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near Kalterherberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
An e-MTB is recommended, though the tour can also easily be done with a regular mountainbike.
From Kalterherberg, descend to the Kalterherberg station. Ride through Küchelscheid on the main road, and turn off to the Schwarzsee. The 'Black Lake' is hauntingly beautiful in any season. It is dark blue in the sun, and a deep black when it is overcast or even foggy. The waters of the Black Lake are indeed dark, fed by the Scharzbach (black stream) that drains the waters from the moor of the Hohe Venn (Hautes Fagnes).
Continue around the lake, up to the Knoten BE 83. Belgian authorities developed the point system to guide cyclists; and German authorities followed suit. Unfortunately, they didn't agree on a common numbering system, so you always have to watch out whether your next point is in Belgium (such as BE 83) or in Germany (such as DE 28).
From BE 83, you travel between the main area of the Hohe Venn, and smaller patches of moorland. Make sure to stop at way point Venn-Aussichtspunkt. To approach it, you may follow our tracks (on soft ground, at the edge of the moor) or simply continue on the main forest road, which might be easier.
A long decent on gravel begins until you reach a ford. Turn right after it, steep uphill. Follow the roads to the Brackvenn. At the waypoint, you may park your bicycle and follow the boardwalks to overlook the swamp. Depending on the season, the Venn looks either very brown (which is most of the time) or - following good rains during springtime - rich green.
Continue on the forest road to the smuggler memorial. It sits on a traffic island at the crossing of the major highway that connects Monschau and Eupen. This is also the previous border point. Following WWII, the smugglers became local heroes, as they helped to rebuild the devastated local economy after the war, and ensured a flow of supplies at a time the trade across the border had come to a standstill.
Continue along the edge of the moor to 'Kaiser Karl's Bettstatt' - the place where Charles The Great (around 800 AC) was said to have spend a night. The 'bed' is a large solitary rock that looks somewhat out of place in the moor and surrounding farmland. Rather than marveling at the geologic formation, visitors tend to ponder the history of the area, and the conditions that early settlers faced when they first arrived here.
From here, around some bends, arrive at the 'Eifel Blick', which offers views over the farmland of the Monschau area and beyond. The panorama is nowadays dominated by the ever growing number of wind turbines. This is a good pace for a break.
Continue to the Steling - the highest point in the wider Aachen area. it is forested and there are now views. Follow our tracks and descend to the fringes of the village Mützenich. At some point you cross the RAVeL (Vennbahn). After that crossing, our trail takes a shortcut that can be muddy, with a difficult crossing over a little stream. It requires the bicycle be pushed for a few meters. If you prefer to have it comfortable, turn right on the RAVeL and take the next turn left on a a road. You will join our tracks shortly after.
A little uphill is the Rochuskreuz (on the left side). Turn right here towards the Stillbusch farm. The road ends here, and a short decent follows on a rough trail. The steep section is not long; beginners may perhaps push their bikes.
You soon arrive at the a roundabout. One of the roads take you down to Monschau. Take a little tour through the town, and perhaps have some refreshments on the marketplace or in one of the many restaurants.
When refreshed, leave Monschau at its southern end, upstream of the Rur. For 300 meters, the trail follows the Bundesstraße, but you stay on a bicycle path. Cross the Rur at the Dreistegen (three bridges). Some of the old factory building have been modernized and now house a high-tech industrial enterprise.
Shortly after the ascent of the Zeilt begins. The trail is a little rough. It looks harder than it is - if you have an e-MTB. It will be the last ascent for the day, so dot worry about your battery power.
Once you reach the plateay of Kalterherberg, you pass the 'milk station' - a self-service place where you can buy fresh farm milk and dairy products. From here, follow village roads back to your starting point.