Where once industrial goods were transported by train, today cyclists can enjoy breathtaking panoramas and experience cities from a new perspective. Tunnels, viaducts and milestones are reminders of railway history. Views from great heights and all kinds of sights are only a few pedal strokes away.
The Bergisch panorama cycle path network is over 220 kilometres long. It connects the former railway lines in the Bergisch Land, the southern Ruhrgebiet and the Sauerland region with each other and creates links to the popular cycle paths along the rivers Rhine, Ruhr and Sieg. Approximately 150 kilometres of the routes run along former railway lines with little incline, only a few strenuous climbs have to be conquered on the connecting routes. The complete network of panoramic cycle paths is signposted.
In the 1880s - 1890s the railway also came to the people and factories in the Bergisch Land. This linked the small iron and textile industries to the world markets. The economy flourished, the population grew.
The landscape of the low mountain range was a challenge for railway construction. Real masterpieces had to be realised here. Numerous tunnels and viaducts led the traffic through valleys and mountains. The highest railway bridge in Germany, the Müngsten Bridge, which spans the Wupper at a height of 107 metres, is still in use. The Bergisch Panorama Cycle Path leads under the bridge in the valley. From the 1960s and 1970s onwards the increase in individual road traffic made rail transport unprofitable. This led to the closure of numerous railway lines.
Today, the railway lines are open to cyclists: routes with small inclines, away from car traffic and connected to a cross-city network. On these panoramic cycle tracks, you can rediscover the region: over 15 viaducts - up to 40 metres high - and numerous bridges, the journey also goes through 14 tunnels. The longest of these is the Wegeringhausen Tunnel at 724 metres.
In the footsteps of industrial culture and in the middle of a mountainous landscape with its rivers and streams, there are numerous opportunities to take a break and see the sights along the way. Old railway stations have been turned into beer gardens and cultural attractions. One railway tunnel turns into a dance tunnel, another into a bat cave. There are plenty of possibilities!
Two routes were built by citizens' associations and are also maintained by them: together with the city of Wuppertal, the 'Wuppertalbewegung e.V.' has built more than 20 kilometres of cycling paths on the Nordbahntrasse, while the 'Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Balkantrasse Leverkusen e.V.' looks after the section of the panoramic cycle path 'Balkantrasse' near Leverkusen.
For telephone information on the Bergisch panoramic cycle tracks call us on 0049 212 / 88 16 06 999, our service hours are Mon - Fri 9 am - 5 pm. There you can also order a free overview map of the Bergisch panoramic cycle routes.