This cycling route is 81.7 kilometres long, and takes in the absolute highlights of the central and western Ruhr Metropolis. The tour is very demanding and has some unexpected altitude, but also offers pure cycling pleasure and impressive views.
Start in the centre of Essen
Indeed, as this is a circular tour (or a figure of eight tour), it can be started at any point. For this tour description, though, we will use the centre of Essen as the starting point. The first few metres are, unfortunately, also the least attractive. The cycling route leads along the busy Gladbecker Strasse for a few hundred meters, but a bike lane is marked on the pavement.The actual cycling route begins once you have crossed Grillostrasse. Still in the centre of Essen, start the tour by cycling past an allotment and into a small wooded area. The cycle path follows the Berne, an Emscher tributary, northwards to Altenessen. On the Köln-Mindener route, the signs point eastwards, and you will soon reach the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The highlight for visitors to Essen: Zollverein
The cycle path in the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site leads around the entire site. Naturally, this can be combined with a tour along the Monument Trail or a visit to the Ruhr Museum. On this long bike tour, most cyclists only enjoy the beautiful mining area when riding through it. Via the Zollverein Route, cyclists leave the area eastwards along a fully redeveloped former railway line.The route passes another colliery tower, which houses the Phänomania Erfahrungsfeld science museum. A few minutes later, the route passes Bonifacius Colliery, on the way to Bochum. The “Erzbahnbude”, a cultural centre, is the perfect place for your first stop-off. The route then follows the Erzbahntrasse northwards, to the Rhine-Herne Canal. This is where the eastern loop – a sporting challenge – begins.
Mountain stage on the Hoheward mine dump
It starts with a ride through a wooded area to Ewald Colliery in Herten. Then comes the demanding ascent up the Hoheward mine dump, which is rewarded with a phenomenal panoramic view. The heap can just as easily be cycled around. The tour leaves the Hoheward mine dump via the dragon bridge, and becomes more comfortable. The route leads along the Emscher and back to the Rhine-Herne Canal, and then west again to Gelsenkirchen. A newly-developed mountain pass leads up to the Schurenbachhalde mine dump. The route then follows the canal through Bottrop to Oberhausen.
Slinky Springs to Fame
The striking and frequently photographed Slinky Springs to Fame bridge in Oberhausen is the western turning point of the tour (unfortunately, bikes can only be pushed along the bridge). The Gasometer Oberhausen is another highlight of the route. A visit is a must. From the CentrO Oberhausen, the route initially follows the canal, before turning back towards Essen at the Haus Ripshorst. The route leads through the green Hexbach valley to the city of Mülheim, before joining the RS 1.Heading towards Mülheim, the expansion phase has already been completed. This tour, however, heads towards Essen. The route is initially water-bound, but the former railway line is more suitable for cycling. In Essen, it is worth making a detour across the ThyssenKrupp site, with its new corporate centre and the historic original premises, before heading back to the starting point.