Imagine cycling through an outdoor museum in beautiful nature which covers an area as big as Lake Constance – welcome to the Museum Cycle Path. This unique bike path takes you 37.2 miles (60 km) through the Würm Valley in the Heckengäu countryside and the Aichtal Valley on the edge of the Schönbuch woodlands in southern Germany. You can discover historical sites and the huge open-air SCULPTOURA gallery en route. Each twist of the path brings impressive artworks and beautiful nature.
In this Collection, I have divided the route into two gentle stages leaving enough time to visit the museums along the way. There are 18 museums en route such as the local history museums in the towns of Grafenau, Holzgerlingen, and Schönaich, town history museums in Weil der Stadt and Nürtingen, and the bakery museum in Grötzingen. The Ritter Sport Museum in Waldenbuch, where you can replenish your energy with chocolate, is a great stop too.
The route can be completed in one day. However, this won’t leave you much time to explore the various museums. The route is mostly flat and rarely leads along main roads, making it ideal for families. You’ll find plenty of places to take a break along the way, such as rustic beer gardens and grill spots. Accommodation is also easy to find in the region, especially in the larger towns. It’s also worth looking out for places to stay in the countryside; there are some wonderful hidden inns en route.
If you are able to, it’s worth riding the Museum Cycle Path mid-week as it is very popular on weekends, especially in good weather. The stretches between Weil der Stadt and Grafenau, Ehningen, and Holzgerlingen, and the Aichtal Valley around Waldenbuch can become particularly crowded. But, if you take your time and watch out for others on the path, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The official cycle path runs from the towns of Weil der Stadt to Nürtingen. You can cycle the path in either direction as the altitude profile is similar both ways. The highest point of your adventure is Holzgerlingen municipality, half way through the route. The official direction of the path has slightly more downhill into Nürtingen. However, if you choose to ride to Weil der Stadt, you can enjoy quieter cycle paths to finish.
The Siebenmühlental (Valley of the Seven Mills) and the Schaich Valley both make great detours from the Museum Cycle Path. You can also extend your ride on the Neckar Valley Cycle Path in Nürtingen, the Hohenzollern Cycle Path in the Aichtal or the Würmtal Cycle Path in Weil der Stadt. The Planet Trail also runs parallel to the Würmtal Cycle Path from Weil der Stadt and guides you to the Kepler Museum. I’ve created a separate highlight with more information about this route, here: komoot.de/highlight/1622789
You start the museum tour in the historic Keplerstadt Weil der Stadt. You can easily get there with the S-Bahn from Stuttgart. From there, a train runs every half an hour, and even every 15 minutes at peak times. During a short, historical tour of the city center, you can decide whether you want to start the museum cycle path directly with a visit to the city or Kepler Museum on the market square.Then you leave the medieval city walls with a final view of the Seilerturm and cycle comfortably past well-kept allotment and rustic beer gardens in the Würmtal before the next museum stop awaits you at Grafenau. On the way, a small metal sign on the side of the path tells you how far it is from here to Rome by bike.Shortly before Döffingen you turn right over a small bridge towards Dätzingen. You might think that you are already leaving the Würmtal, because the main river clearly originates from the left valley. However, it is one of those rare moments when a larger river, in this case the swarm, takes the name of the smaller body of water that flows into it. You can continue to follow the course of the Würm, visit the castle or the local history museum in Dätzingen as part of the Grafenau municipality, and then continue upriver under thick leaves at the edge of the forest - a blessing on hot summer days.By now you will surely have come across more than just an interesting sculpture along the way. By means of the QR code, which can usually be seen on a small information board in the immediate vicinity of the sculpture, you can find out more about most works of art on the SCULPTOURA website. From Aidlingen you follow another section of the Würm through the now narrowing valley. A barbecue area on the edge of the allotment garden invites you to take a long rest, usually there is also some firewood lying around.In Ehningen, after crossing a busy intersection, turn onto the fields and meadows in the direction of Holzgerlingen. The valley will soon narrow again and only a few agricultural areas will try to claim a space between the forest edges. A pond on your left invites you to take a break under a tree. A short time later, the water nature trail and the subsequent forest adventure trail give you the opportunity to learn about the local flora and fauna - a great experience for the little ones too.Shortly before Holzgerlingen you leave the museum bike path for a short stretch to make a little extra loop on the SCULPTOURA. The landscape is now more open, the fields more expansive and the view wider. After a last stretch along the Würm until shortly before its source, you cycle from Altdorf on the panorama path back to the museum bike path. The name clearly says it all, because the view is amazing. At the 9th longitude east you have reached your goal. Here in the fields on the outskirts of Holzgerlingen you can still pause for a moment before you go to your overnight spot or take a round to the local museum in the city center.
Freshly rested and with a lot of impressions from the last day you start today's stage in Holzgerlingen. For breakfast it is worth a detour to the city café, which is idyllically located in the town center at the church. Then you can expect a rapid descent down to the Aichtal. Incidentally, the Aich has its origin here and, like the Würm previously, will accompany you on the entire route to Nürtingen.Until Waldenbuch you will continue to encounter a wide variety of works of art and sculptures along the way - then the SCULPTOURA ends, but the museums will become more numerous. You will also not miss an increasing up and down in the Aichtal. However, the climbs are very short, so that you can descend and push without problems if it gets too steep.It doesn't take long and you reach the outskirts of Waldenbuch. You can already make it out through the tree tops on the slope: the logo of the chocolate brand for which Waldenbuch is so famous. If the wind is favorable, you can even smell the bitter-sweet scent of the chocolate factory in the air. Now it's time for a well-deserved break in the Ritter Sport Museum.If you prefer something hearty, you will find a whole range of beer gardens and quaint restaurants in the Siebenmühlental at the end of the village. If the detour into the valley is too far for you, you can simply stop at the first beer garden. This is only a few meters away from the museum bike path.In Neuenhaus the Häfnermuseum is waiting for you to explore, a gem in which an exhibition tells about the life of the then poorly poor potters and their craft. In Grötzingen the path leads for a short distance directly along the Aich. Maybe you are lucky and there is not a lot going on, then one or the other bathing place is ideal for refreshment.Up to Nürtingen, the route runs along the main road for the last few kilometers. An idyllic city center awaits you in Nürtingen, which knows not only to impress with a museum. A little refreshment in one of the cute cafés shouldn't be missing before you start your journey home or onwards. With the regional train, which runs at least twice an hour, you can easily get back to Stuttgart from here.
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