Follow the bat

SauerlandRadring and HenneseeSchleife

Away from the rivers - into the mountains - experience new landscapes.

Wegelogo SauerlandRadring

On new "bicycle highways", the low mountain range landscapes of our region - nestled between the Rhine, Ruhr and Sieg - can be experienced by everyone.

If you had told someone 10 years ago how beautiful cycling is in the Sauerland, they would have just shaken their head in disbelief. If you were to tell him today that from Schloss Neuhaus you can take the Alme-Radweg to Brilon 64 km, from Brilon the Möhne-Radweg to Neheim-Hüsten 69 km, from Neheim-Hüsten a part of the Ruhrtalradweg to Wennemen 36 km, from Wennemen the Ruhr-Sieg-Radweg to Olpe 71 km, from Olpe the Bergisches Panorama Radweg to Bergisch-Born 63 km and from Bergisch Born via the Balkantrasse to Leverkusen 30 km, i.e. a total of 333 km of continuous cycling through the Sauerland and the Bergisches Land, who is amazed today. And if you tell him that a high proportion of the route runs on disused railroad lines, then his interest is aroused.

Foto: Tanja Evers

Speaking of railroad tracks, an ideal way to start discovering the Sauerland by bike is to take a bike tour on the 84 km SauerlandRadring and the 40 km Nordschleife. You can hop on anywhere, but if you're arriving by car or train, Finnentrop is an ideal starting point. Directly opposite the station is the new Lennepark with plenty of parking. From the parking lot we cycle to the right along the Lenne to the Stellwerk Nord, turn left over the bridge and then follow the logo of the Radring,the red bat. Passing the factory area of the big meat factory, where among other things 80 million "Dicke Sauerländer" are produced per year, we see after a short ride on the right side the platform "Lichtblick Lenne", from where hopefully soon the new routing through the 196 meters long Lenhausen tunnel will be realized.

At the sports ground Lenhausen the path now leads us to the right in the direction of Lenhausen Castle, a moated castle from the 14th century, in the 17th century extended to a castle. Sporty cyclists can make a detour from here to Rönkhausen to measure their personal time at the StoppOmat on the designated mountain route. On a distance of 4.5 kilometers, 250 meters of altitude difference have to be mastered here. Slightly uphill along the country road we reach the beginning of the railroad cycling path through the Fretter valley . In the future you will arrive here after passing through the Lenhausen tunnel. After 4 km you reach the Frettermühle. The former flour mill has been used for environmentally friendly power generation since 1989. The café offers homemade cakes in the historic ambience of the mill on Sundays and holidays from 2 to 6 pm.

Always slightly uphill you reach Fretter and turn right after the center of the village to the bone mill. The bone mill is a water wheel mill and was built around 1900. It was used for the production of bone meal, which was used as fertilizer. The technical cultural monument with its equipment is considered unique in North Rhine-Westphalia. (Visit tel. under 02724-8258).

Now it is about 5 km to the highlight of the SauerlandRadring, the Fledermaustunnel. Steadily slightly uphill you pass railroad historical exhibits such as signs, wagons and locomotives. 689 meters long and averaging 10 degrees cool, it offers an eerily beautiful experience. Up to 200 rare bats such as the bearded bat, the greater mouse-eared bat and the brown long-eared bat have their winter quarters here. The tunnel is therefore closed from November to the beginning of April, and a detour is signposted.

After passing through the tunnel, the route goes downhill in the direction of Eslohe. At the end of the railroad cycle path you reach the Dampf-Land-Leute-Museum, a great museum that shows on more than 2,000 square meters how man used the energy of water and fire in the past. It is especially worth visiting during the Eslohe Steam Days at the end of May and the end of September.