The Usa and Wetter Rivers

This is a bicycle path along the Usa, a small river to the east of Friedberg. The Usa is a tributary of the Wetter River, which in turn is a tributary of the Nidda.

After flowing through Bad Vilbel and Frankfurt, the Nidda finally empties into the Main River at the Wörthspitze in Frankfurt-Höchst.

The Main (pronounced more or less like the English word “mine”, not “main”) eventually joins up with the Rhine at the Mainspitze, across from the city of Mainz.

From there the Rhine flows in a generally northwesterly direction through Germany and the Netherlands for a distance of 535 ½ kilometers (that’s the figure given in my cycling guidebook), passing places like Bacharach, Koblenz, Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf before reaching Rotterdam and the North Sea.

After writing this, I remembered that as a child I had a book called “Paddle-to-the-Sea”, in which an Indian (Native American) boy in Canada carves a toy canoe and puts it into a river where it can float through all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and finally into the Atlantic Ocean.

Thanks to the internet I have now found out that this book was written by a man named Holling C. Holling and was published in 1941. It was later made into a film, in 1966.


This fancy sign, which was still standing in 2011, says “Welcome to Ossenheim, 1200 years, 807 – 2007”. The village, or ex-village, traces its history back to 807, because that is the first year that Ossenheim was mentioned in any written document that still exists.

Ossenheim is on the Wetter River, southeast of Friedberg.

In 1971, Ossenheim became a part of the city of Friedberg.

Görbelheimer Mill on the Wetter River

For over five centuries the water power of the Wetter River was used here, near Bruchenbrücken, to drive a mill that made flour and oil. The first written evidence of a mill at this location is in a document dated December 15, 1425.

A large complex of brick buildings (dating perhaps from the eighteenth or nineteenth century?) is still standing and now houses an art gallery and publisher, galerie hoffmann. As of 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic, visits to the gallery are by appointment only.

In the late Middle Ages, there was also a village just south of the mill, but the village was abandoned in 1525 when the last inhabitants emigrated to Hungary or the Ukraine.

My photos in this post are from 2011. I revised the text in 2021.

See more posts on Friedberg, Germany.

8 thoughts on “The Usa and Wetter Rivers”

    1. Yes, as I recall it was a fine book. My connection to Michigan is that I spent several summers there at a Boy Scout camp, at what it now Duck Lake State Park.

  1. I am beginning to look around to prepare for a trip I am taking next year on the Danube – I wanted to see if you had any blogs on that river. We go from Prague by bus to Regensburg, Germany and from there go to Passau, Linz Austria, Weissenkirchen, Vienna, Bratislava, Slovakia and end in Budapest.

    1. That sounds like a super itinerary. Of the places you mentioned, the only ones I have blogged about so far are Prague and Vienna:
      I loved Regensburg, Passau, Linz and Budapest, but have not blogged about them because I was there so long ago and don’t have any photos.
      My introduction to the Danube was in 1962, when I spent seventeen days with some German friends paddling down the river in folding boats, which were sort of like kayaks:

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