservoir Geeste. In addition to the popular watersports waters you will find here a biodiverse biotope. Back to Meppen you cycle almost along forests and always within sight of the Ems. At Varloh, you'll explore the subject of water: The Drinking Water Adventure Trail shows how to extract and protect our most important food in a playful way.At the Apiculture Krebber shortly before Meppen you will find out that honey is not just a stimulant: Here you can count on the healing effects of different bee products. Back in Meppen, you can enjoy all the diversity of the modern district town with its almost 1,400-year history. At a snack with a view of the historic town hall or a stroll through the shopping streets, the Gymnasialkirche and the neighboring residence, you can end the day comfortably.

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?

Comments

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    240 mi
  • Duration
    23:54 h
  • Elevation
    2,975 ft
Beautiful lakes, rivers & canals — cycling in Emsland
Bike Touring Collection by
Emsland Tourismus