Viewed 2651 times, downloaded 10 times
near Bergisch Neukirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
This cycling trip through the Bergisches Land takes you on three ‘Bahntrassenradwege’ (cycling paths on former railway tracks) between Leverkusen and Wuppertal, and includes visits to the Müngstener Brücke and the city center of Wuppertal with its suspension railway. Two Bahntrassen (Balkantrasse and Nordbahntrasse) have recently been converted into asphalt, while the third and longest existing one (Sambatrasse) is paved with finely crushed stone (‘wassergebundene Decke’). The latter is not perfect but quite easy to ride on with a road bike. Apart from the Sambatrasse the entire track is on asphalt. See the excellent website http://www.bahntrassenradeln.de/ for a lot more information on cycling on Bahntrassen.
The track starts in Leverkusen-Opladen near the start of the Panorama-Radweg Balkantrasse, which is also close to the train station. You can park in this residential area, but also closer to the station (which I did in the Lützenkirchener Straße). You follow this cycling path for almost 28 km to Lennep, slowly ascending from 60 m in Opladen to 340 m in Lennep. In the towns of Hilgen and Wermelskirchen you will cycle through town and not on a former railway track. After leaving the Balkantrasse, you cycle through the city center of Lennep with a lot of traditional Berg houses (which you will see throughout the entire region), and then continue towards the Wupper valley to which you quite steeply descend. Through the Wupper valley you cycle to Wuppertal, where you take a small touristic detour to the station of the Wuppertal suspension railway, a unique train with hanging cars (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal_Suspension_Railway). This train is largely suspended above the Wupper river, although it also goes inland at the Sonnborner Straße, which you will see later in this tour. You cycle a bit through the city center along the Wupper, getting a glimpse of the suspension railway a few times, before going north and up to the Nordbahntrasse. This railway track has recently been asphalted and is very popular, also with pedestrians, joggers, skaters, etc.. You follow this Trasse for 7 km west through several tunnels, and then descend towards the Wupper via the Sonnborner Strasse towards the Stadion am Zoo. Near here you enter the Sambatrasse, the last of three Bahntrassenradwege. This track takes you over the zoo, where you could get a glimpse of some animals, and then through forests up to Cronenberg. From Cronenberg, you descend towards the Wupper valley at Kohlfurth. Near here, you have to cycle 100 m on a very small badly paved path to get on the cycle path along the L74 through the valley until you get to the B229 crossing. Here you can enter a dead-end road for 1 km to see the Müngstener Brücke, the highest railway bridge (107 m) in Germany, completed in 1897. This is also a nice place for lunch or a coffee. After having seen the bridge from all sides, you go back to the B229 and climb this road to Solingen. You cycle a bit through Solingen, before descending towards the Wuppertal valley again and climbing out of it to Orth. When you come out of this village you have a great view towards Cologne and the Rhine valley in the distance. You cycle parallel to the Wupper and then descend to the river on a small road. You pass by some rapids and then continue along the Wupper back to Opladen.
Quite some of the roads in this region can be quite busy with cars, although the largest ones have cycling tracks in parallel. The Radbahntrassen do not have motorized traffic, but can be busy as well. You can find something to eat and drink in e.g. Wermelskirchen, Lemmel, Wuppertal, along the Nordbahntrasse, Kohlfurth and at the Müngstener Brücke.
Here there is a small path to get to the cycle path along the L74.
When you get out of Herscheid village, you can see the Rhine valley and Cologne in the distance.
Small village in the valley of the Wupper. There is the endstation of the Bergische Museumsbahnen (railway track) here, and some inns near the bridge.
Small town with a lot of traditional Berg houses with green shutters.
Here you enter the Nordbahntrasse, a cycle path on the former railway track. This path is very popular with all kinds of cyclists, pedestrians and skaters. You pass through a few railway tunnels. See the German website http://www.bahntrassenradeln.de/details/nw4_06.htm for more information.
Here you enter the Panorama-Radweg Balkantrasse, an excellent cycling path. See the German website http://www.bahntrassenradeln.de/details/nw4_11.htm for more information.
This cycling track takes you across the zoo (you might get a glimpse of some animals) and through the forest up to Cronenberg. This track is paved with crushed stone and is not optimal for road bikes, but well manageable. See the German website http://www.bahntrassenradeln.de/details/nw4_07.htm?w for more information
Here the suspension railway leaves the Wupper and continues through the Sonnborner Strasse through which you just cycled. On the other side of the Wupper is the Stadion am Zoo.
Here you can look across the Wupper and towards Müngstener Brücke on the north side. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Müngsten_Bridge for more information.
Here you can look across the Wupper and towards Müngstener Brücke on the south side. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Müngsten_Bridge for more information.
Here you will see some rapids in the Wupper.
Here you cross the Wupper.
Here is the easternmost station of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal_Suspension_Railway for more information.
Here is the Unterdörnen station of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal_Suspension_Railway for more information.