Cycling through the Rothaar Mountains – GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder

Bike Touring Collection by Sauerland Tourismus

The Rothaar Mountains, magical forests, romantic valleys, lush green meadows, plateaus blanketed with a patchwork of colourful fields, winding rivers and magnificent views – Sauerland boasts incredible landscapes. The GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder is a cycle route through the most beautiful corners of Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia and the Waldecker Land in Hesse. Along the way, you discover the gushing waters of the Ruhr and Eder rivers and the impressive Edersee.

The GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder winds its way through the National GeoPark GrenzWelten over 130 miles (210 km). The landscapes in the border area between North Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia are wonderfully varied as you ride through the scenic low mountain range.

In this Collection, we guide you along this circular route in five stages, varying in length from 21 - 31 miles (34 to 51 km). Your adventure begins and ends in Winterberg, a charming town which is easy to reach with the regional train from Dortmund. Train stations are located along the route and at most stage destinations so you can easily cycle only part of the route and hop on the train.

As you ride, you can expect fabulous scenery and good infrastructure. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments and accommodation available in the stage destinations. The route follows superb cycle paths such as the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path and the Eder Cycle Path, as well as smooth, tarmacked former railway tracks through beautiful nature and old tunnels. You pass numerous picturesque spots and villages to take a break from your cycle tour through this unique scenic and cultural region.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    32.1 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,950 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder begins in beautiful Winterberg. From Dortmund you can easily get to the starting point on the regional train. From the train station you cycle to the start of the Ruhr source, which seeps from the earth in a forested area in the Rothaar Mountains.On the RuhrtalRadweg you cycle comfortably downhill along the young, wild Ruhr and enjoy the beautiful meadows and forests that surround you.In Olsberg you reach the lowest point of the stage and have also covered about half of today's route. After an extensive break, during which you have strengthened yourself in one of the cozy restaurants or cafés of the village, you start again with new strength.Shortly after Olsberg you leave the Ruhr and climb back into the hills of the Rothaar Mountains. After the first crisp climb you cycle through a wide landscape, where you have a wonderful panoramic view of the mountains of the Sauerland.After crossing Brilon, you dive back into romantic forests, through which you drive to Willingen. Here in the stage destination you have a large selection of hotels and guest houses to stay. If you only want to cycle this one stage, you can continue by train from the station.

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    25.6 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,625 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Willingen it goes up and down continuously through the idyllic Stryktal, from which you have a fantastic view of the Willinger Viaduct.Then you drive past the Schneeberg and leave Usseln on the left. Shortly afterwards you can expect a rapid descent through wide fields and refreshing forest that leads you via Düdinghausen to Oberschledorn to the Wilde Aa.Here you can take a short break and fortify yourself in the restaurant before you start the next climb of the hilly stage. Alternatively, you have a larger selection of refreshments in Medebach, a few kilometers away. Here you have already completed half of the stage and deserve a refreshment.From Medebach you cycle past wide fields and finally dive into the wild, romantic, forested Aartal. After crossing the river, climb out of the valley on the other side of the river and leave the mighty trees of the forest behind.You will be welcomed by a beautiful, open landscape that allows you to gaze far into the distance. Through this picturesque backdrop you drive to Korbach, the stage destination, where you will find a good selection of accommodation options and a train station.

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  • Intermediate
    21.3 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the third stage of the GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder, less vertical meters await you than on the previous sections. So you can start today very comfortably and take a little detour to the Korbacher column before it really starts.There the "Procynosuchus" was found, also known as the "Korbacher Dachshund". The original being is the logo of the GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder and adorns all the signs that show you the way along the tour.After the interesting visit, you roll on the old route of the Ederseebahn past picturesque fields, under shady trees and through adventurous, old railway tunnels.Halfway there is a break in Sachsenhausen, where you can find various places to stop for refreshments and groceries for a refreshment.Then you drive a bit further on the railway line, but soon turn into the romantic Reiherbach valley and roll past meadows and forests past the Edersee.Here you cycle directly on the banks of the mighty reservoir to Waldeck-West, from where you start the ascent to Waldeck. Once at the top, you have reached your destination and can spend the night in the fairytale castle Waldeck or another accommodation in the village.

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    30.3 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Waldeck you roll back down to the Edersee, where you drive directly to the dam wall. On the imposing structure you cross the lake and reach the small town Edersee on the other side.From here you continue to follow the bank cycle path and enjoy unique views of the blue water and the forested banks. After Rehbach you cycle through the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, which borders the reservoir here, and follow the loops of the pent-up Eder, which gets narrower the further you go upriver.The Edersee ends at Herzhausen and the bike path takes you to the magical Eder Valley. You cycle upriver along the Eder and alternate past lush, green meadows, roll through quiet forests and always enjoy great views of the river.Before you reach Frankenberg, you always have the opportunity to take breaks in the small towns you cross or on cozy benches in nature.In the stage destination Frankenberg you will find various hotels, guest houses and holiday apartments to stay overnight and have a connection to the train if you want to continue by train.

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    24.9 mi
    8.4 mph
    1,925 ft
    675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today is the last stage of the GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder, which brings you back to the starting point in Winterberg.From Frankenberg you cycle comfortably along the Eder. It goes very gently uphill because you are going upriver. It is worth taking a break in the Ederauen near Rennertehausen, in which you climb the observation tower and let your gaze wander over the wet meadows. With a little luck you can even see storks.After Rennertehausen you leave the Eder and drive along the Linspherradweg along the stream of the same name. This flows through a romantic valley lined with forest. At Bromskirchen you pass the old railway tunnel and come to Hallenberg, where you have a good selection of restaurants and grocery stores to take a restful break.Then you drive along the Nuhne on an old railway line through beautiful countryside. The valley in which the river is embedded is crossed by lovely meadows and lined with thick forests. The sight of this postcard idyll will make you forget the strenuous climb to Winterberg again immediately.Back in Winterberg, you can review the wonderful bike tour over a good meal in one of the local cafés or restaurants before you take the train home.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    134 mi
  • Duration
    15:21 h
  • Elevation
    8,525 ft
Cycling through the Rothaar Mountains – GeoRadroute Ruhr-Eder
Bike Touring Collection by
Sauerland Tourismus