The Töddenland cycle path follows the tracks of the "Tödden or "Tüötten" for about 122 km. These were itinerant merchants who in the 17th to 19th centuries travelled as far as the Netherlands with their rolls of linen or other goods on their backs to sell their products. These itinerant merchants gave rise to such well-known companies as C & A and Hettlage. The trail takes you "across borders" through the northern Münsterland in North Rhine-Westphalia and through the southern Emsland in Lower Saxony.
At 22 "Tödden stations" you will learn interesting facts about the way of life and the work of the former linen traders. In terms of landscape, you will explore the hilly Schafberg plateau near Mettingen, Ibbenbüren and Recke as well as flat heath and moor landscapes in Recke, Hopsten and the southern Emsland. You will also find exciting excursion destinations such as the Dörenther Cliffs, the Saller Lake, the Heiliges Meer nature reserve, a sulphur bath and a Tuötten Museum along the route. Be inspired by the history and tradition of the wandering merchants and the charm of the riparian towns of Hopsten, Mettingen, Recke as well as Freren, Beesten and Schapen.
The "Old Rectory" in Schapen houses an exhibition on the history of itinerant merchants in the attic. In addition to the beginnings of trade, the main focus is on the legendary coin hoard of Schapen. In combination with the old smithy and the former breweries, a piece of the past comes alive here.
The Töddenhaus Urschen in Beesten dates back to 1512. For centuries, the Urschen merchant family maintained close trade relations with the Netherlands. The building, which has been rebuilt several times and is a listed building, still shows typical elements of the merchants' houses of that time.
In the Kulturlandhaus of the municipality of Hopsten, creative activities such as flax and wool processing as well as basket and chair weaving are offered. The museum of traditional costumes housed there is also worth seeing.
The former water mill Ruthemühle is the setting for the museum of local history and basketry in Recke. The museum gives a good insight into the way of life of the local people. How was farming done, how wooden shoes were made and what is the secret of basket weaving. The museum provides the answers.
The Tüöttenmuseum in Mettingen is divided between three half-timbered houses. The museum sheds light on the life of merchants from itinerant traders to wholesale traders. It is no coincidence that numerous department stores have their roots in Mettingen and the surrounding area. The way of life and the living culture are extensively presented.
The Schultenhof is the nucleus of Mettingen. As the original courtyard of Mettingen, the farm, which was probably built as early as the 7th century, plays an important role in the history of the town. The courtyard complex, which consists of several buildings, now houses the school museum and the postal museum.