The Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s former hotspot for coal mining and heavy steel industry, is not primarily known for its lovely green landscape. Nevertheless, we had a weekend planned here with friends to go hiking.
The whole area has changed a lot in recent years. Most of the mines have been closed down, many sites today have been converted into museums, event locations, restaurants, cultural centers etc. and there’s a surprising amount of green around.
We trekked along the old “Leinpfad”, the pathway where once the boats loaded with coal were pulled down the Ruhr river, from the town of Hattingen to the city of Essen.
Starting out from the train station in Hattingen.
Following the river we were surrounded by green fields.
All along the way old buildings, bridges, chimneys, and locks bore witness to the areas past.
Beautiful vistas and the old mile stones counting our progress, while the wildlife kept their distance or defended their territory.
Third and final rest.
And finally the tram to take us all the way back into the town center of Essen ca 14km later.