© BSW, Patrick Gawandtka

Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path

Enjoy picturesque views on old railway lines

Cycling where trains used to run – the Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path, which is almost 40 kilometers long, connects the towns of Haan, Wülfrath, Velbert and Heiligenhaus. The route on a disused historic railway line not only takes you to numerous sights such as the historic Gruiten village or the Schlupkothen quarry in Wülfrath, it is also an attraction in itself. Because your way over numerous listed bridges and viaducts opens up fantastic panoramic views of the hilly landscape of Niederberg and brings the railway history of the last 100 years in the Bergisches Land to life. Discover fascinating engineering craftsmanship such as the first wagon bridge in Heiligenhaus, which is unique in Germany. By the way: You don't always have to stay on the same route: the Niederbergbahn panorama cycle path is linked to numerous other railway cycle paths.

Route, tips and sights

  • Difficulty level: medium

  • Track length:

     35,5 km

  • Ascent: 450 m | Descent: 340 m

  • Driving time: 2:55 h

The starting point of your tour is Essen Kettwig train station. This is where the PanoramaRadweg Niederbergbahn meets the RuhrtalRadweg. The route takes you via Heiligenhaus, Velbert and Wülfrath to Haan, where the Bergisches Panorama Cycle Path joins up.

Good to know: Since the entire route is asphalted and, as a former railway line, has only a slight incline, it can be easily mastered in three hours. The comfortable width of 3 meters also allows pedestrians, families with prams or people in wheelchairs to experience the largely barrier-free route.

You can hardly get lost, because the entire route is clearly signposted in both directions with the logo "PanoramaRadweg Niederbergbahn". In addition, you can find your way around using the cycle path map, which lists all the information and access points.

Photo stop: Be sure to make a photo stop at the viaduct bridge Ruhrstraße Nord (access 88). Worth it!


The first stop on your tour is Heiligenhaus, where you pass Germany's only wagon bridge. A detour to the MuseumsLandschaft Abtsküche is particularly worthwhile. A great deal of knowledge can be taken away from four different museums on the tour. The focus is on the Museum Abtsküche, which brings the history of the city to life with exhibits and installations under the motto "Living and working in Heiligenhaus between tradition and modernity": from housekeeping to pre-industrial handicrafts to the early castle industry. The nearby courtyard café spoils you with homemade cakes and tarts.

Photo stop: You will find unique motifs at the wagon bridge (access 77) and at the viaduct bridge Ruhrstraße Süd (access 84). Do not miss!


Your journey continues in the direction of Velbert. A visit to the Mariendom, the pilgrimage church in Neviges, should be on your agenda here. Because the largest modern sacred building in Europe is not only a popular destination for pilgrims, but also inspires with its extraordinary architecture, especially its imposing rose window.

A very different kind of virtuoso work awaits you in the German Castle and Fittings Museum in Velbert: over 1.000 exhibits and an interactive exhibition give a vivid impression of the history of iron craftsmanship.

But Velbert not only offers a lot for mind and soul. If you are looking for adventure, action and exercise, you will find exciting challenges for every requirement in the Velbert climbing park on five hectares of forest.

Photo stop: The Saubrücke viaduct (access 67) not only offers spectacular far-reaching views, but is also a photographic highlight, especially when viewed from the valley!


The destination of the next stage is Wülfrath. After a leisurely stroll through the idyllic old town, you can speed up your experience considerably in the Wülfrath time tunnel: on the 160 m long entrance to the Bochumer Bruch, 400 million years of geological history and the history of the lime industry in Wülfrath can be experienced with all your senses.

Just a few minutes' walk away is the natural history and industrial history educational trail around the former Wülfraths Schlupkothen quarry, which, in addition to fascinating nature with rugged cliffs and a turquoise lake, offers spectacular views.

In the Niederbergisches Museum, you can find out historical facts about the lime industry in Wülfrath as well as life and work in the Niederberg region in the 19th century.

Photo stop: The turquoise water and the overgrown rock faces of the disused Schlupkothen limestone quarry serve as an impressive backdrop (access 35).

With the garden city of Haan you have reached the end of this tour. In addition to the town centre, the picturesque listed Gruiten village with its typical Bergisch half-timbered houses from the 17th century is particularly impressive. Not only historically, but also atmospherically a pleasure. After visiting this "Pearl of the Niederbergisches Land" it is worth visiting Pit 7. The maybe somewhat gloomy name is misleading. Because the former quarry is now a beautiful nature reserve in which there are many rare animal and plant species to discover.


© Kreis Mettmann, Martina Chardin

How to get there

By bike, you can choose the connection via the RuhrtalRadweg from Essen, the Nordbahntrasse in Wuppertal and the Korkenkatzertrasse in Solingen. The route can be easily reached by public transport from the train stations in Essen-Kettwig, Kettig-Stausee, Velbert-Neviges, Wülfrath-Aprath, Mettmann-Stadtwald, Mettmann-Neandertahl, Haan-Gruiten and Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. Plan your arrival and departure conveniently with the Bike route planner NRW.

© Kreis Mettmann, Martina Chardin


The Niederbergbahn was built in the 1926s and connected the towns of Oberdüssel - Wülfrath - Velbert - Heiligenhaus and Essen-Kettwig. After several construction phases, the line was opened in 1960. However, due to unprofitability, passenger services were discontinued as early as 1996. In 40, freight traffic between Heiligenhaus and Velbert also ended. Large parts of the former route fell into a slumber until an attractive 2011 km long cycle and hiking trail was created through a funding program from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Since XNUMX, enthusiastic cyclists have been cycling where trains once ran.

© BSW - Patrick Gawandtka

just cycle in the mountains!

There and away instead of up and down

Relaxed cycling along the well-developed and low-gradient cycle paths on former railway lines is also a lot of fun in the Bergisch region. Approximately 220 km of the 150 km long panorama cycle path network lead over former railway lines. The cycle paths connect the Bergisches Land, the southern Ruhr area and the Sauerland with one another. They connect to the popular river cycle paths on the Rhine, Ruhr and Sieg. So extend your tours as you wish. How about a short break over several days? Thanks to the continuous signage, you are always on the right track. The PanoramaRadweg Niederbergbahn is part of "simply mountain biking". 

plan a bike tour

On the PanoramaRadweg Niederbergbahn

Sights along the way

© Dominik Ketz, Kreis Mettmann_CC-BY-SA

Strengthen in between

© Dominik Ketz, Kreis Mettmann

recharge energy

© Ralf Boewing

Rent and load bicycles

With its charging and rental stations, the PanoramaRadweg Niederbergbahn has a wide network of service stations. A list with the exact addresses of the service stations can be found here.

© Kreis Mettmann, Martina Chardin

your travel companion

Everything about the panorama cycle paths

“Seek and you will find.” With our brochures and flyers on the Niederbergbahn Panorama Cycle Path and the Bergische Panorama Cycle Paths, you can save yourself the search. I'm sure you'll like that. But it gets even better: We not only show you where to go with the help of detailed route maps and route descriptions including elevation profiles and access points, but also what there is to see. In addition to on-site tips or information about restaurants along the route, you will find out everything that cycle tourists need. For example, where you can find the nearest e-bike charging station or bicycle dealers and workshops.

The perfect complement to your outing

Rhine Cycle Path

© Dominik Ketz, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Regional enjoyment

© Dominik Ketz, Kreis Mettmann

On foot

© Dominik Ketz, Kreis Mettmann_CC-BY-SA

sports and action

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