This circular route stretches across around 50 kilometres from Mülheim an der Ruhr, through western and southern Essen, and then back through the beautiful Ruhr Valley to Mülheim an der Ruhr. This cycling tour of the Ruhr Valley runs almost entirely away from the traffic along former railway lines, or on former tow paths directly next to the Ruhr, and is therefore suitable for families with children who are able to manage slightly longer tours.The starting point is easily accessible by train, because it is right outside the main station in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Visitors who don’t have a bike with them can hire one from the RevierRad station at the railway station.
RS 1 – the future of cycling mobility
From the station, head directly along the former route of the Rheinische Bahn. The first completed part of the Radschnellwegs Ruhr (Bike Freeway – RS 1) leads towards Essen. Created primarily for commuters, RS 1 provides a fast connection for cyclists from Mülheim a.d.R. to the centre of Essen. No intersections with the traffic, separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists, and comprehensive route guidance ensure that cyclists can quickly make their way to Essen.
Via the Grugatrasse, head up to the Margarethenhöhe district
Shortly before the expansion stage of RS 1 ends, the Grugatrasse route turns right. It also leads along a former railway line, away from the traffic. At first, the route leads slightly uphill. The ascent is not very steep, though, because the trains of the past could not manage difficult inclines. Nevertheless, cyclists soon realise how the district of Margarethenhöhe (literally “Margarethen heights”) got its name.The detour through Margarethenhöhe is not to be missed. A short, steep ramp (bikes can also be pushed up it) leads visitors to the gates of the beautiful municipal park. Because of the one-way streets, we recommend that you set off on this circular tour in a clockwise direction. In addition to the homes in the area, which are similar-yet-unique, the central marketplace and the Mintrops Stadt Hotel in Margarethenhöhe are worth seeing. The latter is also perfect for a stop for lunch or for coffee and cake.
Two highlights for visitors: the Grugapark and Rüttenscheider Strasse (RÜ)
Head back down the ramp, and follow the railway line towards Essen. Garden lovers will not want to miss the Grugapark with its large garden area. In spring, the tulips are spectacular, and the roses bloom in the early summer. In the late summer, it is the turn of the dahlias. All year round, the Grugapark boasts beautiful ideas for your home garden.A few crank turns further, cyclists pass Rüttenscheider Strasse, lovingly referred to as RÜ by locals. It is a great district for nightlife, with several restaurants, bars and small shops.
Down to the Ruhr Valley
It’s all change when you leave Rüttenscheider Strasse. You have reached the highest point of the tour, and it’s all downhill from here along the railway line. Cycle quickly down the hill to the Ruhr, but do not miss the turn-off to the right towards the Baldeneysee lake. From here, the route follows the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path. Starting at the Baldeneysee lake, it leads over a bridge to the southern shore, and then further along the lake side.In Essen-Werden, cyclists return to the northern side of the river. They then enjoy a relaxing ride to Kettwig, along the former tow path (known locally as the “Treidelpfad” or the “Leinpfad”). This is the route along which horses used to pull cargo boats along the Ruhr. A detour through the picturesque old town with its many half-timbered houses is very rewarding. The Ruhr side changes again, and the route leads from Kettwig, through fields and across floodplains, and back to Mülheim an der Ruhr. The Broich Bridge is the final highlight of the cycling tour. From here, take one last look at the Ruhr, before heading back to the starting point outside the railway station in Mülheim. Indeed, this tour can be started from another point, e.g. at the Gruge, at the Baldeneysee lake, or in Kettwig. The direction of travel can also be changed, if desired.