Hannah

Moorland and nautical history – cycling the Fehn Route in Germany

Andreas

Moorland and nautical history – cycling the Fehn Route in Germany

Bike Touring Collection by Hannah

5

Tours

12:13 h

121 mi

900 ft

Cycling along straight canals, over white folding bridges, past traditional cargo ships and windmills – the Fehn area is uniquely charming. The word “Fehn”, originating from old German, describes marshy meadow. In the 17th century, Fehn described a method of partially draining moorland to create navigable canals. This also meant that valuable peat could be excavated and used as fuel. Today, the Fehn landscape is marked by the traces of history. You can follow the Fehn route for 107 miles (173 km) through this exciting area of East Frisia in Germany.

In this Collection I have prepared the official Fehn route in four stages. You can also cut the circular route in half by choosing the alternative third stage. This makes the route perfect for a weekend getaway or a short trip, whichever suits you best. The adventure starts in the port city of Leer, where you will return at the end of the last stage. Each stage varies in length from around 18 to 37 miles (30 and 60 km) along flat terrain, making it the perfect first bike tour for beginners.

From Leer, you cycle past the beautiful Timmeler Meer lake landscape, where you can watch boats bobbing in the water and go for a swim. Afterwards, you ride along the Wieken and canals to the flower community of Wiesmoor. The Fehnroute leads you further through the East Frisian canal communities, past traditional Gulf Courts to Barßel, where you can discover the interesting Fehn Museum Elisabethfehn. Next traditional windmills and sailing ships await in Papenburg. The final leg from Papenburg back to Leer takes you along one of the largest dry docks in the world. If you choose the alternative route, you can look forward to a hand-operated ferry, which is the last one in Europe.

In the stage destinations Wiesmoor, Barßel and Papenburg you can find beautiful and inexpensive holiday apartments, campsites or farms where you can stay overnight. There are also plenty of places to stock up on supplies and treat yourself to East Frisian cuisine en route. Leer is easy to reach by train with direct links to Koblenz, Leipzig and Munster. If your adventure has given you a taste for water, you can also take the train to Norddeich and the sea.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:41
    37.2 mi
    10.1 mph
    325 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your tour in the footsteps of the East Frisian Fehn culture begins in Leer, which you can easily reach by train from different directions, for example from Cologne, Leipzig or …

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  • Difficult
    02:43
    26.8 mi
    9.9 mph
    150 ft
    200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On your second stage, you drive about 43 kilometers from Wiesmoor to the community of Barßel, through which the Aue and Soeste flow. Your tour begins at the Nordgeorgsfehnkanal, along …

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  • Intermediate
    02:16
    23.1 mi
    10.2 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Barßel you start your today's stage of a good 37 kilometers to the city of Papenburg, an exciting destination for the history and present of shipping. Passing the idyllic Barßeler Hafen, you drive straight along the canal until you get to the Elisabethfehn moor and Fehn museum. From here, the Fehnroute leads you three kilometers along the idyllic Elisabethfehn Canal. Then you cross the channel over a pretty, white bascule bridge and shortly afterwards the Sagter Ems.

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  • Easy
    01:34
    16.6 mi
    10.7 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    If you want to make a short trip or a weekend trip out of the Fehnroute, you can simply halve the circular route by driving towards Leer again at Augustfehn. …

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  • Intermediate
    02:00
    17.6 mi
    8.8 mph
    175 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you cycle on the last stage of your circular route along the Fehnroute back to Leer. On the 28 kilometers you can take breaks and enjoyment breaks as you …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    121 mi
  • Duration
    12:13 h
  • Elevation
    900 ft

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Hannah

Moorland and nautical history – cycling the Fehn Route in Germany