The most populous state in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, has a diverse history. Where once the chimneys of the Ruhr area billowed smoke and collieries extracted coal, today there are industrial monuments. The Route of Industrial Heritage leads along riverside and woodland paths, traffic-restricted roads, and disused railway lines past former industrial sites. The Ruhrtalradweg (Ruhr Valley Cycle Path) is also a popular route that passes through the Ruhr area and visits many attractions such as the UNESCO World Heritage site Zeche Zollverein or Herten Castle.
Churches, monasteries, and castles characterize the Münsterland region. The 100-Schlösser Route (100 Castles Route) and the European Cycle Route R1 are probably the most well-known among the many cycling tours in the Münsterland. In the Münsterland, the RadBahn Münsterland follows a former railway line from Coesfeld to Rheine. In the Bergisches Land, you can also cycle on old railway tracks.
The rivers Rhine, Ruhr, and Lippe offer relaxed routes for cycling. A section of the Radschnellweg 1 (Bicycle Expressway 1) has already been completed between Mühlheim and Essen. Once completed, the expressway will run between Hamm and Duisburg.