The Limes Cycle Path is just the thing for those who are not only interested in Caesar & Co. but also looking for a sporty challenge. Almost 800 kilometres in length, the path enables cyclists to follow the footsteps of the Romans along the former fortification wall.
The cycle path is marked out with brown signs throughout all four federal states bearing the association’s logo - a Limes tower surrounded by the letters “D” and “L”. The aim in setting out the route was to guide the cyclist along good quality cycle and forest paths following the Limes Road.
Like the German Limes Road, the cycle path also follows the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes and links numerous places of interest dating back to the Roman era. Cyclists with a love of history can look forward to encountering reconstructed Limes watchtowers, preserved and in some cases reconstructed forts, the remains of Roman baths contained in protective buildings, fortifications including walls, moats and palisades and of course impressive museums.
There are attractive towns along the way as well as well-known spa and holiday resorts. The German Limes Cycle Path also offers much landscape diversity. Starting by the Rhine, it runs through the Rhine-Westerwald Nature Reserve, the Lahntal valley, the Nassauer Land, the Rheingau-Taunus district, the Hochtaunus Nature Reserve, the Wetterau, the Maintal valley, the Odenwald forest, the Swabian-Franconian Forest, the Swabian Alb, the New Franconian Lake District, the Altmühltal Nature Reserve and on to the river Danube ...
Since the Romans did not make allowances for modern-day cyclists, however, there are some hilly sections to be reckoned which present a sporty challenge to ambitious cyclist. The effort is rewarded by the cultural diversity the cycle path has to offer. The route as a whole can be broken down into smaller sections with stopovers since the towns along the way provide excellent overnight accommodation facilities and restaurants.
So up on the saddle and off into the fascination of Roman history!
The German Limes Cycle Path starts in Bad Hönningen am Rhein. It runs through a beautiful and generally unspoilt low mountain landscape on the trails of the Romans. Emerging from the Rhine plane, the path then climes up into Westerwald forest. Passing through Neuwied, Bendorf and the Kannenbäcker Land, it then reaches the spa town of Bad Ems an der Lahn. From Bad Ems, the path continues up steeply and crosses the Taunus to Holzhausen an der Haide.
This section requires excellent stamina on the part of the cyclist since the terrain goes uphill and downhill. First it crosses the state border to Hesse and then the tour route enters the Taunus. Keeping close to the Limes itself, it carries on in a north-easterly direction to the Saalburg. As the tour continues, picturesque towns such as Butzbach and Ober-Mörlen are passed, offering a place to take a break and relax. The next stop is Echzell in the Wetterau.
Passing through the magnificent natural beauty of the Wetterau, the route now heads south. Here again the cyclist passes idyllic villages such as Florstadt, Liemshain and Erlensee where there is ample evidence of the Roman past. After Erlensee it is worth taking a detour to Hanau. From Großkrotzenburg the path continues along the river Main where there are hardly any hilly sections until Miltenberg. Nonetheless it would be a mistake to simply glide past the towns of Seligenstadt, Stockstadt, Niedernberg and Obernburg: some time should be taken to enjoy what they have to offer.
Just after Miltenberg the cycle path leaves the river Main and climbs steadily as far as Walldürn. From here it continues through the Odenwald forest along the Limes to Osterburken. The cyclist then follows the trail of the Upper Germanic Limes through the Hohenlohe plateau and the Swabian-Franconian Forest, passing through towns such as Öhringen, Murrhardt, Welzheim and Lorch.
After Lorch there follows a somewhat flatter section up the Remstal valley to the Staufer town of Schwäbisch Gmünd and further to Aalen. Crossing the Swabian Ostalb, the route then passes the Roman excavations in Rainau. At Mönchsroth the path then crosses the bavarian state border, reaching Gunzenhausen via Wittelshofen and Ehingen. From here there is a run of 30 kilometres through the Franconian Lake District before the path reaches the Roman town of Weißenburg.
The final spurt to Regensburg starts with some more hilly passages. Staying close to the Limes, the route passes Kipfenberg and runs through the Altmühltal Nature Reserve (Naturpark Altmühltal). Just before Kelheim, the path meets the river Danube. Along the Danube the bikeway continues to the end of the route in Regensburg.