The Ems Cycle Path near Warendorf
© Münsterland e.V. / Kai Marc Pel
From the Senne to the North Sea
EmsRadweg

EmsRadweg

On the Ems Cycle Route from the Senne to the North Sea

The Ems is only passable for ships when it has already completed half of its journey. Cyclists, on the other hand, can follow Germany's smallest river from its source. From the source at the edge of the Teutoburg Forest, the Ems Cycle Path follows the water to where the Ems flows into the North Sea near Emden. On the way, a varied landscape and towns worth seeing such as Warendorf and Telgte beckon.

No climbs through northern Germany

The river cycle path leads through the countryside on quiet, asphalted paths away from busy roads, with almost no ascents. The route begins directly at the Ems springs near Hövelhof at the foot of the Teutoburg Forest and winds its way through the Paderborn Land and Gütersloher Land regions. Historic towns with half-timbered houses and the Flora Westfalica nature and recreation park characterise the unspoilt landscape.

through the picture-book landscape of the Ems meadows

Along the paradisiacal Ems meadows you cycle through the park landscape of the Münsterland. The Ems meadows are certainly one of the most beautiful sections of German river cycle paths. This is due to the varied routing of the cycle path, which leads sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right of the Ems or on small detours through parks and city centres. Along the way, observation towers, footbridges and information boards along the Ems Cycle Route inspire new views.

Maritime final stage

The Ems then reaches the green expanse of the Emsland - a region that combines nature and shipping tradition in a special way. Things get really maritime when the river cycle path reaches East Frisia. Here you can already sense the sea and almost sniff the sea air. At Emden, the Ems finally flows into the North Sea - the crowning finale of a journey on the Ems Cycle Route along and with the idyllic Ems.

The most beautiful sights along the Ems Cycle Route

1
The Ems springs near Hövelhof
© Heimsath
Emsquellen

The source of the Ems is located in the small town of Hövelhof near Paderborn. However, it is not just one spring, but numerous seepage springs. You can learn more about the "birth" of the Ems and its 375-kilometre course to the North Sea at the information centre.

2
The Steinhorst Basin near Delbrück
© Projektbüro Emsradweg
Steinhorst Basin

Since 1991, the largest artificially created biotope in NRW has developed into an important retreat for rare birds and insects. In the Steinhorst Basin, flood protection has been combined with nautical protection in an exemplary way. The shallow water zones fed by the Ems attract countless migratory birds every year.

3
The historic town hall of Rietberg
© Stadt Rietberg
Old Town Rietberg

The small town of Rietberg enchants with its picturesque old town. Beautiful and lovingly renovated half-timbered houses line the alleys of the town and exude a very special charm. Rietberg's historic town hall is particularly worth seeing.

4
View of the old town of Rheda-Wiedenbrück
© Projektbüro EmsRadweg
Old Town Rheda-Wiedenbrück

Rheda Castle is considered the landmark of the town of Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The mighty and historic building is framed by the historic old town. Wonderful sights such as the Ratskeller, the historic town hall or the Diedrichs altar building workshop invite you to visit the town.

5
Marienfeld Monastery
© Stadt Harsewinkel
Marienfeld Monastery

The Cistercian monastery of Marienfeld near Harsewinkel looks back on an eventful history. The monastery was one of the most important in Westphalia. It reached the peak of its importance from the 12th to the 15th century. The parish church, which is well worth seeing, still attracts many visitors today. The monastery sees itself as a place of rest and meeting.

6
State Stud NRW Warendorf
© Tanja Hohnwald
State Stud NRW

For over 185 years, the NRW State Stud in Warendorf has been dedicated to horse breeding and established Warendorf's reputation as the "capital of horses". The historic stables and especially the unique events such as the "Stallion Parades" and the "Symphony of Stallions" are true visitor magnets.

7
Old Town of Warendorf
© Münsterland e.V. / Kai Marc Pel

You will immediately feel at home here. Around the market square, in the shadow of the mighty church, picturesque alleys stretch through the town and to the banks of the Ems. Numerous half-timbered houses and sandstone buildings create a wonderful townscape that invites you to stay a while.

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8
The old town of Telgte
© Münsterland e.V:

The Ems river is as much a part of Telgte's townscape as the half-timbered houses, alleys and beautiful squares where locals and visitors meet. A distinctive cultural programme is guaranteed not to leave you bored. A special sight is the famous pilgrimage chapel of Telgte.

