Cycling to Bad Orb

Bad Orb is easy to reach by bicycle from Frankfurt, provided you feel up to riding a distance of about 60 km. Just take the regional cycling route R3, which follows the banks of the Main River to and through Frankfurt, and then goes up the Kinzig Valley starting in Hanau. From the R3 there is a five-kilometer cycling route going off to the right (east) to Bad Orb.

Like most of the regional cycling routes around here, the R3 is clearly signposted except in cities and towns, where the one crucial signpost tends to be missing just when you need it. The first time I tried following the R3 through the city of Hanau I took a wrong turn and ended up in a very tiresome place called Wolfgang, which is off in some other direction entirely.

Fortunately they have a train station there, so I just took my bike on the train for a few stops up the valley, to make up for lost time.

My bike in a Regional Express train

All the regional trains have bicycle compartments so you can take your bicycle with you to wherever you want to start cycling from. In the area served by the Rhine-Main Transit Authority (RMV) it does not cost extra to take your bike along, but in other parts of Germany you sometimes need a supplementary ticket for your bike.

The bicycle compartments aren’t always this empty, by the way. On a nice day you often get twenty or more bicycles in a train like this. On this particular day, when I was the only cyclist on board, I got off the train at Wächtersbach and rode to Bad Orb from there.

The R3 in the woods upstream from Gelnhausen

On my August 2007 trip to Bad Orb, I discovered that parts of the R3 can be impassable if there is high water and the Kinzig River overflows its banks. Fortunately, I met some nice people who could tell me how to get around the flooded places and up to higher ground.

Alternative “high water route”

When I came through again in 2009, I found that there is now an alternative “high water route” (“Hochwasserroute” printed in blue on one of the signs) in some parts of the valley.

My photos in this post are from 2004, 2005 and 2009. I revised the text in 2021.

See more posts on Bad Orb, Germany.
See more cycling posts.

2 thoughts on “Cycling to Bad Orb”

  1. As I am pouring through all of your wonderful posts, I see the town Hanau – where I lived in the 1980’s – and I see a mention of Wolgang. Hanau was once a huge US military area. I biked through the area this summer and saw the old Kasernes now utilized once again by the local residents. It was wonderful to be back in Germany – we loved it just as much as when we had lived there. The bike paths we great!!!! Thank you – Suz

  2. Quite a surprise to find the road flooded. Do they have sayings for bicycles like they do for cars? (Turn around, don’t drown). Bikes can go through some water better than I can on my scooter.

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