Cycling in the Sauerland, the land of a thousand hills, is becoming more and more popular. This rural area to the north of the Rhine River in Germany offers rolling hills, green forests, wide fields, bathing lakes, and narrow valleys, which are all perfect to explore from your saddle. The region also has culture and history in abundance with plenty of interesting museums and historical monuments en route.
Around half of the route leads along former railway lines that are almost completely flat. You’ll pass many relics that hint at times gone by such as waiting rooms, railways bridges and the Kückelheim tunnel, which is nicknamed the ‘bat tunnel’ as bats overwinter here.
In this Collection we present two circular cycling routes: The SauerlandRadring (Sauerland Cycle Ring) and the HenneseeSchleife (Hennesee Loop). Covering 52 miles (84 km) in total, the SauerlandRadring is a challenging route through varied landscapes. If you prefer, you can stay overnight and split the route into two, giving you even more time to enjoy your hilly surroundings.
The HenneseeSchleife takes you on a 25-mile (40-km) adventure as it connects the SauerlandRadring with the Ruhr Valley Cycle Way. You’ll ride over former railway lines through Wennetal Valley and finish with a fantastic stretch along Hennessee Lake.
Both of the circulars are easy to reach by train. You can travel from Meschede and Finentrop in under one hour, making the routes ideal for a weekend getaway or relaxing day trip. The routes are signposted throughout so you can enjoy your trip care-free.
The SauerlandRadring has enchanted its guests for a decade and a half. Over 84 kilometers you will experience quiet corners, technical monuments and exciting museums. Meanwhile you drive through extensive deciduous and coniferous forests and on hills with a wonderful view of the idyllic landscape. And best of all: half of the route runs on former railway lines that have been converted into great bike paths.In principle, it doesn't matter where you start the round. Because like with the train, you can get on anywhere. The main towns on the route are Finnentrop, Eslohe, Schmallenberg and Lennestadt. To Finnentrop, for example, you take the regional train from Hagen an hour and from Siegen three quarters of an hour.From Finnentrop you follow the Lenne for a few kilometers before turning into the Frettertal in Lenhausen. There you mostly drive on the route of the former railway, on which you will also encounter some relics, such as an old freight wagon. The absolute highlight, however, is the “bat tunnel”, in whose protection bats spend the winter.A few kilometers later, the next interesting place awaits you, the “DampfLandLeute” Museum Eslohe, which is both a home and a technical museum. In addition to 14 steam engines, you will also find six locomotives there.After half of the way you finally reach Schmallenberg. Now you have made the biggest climbs. Although one or the other climb is still waiting for you, it tends to go downhill. In Schmallenberg there is a coffee break in the historic old town or - if you have your snack with you, you can simply enjoy it in the fresh air in the spa park. You will soon reach your starting point Finnentrop again via Lennestadt.
The Hennesee loop is, so to speak, the little sister of the SauerlandRadring. It connects it to the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path and, at 40 kilometers, is a wonderful route including a crowning conclusion at Lake Hennesee.The Regional Express takes you from Dortmund Central Station to Meschede, the starting point of the Hennesee Loop, in exactly one hour. First you follow the Ruhr a few kilometers and then turn into the Wennetal in Wennemen.You are now driving on a former railway line, the beginning of which marks a very well-preserved old railway bridge. The route is wonderful to drive and you keep hearing the river lapping. Along the way you will often be reminded that a train used to run here: in places you discover old train station buildings or sometimes drive through a tunnel.After a few hills you finally reach the beautiful Hennesee and drive along the entire eastern shore of the reservoir. Don't forget to pack your bathing suit, because there are some great swimming spots along the way.At the dam at the north end of the lake, a beautiful panoramic view awaits you before you whiz down the last stretch back to Meschede. This beautiful round through the Sauerland ends there.
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