There are a few hiking trails that I made especially for winter. These are typically the ones that do not go deep into the forest, because the weather is generally pretty bad here in Germany in winter. And usually they are relatively short with a lot of possibilities of finding a refuge. They are great in winter, but when the weather is good, they are just boring walking trails. Today, still thinking that the winter was not over, I made a huge mistake by offering this hike around Essen Stadtwald, which should have been done in the middle of winter, like on the worst day of the year. As it turned out, the weather was even better than last week today. Hard to believe that it’s still February.
From the very beginning, I could see that the trail was not quite appropriate. Right after we left the train station, the path was going through the former railway line, which is today used as a bikeway. Fortunately, we could find alternative paths, although how much of these alternative paths can still be considered as hiking paths is a matter of discussion…
It took a few minutes more to leave the city after this, but at least we could walk in the forest after that. This is the weird thing about Essen: right around the city, you can see a lot of well maintained hiking paths. That’s probably the reason why it was the green capital of Europe in 2017. And at the same time, just like everywhere along the Ruhr, it was a little bit hilly.
We had a break at Heisingen, which today was really not required since the weather was so good. Anyway we could find some green area within the city and picnicked there. There were a few places to get coffee or ice cream, although none of them had a toilet. Well I didn’t look for one but since no one really complained they must have found it somewhere there.
The rest of the hike was a mixture of good paths and stressful ones. In particular, some time after we left Heisingen, we were walking along the Ruhr, which habitually has a lot of cyclists on sunny days like today. And the ones cycling along the Ruhr are genuinely the very worst ones. Fortunately for us, this was only a small section. We could climb up and down for the rest of the day.
I could feel that the hike was not hard enough today when we finished. Well, it doesn’t matter. There was a decent market place at Essen Stadtwald and there was a nice café there. We should embrace the great weather and the return of the good season in which we can enjoy staying outside after the hike.
Today’s trail can be downloaded from this link (in kml-format) or this link (in gpx-format)