There’s a variety of bike trails throughout the Ruhr Region, from KulturKanals ‘Emscher Park’ which rides past the points on the Ruhr Route of Industrial Hertitage, to the Emschergenosenschaft’s ‘Emscher-Weg’ which rides close to the River Emscher beginning at Holzwickende to the mouth of the river at Dinslaken. New trails are developing all the time, such as the Seseke Weg (tributary of the Lippe) and the Berne Route. Also notable is the Emscher Insel (Island) Tour, which follows the strip of green space that developed between the River Emscher and the Rhine Herne Shipping Canal, peppered with Insel-Art.
To make things more convenient, there is actually a downloadable EmscherWeg GPS which can be accessed from the Emscher website. Unfortunately, I could not get this to work on either of my phones (I brought an old phone to put a SIM card in and my current Samsung to take pictures with and use when I have wifi), my Chromebook (nothing works on it anyway so I’m not surprised), or my boyfriends phone. So I’ve mostly been making use of them by pre-charting paths on the computer the night before and then loosely following via Google Maps with my SIM-card phone. I’m terrible at finding my way without real-time GPS, because sometimes I look around and I just feel like all the road signs are just missing and then its start-and-stop, start-and-stop with the bike until I get back onto a better known path. But there are also a variety of different signage options in the event that my crappy phone dies (it hasn’t yet but only because when it gets close I pull over to the nearest McDonalds or Starbucks where they almost always have electrical outlets to plug into, sometimes Subway does as well). The only reason I don’t follow them completely is that they’re not really continuous.
But following signs make the way feel more ‘real’ and a part of the place finding process. The brown ones are always Route of Industrial Heritage pathways, sometimes they only say Route of Industrial Heritage on them, while the blue circles indicate Emschergenossenschaft info points. The white roadsigns point out larger anchor points, sometimes a series of arrows will give you a few different directions and also write in red lettering the distance in kilometers (this is also a good way to find the city central/transit center). The blue Emscher weg signs are obviously a part of the Emscher weg, but newer vertical elements also mark the pathway. I like these a lot, because just by changing the color you can recognize the different kinds of pathways and it shows the path you are on follows a specific marked trail. It also helps make the biking slightly more continuous.