Length 7.1 km (4.4 miles)
For more Cologne routes, see the Route List.
This is Cologne's (Köln) most popular running trail, without a doubt. You'll find more runners, bicyclists, soccer players, jugglers and tightrope-walkers along this stretch of parkland than you'll find in the entire rest of the city.
The Innerer Grüngürtel (inner green-belt) was created in the 1920s, on the spot where the city's previous fortifications stood. The fortified belt formed a half-circle around the western half of Cologne.
NOTE: See the Historic Cologne route for a visit to one of the surviving forts.
|Map of old fortifications, now home of the green belt, thanks to WikiMedia|
Or at least a lot of was turned into parkland. Some sections were used for railway lines and expressways, and so the park isn't continuous. This route, will loop through the continuous part of the green-belt, through a variety of lawns, ponds, hills and athletic fields.
We'll start the run at the university campus, at Zülpicher Straße. It's easily reached with tram line 9, at the Universität station. We'll run northwards, staying along the inner side of the half-circle (the eastern edge, along the right) on the way out, and come back along the other side, just for variety.
|The start, at the university|
|The Aachener Weiher|
Stay on the right edge of the pond and cross the next street, Aachener Straße. Unfortunately, the cross walk ends in the middle of the street at a tram line 1 station. You'll have to jaywalk across the tram tracks and the next half of the street to get to the other side. Watch out!
|Heading towards the TV tower|
|A soccer game in the park|
At the top of the hill, head down by using the steps through the woods on the north side. You are now at the half-way point of the run. The idea now is to stay on the west side of the green-belt on the way back.
|Running up the Herkulesberg|
|The way back from the Herkulesberg|
When you reach the Aachener Weiher pond again, you can run along its west side, next to the museum, and see the little Japanese garden there.
|Japanese garden pond at the East Asian Museum|