Length 8.44 km (5.2 miles), terrain hilly
Düsseldorf Running Routes:
Both Sides of the Rhine
Rhine Harbor Route
Stadtwald forrest run
See the other running routes here!
The pictures were taken in early spring, 2012, so you'll have to imagine how much more beautiful the route is in summer!
NOTE: If you like this running area, you can follow any of the 4 official loop trails through the woods. A1 through A4 are well marked, ranging between 2.5- and 10-km. You can get a nice map here: http://www.duesseldorf.de/stadtgruen/pdf/wald/forstmitte.pdf
Düsseldorf has a lot of nice running choices: either running various routes along the Rhine River and the old town on the west side, or head for the wooded hills lining the east side of the city. This route goes through the Stadtwald (town forest), made up of the Grafenberger Wald and the larger Aaper Wald, just north of it.
The beautiful old beech-woods are honeycombed by trails, and there are a lot of other interesting things out among them: a deer reserve, the horse-race track, a glider-landing strip, ancient stone-age megalith circles (Frauensteine), etc. Some of the trees are 250 years old. The sand hills here were deposited by the Rhine River ages ago.
|Along the A2 trail in Aaper Wald|
We'll start out at the south end of the Stadtwald, at the corner of Grafenberger Allee and Ludenberger Straße. There is a tram station here called Burgmühlerstraße, serviced by the 709, 703, and 713 lines. There is a little street calld Bismarkweg leading east from the intersection that takes you right into the woods. After a block, the street ends and the path upwards into the woods begins.
|Run up this street, Bismarkweg|
|Heading up Bismarkweg|
|Head up here at the first shelter|
Turn left on Trotzhofallee and follow it until it ends by merging into the street that borders the woods on the east, Rennbahnstraße (race track street). You will see the Rolandsburg Hotel on the right side and the Zum Trotzhof beer-garden on the left.
|Rolandsburg hotel and Trotzhof beer-garden|
We are now in the northern part of the Stadtwald, the Aaper Wald. There are 2 paths that loop through this part, A1 and A2. A1 is the longer loop, but I like A2 better: it snakes along the hilltops, with beautiful, constantly changing views. The A1 trail spends a lot of time going along the bottom of the hills nearer to surrounding streets.
So, basically, you can just follow the trail signs for the A2 for the next 4 km. If you look to the right over your shoulder, you'll see the modern trotting race track behind the Rolandsburg Hotel.
When you get to a little playground with a shelter, turn left and follow Dachsbergweg to the northwest. To the right of the playground, you can see the glider-plane landing strip out on the meadow.
You will come to a cross-path after about 300 meters. Now the A2 turns left to follow the crests, where the A1 turns right to take a longer route. This is the northernmost point of our run. Now we start heading south again.
|Turn left here to continue on the A2|
Just keep following the A2 until it comes back out at the little parking lot for hikers again, about 2 km later.
Now, re-trace your way back up Rennbahnstraße to the Zum Trotzhof beer-garden. At the front of the building, though, turn right and run downhill down the gravel road, called Rolander Weg. This is the first gravel road that I've seen that's full of Porsches.
We are now following the A4, which we'll follow all the way back to the start.
At the end of Rolander Weg, the A4 path turns left and goes up a sand hill, then downhill again behind a tennis club.
|The last stretch on the A4 in Grafenbergerwald|
When you get to the top of the hill, you'll find yourself at the first shelter that we saw early in the run. Now, just go straight past it on Bismarkweg, as the path curves back down to the start again.
Hey, where WAS that beer-garden, again?