Adequate for children
The best and most comfortable route to the Erft spring is to take the train from Euskirchen to Nettersheim or Blankenheim. Cool off at the spring in Nettersheim-Holzmülheim or fill your water bottle before heading out to Bad Münstereifel. Surrounded by beautiful and lovely scenery, the path initially climbs uphill but then heads downhill for approx. 15 km.
Following a walk through the medieval town of Bad Münstereifel with its many cafes and museums, the path leads along the Erft River out of the Eifel Mountains – past many former watermills. Here you should plan for a quick side trip to the Rhenish Industrial Museum "Tuchfabrik Müller" in Euskirchen-Kuchenheim.
The next section – rich in water castles – leads through Erft marshes away from roads and traffic. If you choose the side trip to Kuchenheim, you then travel the Erft-Mühlengraben (Erft Mill Trench) back to the Erft River - just follow the signs along the "Wasserburgen-Route" (Water Castle Route).
Between Weilerswist and Bergheim, the Erft River once again features numerous castles although you need to leave the straightened Erft River a few times: Kühlseggen Castle, Gracht Castle, the Landesburg Ruins in Lechenich, the Gymnich Kelly Family Castle or Türnich Castle are just a few examples.
A 15-km long side trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl leads from Erftstadt-Blessem past Lake Liblar and Lake Heider Bergsee through the wooded scenery of the Rhineland Nature Preserve.
While in the Kerpen area, any motorsports enthusiasts should schedule sufficient time for a visit to the Michael-Schumacher Kart & Event Center and the "Villa Trips".
Upon arrival in Bergheim, Paffendorf Castle greets the bikers not only with bistro refreshments but also with the RWE Information Center which hosts an exhibit on Rhenish Lignite Mining. Following this theoretical treatise, if you also wish to take a look at one of the world’s largest manmade holes in the ground, you can first visit Bedburg Castle and then head out from the medieval Alt-Kaster to the visitor’s platform at the Garzweiler-South surface mining facilities.
From Bedburg, the path follows the Erft River, past the Frimmersdorf Power Plant into the local recreation area at Grevenbroich.
With Dyck Castle (located slightly off-track), the Insel Hombroich Museum, and the Clemens-Sels Museum, this last stretch just prior to the confluence of Erft and Rhine rivers is more culture-oriented. The beautiful and scenic path along the Erft River offers a 7-km detour past Langwaden Cloisters and Hülchrath Castle.
(Images: Bild: Rhein-Erft Tourismus e.V., Bild: Heinrich Pützler, Bild: Rhein-Erft Tourismus e.V., Bild: Rhein-Erft Tourismus e.V.)