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9
The Sachsenhof on the banks of the Ems near Greven
© Münsterland e.V.
Sachsenhof Greven

The Sachsenhof of Greven is located in the immediate vicinity of the Ems. The reconstruction of a 1,200-year-old Saxon farmstead offers an interesting insight into early medieval living habits. Several buildings and craftsmen's workshops are worth a stop during the cycle tour.

10
Bentlage Monastery on the Ems Cycle Route
© Münsterland e.V.

To the north of Rheine, the Ems Cycle Path leads directly to Bentlage Monastery. Take time to visit the monastery and its exhibitions or browse through the books of the "German Fairy Tale Society". The café invites you to take a break and the extensive garden leads you to the beautifully landscaped salt works. A real highlight on the Ems Cycle Route.

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11
The Moor Museum in Geeste
© Emsland Touristik
Moor Museum

The Emsland Moor Museum near Geeste is a must on your cycling tour. In the exhibition halls and the large outdoor area you can experience the moor with all your senses. The exhibition shows how the moor is treated, sheds light on the peat industry, explains why moor protection is so important and shows some impressive machines such as the "Mammut" deep plough.

12
Maritime Museum

The Haren Maritime Museum is located directly on the Haren-Rütenbrock Canal. In some of the ships of the museum fleet and in the lock keeper's house you can learn more about shipping on the Ems. Nautical science, shipbuilding and the history of Haren are the focus of the exhibition with numerous interesting exhibits.

13
The Altenkamp Estate near Papenburg
© Papenburg Marketing / Patrick Anneken
Altenkamp Manor

The Altenkamp manor house near Papenburg impresses with its outstanding architecture. The architect Peter Proctorius skilfully used artistic elements that still impress today. The manor is framed by the magnificent gardens. The art exhibition at Gut Altenkamp is of outstanding importance.

14
Meyer Werft in Papenburg
© Meyer Werft - Ingrid Fiebak
Meyer Shipyard

A visit to the ocean giants. Papenburg and the world's most beautiful cruise ships are inevitably associated with the Meyer Werft shipyard on the Ems. On a tour you can look behind the scenes of the shipyard and learn more about its history and future.

15
Via the Ems cycle path to Leer city centre
© Projektbüro EmsRadweg
Old Town Leer

Leer's historic town hall is worth a visit on its own. Together with the old town directly on the water and the harbour, the building forms a triad worth seeing. Enjoy the atmosphere of the city during a relaxed stroll through the alleys.

16
The port of Ditzum on the Ems Cycle Route
© Ursula Schindelhauer / www.ditzumblog.de
Fishing village Ditzum

The picture-book village of Ditzum greets you within sight of the North Sea. The small fishing village on the Dollart shines with its neat houses, cosy alleys and the beautiful harbour with its refreshment stops. The Ems ferry, built in 1926, takes you to the harbour of Petkum on the other side of the Ems.

17
Maritime feeling at the end of the Ems Cycle Path
© Holger de Vries
Emden seaport

Not only does the Ems Cycle Route end at the seaport of Emden, the Ems also flows into the North Sea here. From Germany's westernmost port, over a million cars are shipped all over the world every year. At the end of the cycle tour, discover the world of the Dollart or treat yourself to a few days off on the island of Borkum.

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Insider tip

The Prinzipalmarkt of Münster The Prinzipalmarkt of Münster
© Münsterland e.V.
Take a detour to Münster

The Ems Cycle Route passes Münster in only about 13 kilometres. Take the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Numerous famous sights await you, such as the Prinzipalmarkt, the Westphalian Peace City Hall, the Museum of Art and Culture or the cathedral. Münster is also known for its excellent gastronomic offer, the many nightlife options and a very special flair.

The Ems Cycle Route at a glance

  • 375 km
  • Route tour
  • easy
  • signposted
  • Multiday tour
  • Nature/Places
  • Luggage transfer
  • Hövelhof
  • Rietberg
  • Rheda-Wiedenbrück
  • Warendorf
  • Telgte
  • Greven
  • Emsdetten
  • Rheine
  • Lingen
  • Meppen
  • Papenburg
  • Empty
  • Emden
Cycle tours on the Ems Cycle Route Cycle tours on the Ems Cycle Route
© Münsterland e.V.
On Germany's smallest river
Cycling holidays on the Ems Cycle Route
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