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tæt på Marienberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
Hike through the beautiful Worm (Dutch)/Wurm (German) valley from Übach-Palenberg station to Aachen. To get back you take the train from the Hauptbahnhof, a convenient connection about twice an hour, for about 6 € one-way. This hike takes you along a meandering Wurm river, through forests, to the largest abbey in the Netherlands, three castles, water mills, viewpoints, and into the center of Aachen with its world heritage Aachener Dom, Elisenbrunnen and Rathaus.
I started out early from the parking lot at the Übach-Palenberg station, and followed the Wurm towards castle/schloss Rimburg. On this stretch the stream is channelized. Halfway Rimburg you pass a border stone as the river becomes the border between Germany and the Netherlands. At the bridge in Rimburg you find some brass turtles and a monument against hate. The castle is privately owned and not accessible, so you only get a glimpse through the gate. You continue towards and into the woods on the east side of the valley. A bit further you follow a cycling route towards a cycling bridge across the river for about 2.3 km. The last km you follow the free-flowing river closely, and you will notice trees gnawed at by beavers. You cross the bridge into the Netherlands, and follow a muddy track on the river grazed by Galloway cows. This is a beautiful stretch of nature squeezed between Kerkrade and the German railway, with river bends, beaver tracks, and river birds (I saw a kingfisher and a gray wagtail – grote gele kwikstaart). At the end you cross a railway and a road and climb the hill on the west side (Beerenbosch). At the top of the hill you have a nice view across Herzogenrath, and you walk towards abbey Rolduc. You walk through the courtyard and then through the park at the east side with several ponds. You then walk back down to Herzogenrath and towards castle Burg Rode. You climb the little hill for a good look and then continue out of town towards the Wurm river. Between Herzogenrath and Aachen the Wurm river valley is beautiful and railways and villages are on top of the hills and not in the valley. You follow tracks through the valley and the woods and onto the slopes on the east side to get to Burg Wilhelmstein. There is a restaurant here and a view, and you the continue towards Alte Mühle, and then on to Pumpemühle. Near the riding school at Teutenhof you will see some chalkstone cliffs on the east side. From Teutenhof you follow the river on the west side on the edge of wood and meadow. Near Wolfsfurth you leave the valley and climb to the Buschweg, where you have views of Aachen, the waste water treatment with the curious egg-shaped buildings, and the Lousberg in the distance. You pass under the A4 highway and continue towards Soers. Here you follow a path next to the Wildbach to the Strüverweg. You follow this road towards the Kloster St. Raphael, walk around it and climb the Lousberg to the top. Here you will find the Drehturm Lousberg, a former water tower now converted to a panoramic restaurant with a circulating floor. You can have a coffee or a beer here with a nice cake (depending on the time), and get a good view of Aachen. You continue towards a viewpoint on the east side of the Lousberg with an obelisk. From there you descend via stairs towards the city center of Aachen. You pass by the Rathaus on the market square, the Katschhof between Rathaus and Aachener Dom, the Aachener Dom at the Münsterplatz and the Elisenbrunnen. There was a Christmas market on the day I did this hike, and after a glühwein on the Münsterplatz I walked to the main station (Hauptbahnhof). The Rathaus and Dom are well worth visiting, if you have not done so before. From the Hauptbahnhof you take a Regionalbahn train back to the starting point.
You will find something to eat and drink at Burg Wilhelmstein, Lousberg and the center of Aachen. In Kerkrade and Herzogenrath you will be able to find something as well, but not directly on the route.
There is a wide bend in the Worm river here. This is a beautiful stretch of river nature squeezed between railway and Kerkrade,.
Here there is a bridge in the Wurm river. The river flows through a short underground channel. From here you follow a track up the slope and then south through forests.
Here you will find Burg Rode, a small castle on a hill overlooking Herzogenrath. It is the former seat of the duke (Herzog) of Herzogenrath. Rolduc is visible just a few 100 m to the west.
There are some remnants of fortifications and a restaurant here. You have to climb the hill to get there. There are good views from the castle across the valley.
There is a Blausteinobelisk here commemorating the sister of Napoleon. At this waypoint the Buschweg starts taking you along the waste water treatment plant in the Wurm valley.
Here you follow the cycle route for 2.3 km. During my hike I crossed the railway and turned left on a mud track, but this track petered out in the fields. So you have to follow the cycle track instead to the bridge across the Wurm. The last 800 m you follow the Wurm river.
This is a former water tower. The top floor is now a restaurant with a revolving floor with good views across Aachen and surroundings. You can have good cakes here, but only on Sunday. See the website http://drehturm-aachen.de/gastronomie/oeffnungszeiten/
The famous Elisenbrunnen are still a source of sulphury water.
This is the main railway station in Aachen.
On this walking trail next to a busy road you have a good view of Rolduc and Herzogenrath.
Katschhof is the square between the Rathaus and the Aachener Dom. There was a Christmas market here on the day I did this hike.
There is an obelisk at this viewpoint.
Here is the famous Rathaus, well worth a visit. There is a Christmas market on this square as well as in surrounding streets and squares in the right season.
This is the square in front of the Aachener Dom. There are some brass statues a bit towards the Elisenbrunnen. The Aachener Dom is well worth a visit if you have the time.
After having taken a path on the backside of a plant and having walked past a pond you come to a little waterfall in the Wildbach (at waypoint). From here you walk on a path next to this stream with good views towards the Lousberg.
This path takes you along the Worm on the Dutch side. It is muddy and Galloway cows graze here. It is a beautiful stretch of nature squeezed between Kerkrade and the German railway.
Here you follow a path from the Alte Mühle on the east side of the river towards Pumpermühle where you cross the Wurm.
Here starts the path on the west side of the river, near the Teuterhof riding school. The path takes you along meadows and forests until you come near Wolfsfurth where you leave the valley to climb towards the Buschweg.
Rolduc is the largest abbey complex in the Benelux.
In the park behind Rolduc abbey you find woods, some ponds and a small vineyard.
This privately owned castle cannot be visited. It lies just across the Wurm river from the Dutch village Rimburg. There are some brass turtles and a monument against hate next to the bridge.
Here you cross the Dutch railway between Heerlen and Herzogenrath
Here is the station of Übach Palenberg, the starting point of this track. I started out early.
Here you follow a paved path along the channelized Wurm. Halfway to Rimburg you pass a border stone marking the place where the river forms the border between Germany and the Netherlands.
There is a cycle bridge across the Worm/Wurm here, forming the border between Germany and the Netherlands.