From Ilmenau to Kranichfeld | 36 km
Leaving Ilmenau in southern direction, you cycle through a piece of floodplain forest along the banks of the Ilm River towards Langewiesen and Gräfinau-Angstedt. Further on up the route to Griesheim and Stadtilm you have the opportunity to walk through the Saline in Oberilm. Or you can enjoy a cool draft beer in the brewery museum in Singen. Past the Mustard & Arts Mill in Kleinhettstedt and past Dienstedt with its karst cave you reach Kranichfeld and its two castles. In the Baumbachhaus in Kranichfeld you can obtain information about the area. You may also visit the exhibition inside or take an enjoyable coffee break at the snuggery.
City tour and local mountain hiking
If you have a little more time to spend and would like to learn more about Ilmenau you can leave your bicycle in the bike lockers at the station or at Wetzlarer Platz and participate in a guided tour through the historic city centre (starting at the town hall Am Markt 1). Or you opt for the local mountain Kickelhahn with its lookout tower, the Goethe house and the historic hunting facilities. The museum Jagdhaus Gabelbach houses the exhibition "Goethes Wald im Wandel" (Goethe’s forest through the ages) and offers an interesting insight into the issues of forestry, hunting and nature.
Am Markt 1
Sat, Sun, Holydays: 10–17
Tel: 03677 600300
Fax: 03677 600300
The Sledge Barn (Schlittenscheune)
Just yards from the cycling route, you can visit a very original museum that is unique in Germany: the sledge barn! Once started by a private passionate collector it reveals astounding details not only about sledges and bobsleighs but also about the successful Ilmenau winter athletes who have lifted numerous national and international trophies.
Traditionsverein Schlitten und Bob Ilmenau e. V.
Langewiesener Straße 2a (Innenhof)
Mon, Sat: 14–16 and by arrangement
Roland Hollaschke Tel: 0177 5904351
Norbert Wagner Tel: 0162 2826545
Coal Mining Museum "Volle Rose"(Schaubergwerk)
When cycling towards Schortetal the coal mining museum "Volle Rose" is only 2 km off the route. Not only children are delighted with the large number of mining locomotives, which can move over the extended grounds and up to 360 metres deep into the mountain - a very special experience!
Apr–Nov: Tue–Fri: 9–16
Sat, Sun, Holydays: 10–18
Tel: 03677 899065
The birthplace of the poet Johann Jacob Wilhelm Heinse now houses the tourist information office and a museum with an exhibition on the poet Heinse, Wilhelm Höpflinger, the inventor of the ball bearing, the history of the vacuum flask manufactory as well as some Oskar Schlegelmilch porcelain. Monumental drilling towers are standing right next to the cycle path between the Dörnfeld hostel and community centre and Dörnfeld village. Until 1999 poppet heads pumped up natural brine from 500 to 600 m depth. The brine was then transported in pipelines to the main plant in Stadtilm for salt production.
Mon–Fri: 10–12 and 13–18
Tel: 03677 807720
Brewery Museum Schmitt (Museumsbrauerei)
The museum is a 115 year-old brewery, where to this day beer is brewed according to ancient crafts tradition - with fresh spring water and a steam engine. Since 1976, the brewery has been a listed building and is in possession of the probably smallest still operating steam engine in Germany (12 hp and dating back to about 1900)! The museum can be visited upon advance reservation. Just contact the Obstfelder family.
Tel: 03629 802556
Tunnel Museum Niederwillingen
The museum focuses on modern tunnelling and houses a walkable tunnelling model in the scale 1: 4. In the ancient rock-hewn cellar you find a detailed documentation on tunnel construction. The museum complex consists of three parallel tunnel tubes: two motorway tubes and an ICE-train tube.
Unter dem Berge 8
Tue: 10–15 and by arrangement
Tel: 03629 3610
Mustard & Arts Mill (Kunst- und Senfmühle)
This historic building complex, including a half-timbered house from the 16th century, is located directly on the Ilm. Those, who would like to spend some more time here, may take a look at the complete device with its 18 roller mills, steam engine, water wheel, Francis turbine and historic reciprocating saws. There are also interesting things to learn about the milling industry and you can taste and buy high-quality mustards from on-site production. Interested in a guided tour? Guided tours on prior arrangement.
Tel: 03629 801037 Tel: 03629 3596
Karst Cave (Karst Höhle) Dienstedt
The cave is a very fine example for the effect of water power: Two million years ago, the primordial Ilm River flowed through this labyrinth of caves creating this beautiful flow and erosion forms in the limestone. In several excavations during the last century remains of fireplaces, shards of pottery, bone tools, animal bones and burnt-clay cups were found. The impressive karst cave is located 2 km down the Ilm River behind the village of Dienstedt. The cave is open to visitors on a length of up to 155 m.
and by appointment
Tel: 03629 812504
The house where Rudolf Baumbach was born is to be found in the middle of Kranichfeld. It is dedicated to the poet and nature lover Baumbach, whose writings include the folk song “Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen". The exhibition inside the house offers a glimpse into the life of Baumbach. Temporary exhibitions show photographs and graphic art by mostly regional artists. In the house, there is also a cozy museum café, the public library of Kranichfeld and a wedding room.
Tel: 036450 39669
The Niederburg, a castle, is idyllically situated on a rock spur above the Ilm River at the eastern edge of Kranichfeld. It was built around 1147 and was provided with a large outer ward, a small medieval main castle, with several towers, big banks and deep ditches. In the romantic ambience of the Planhof - the open air theatre -, you can experience concerts, plays, open-air concerts and festivals. The highlight, however, is the annual dance and rose festival (Tanz- und Rosenfest). And don’t miss the birds of prey’s flight demonstrations at the Falkenhof - a breathtaking experience!
Eagles and Falcons Schütz
Tel: 036450 44191
The Oberschloss, a mixture of castle and palace, resides on a mountain top projecting from the Kranichberg. It was built in Romanesque style in the 12th century.
In 1453, it was expanded to a pompous Renaissance palace which quietly outlasted time until it finally burned to ruins in 1934. Only parts of it were rebuilt.
From the top of the "Dicker Turm" (“fat tower” with 3.60 m wall thickness and a height of 22 m) you enjoy a magnificent view on the city and into the countryside reserve of the Middle Ilm Valley.
The most famous figure of the castle is the "Leckarsch", the legend of which entwines around the two brothers Lutger and Wolfer, who once inhabited the Oberschloß.
In a permanent exhibition, visitors can relive the history of the castle by looking at photographs, historical documents and numerous finds. With its little palace, the palais, for concerts and theatre performances, its chapel for wedding ceremonies in historic ambience and its castle tavern, this fairy-tale castle reenchants its visitors again and again.
Sat, Sun: 10–18
Tel: 036450 30460
Bicycle Shop Gigerenzer
The shop is located in the city centre about 200 metres from the Ilm-Valley Cycle Route. Help is offered not only during opening hours but also in the event of a breakdown - just call!
Please note: In summer between March and October the shop is open on workdays until 7pm and on Saturdays until 2pm.
You can rent mountain and trekking bikes, city bikes, racing bikes, children's bikes and e-bikes. Cycling maps and navigation equipment are also available.
Tel: 03677 893402
The shop is located in the northern part of the city centre near the Ilmenau Information Centre and provides all-round service and bicycle rental mainly for mountain bikes.
Students receive a 5 percent discount on all new goods!
On 300 sqm, the Rad Eck in Kranichfeld offers new and second hand bikes, cycling garments, advisory service, all-round service and bicycle repair. In front of the shop, there has been put up an inner-tube vending machine.
Emergency number for out-of-hours repairs: +49-174-3064449
Breakdown and Bicycle Sales
Am Bommelsberg 2
Tue–Fri: 10–13 and 15–18
Tel: +49 (0)36450 31495
Nearby Barchfeld there is a picnic area with a roofed table and a barbeque hut right next to the cycling route.
Picnic Area near the Restaurant Fridolin
Between Ilmenau and Langewiesen you come across several picnic areas with tables and benches. At one of them, a board offers useful information about the Ilm-Rennsteig Cycle Route - a 20 km long cycle trail along the disused railway track between Ilmenau and Großbreitenbach.
Picnic Area Gottessegen
A signpost on the cycle path shows the way to a spacious picnic area just 100 m away. Here you find several roofed tables and a public brick barbecue in a clearing on the banks of the Ilm River. The historic communal bread oven makes a romantic backdrop and is the focal point of the annual baking festival, when you can smell fresh bread baked in the wood-fired oven and you can bake stick bread over the open wood campfire.
Picnic Area near the ICE-Train Bridge
A roofed table right next to the ICE-train-bridge invites you to take a break.
Picnic Area Herrenteiche
Tucked between the ponds, the so called Herrenteiche, two picnic areas wait for guests: On the one hand the covered seating area and on the other hand the wooden benches made by a wood sculptor. The Herrenteiche are also very popular with fishermen.
Picnic Area near the Sports Field
Behind the new Ilm-bridge and just before you come to Gräfinau-Angstedt, there is a picnic area with a board providing information on the Ilm-Valley Cycle Route and places of interest in and around Wolfsberg.
Picnic Area Schwarze Brücke
The Schwarze Brücke (black bridge) between Gräfinau-Angstedt and Dörnfeld gives access to the Ilm meadows. The picnic area with a board informing about the Ilm-Valley Cycle Route and places of interest in and around Wolfsberg is ideal for a short stopover.
This playground and picnic area on the edge of Dörnfeld is situated in the wide stretching Ilm-meadows and offers a sheltered sitting area.
Picnic Area Cottendorfer Teich
The pond called Cottendorfer Teich makes a very romantic background for this small picnic area. In case of a thunderstorm you may take shelter in the nearby bus shelter.
Picnic Area Pumpstation
Outside of Stadtilm and very near to a historic brick building (the former pumping station) you find a roofed table and an information board telling you about the sights of Stadtilm. From here you enjoy a wonderful view on the Ilm River’s flood plains.
The Stadtilm lido, nestling between the Ilm River and the Cycling Route, is surrounded by hedges and trees. It features a 50-meter pool, water slide, diving boards and a paddling pool. Snacks and drinks are available at the kiosk.
A spacious, tree-lined playground marks the town centre of Dienstedt. In the park-like setting a board informs about the village. Other exhibits include the historic mill stone from a dyer's woad mill with wooden axle.
Picnic Area Stedtener Mühle
From the picnic area at the Stedten mill, disposing of a water stand pipe for drinking water, you can enjoy a magnificent view on the Ilm River.
Picnic Area Felsenmühle
This small picnic area backs onto the cycle path.
Tourist Information Centre - Ilmenau
Here you are welcome at any time of the day. The town hall of Ilmenau, where Goethe once had his office, now houses a museum, showing numerous Goethe memorabilia and the history of Ilmenau. The friendly and knowledgeable team gives competent advice on the Ilm-Valley Cycle Route, on lodging, restaurants and interesting things to see and do in the town and its surroundings.
Am Markt 1
Sat, Sun, Holydays: 10–17 Uhr
Tel: 03677 600300
Fax: 03677 600330
Tourist Information Centre - Langewiesen
The tourist information centre of Langewiesen is to be found in the Heinse-Haus, the birthplace of the Sturm and Drang poet Johann Jacob Wilhelm Heinse. You get competent advice and recommendations for city tours and worthwhile destinations in the surroundings.
Tourist Information Centre– Stadtilm
Besides interesting facts about the town’s history and event notes you are provided with information on regional sights.
Tel: +49 (0)3629 3860
Tourist Information Centre – Kranichfeld
The tourist information centre in the Baumbachhaus offers information not only on the town but also on worthwhile destinations in the surroundings, as for example the landscape conservation area Mittleres Ilmtal. Very popular events in Kranichfeld include concerts at the open-air theatre Niederburg and the medieval pageant at the Oberschloss.