It is now possible to view the Old Canal from the bird's eye view. I followed the canal on my bicycle and have recorded the path with my new outdoor GPS receiver. In addition I have marked all remaining locks and other interesting places I am aware (there are certainly more of the latter). The recorded data were prepared for Google Earth () and Google Maps (). They can be loaded from the table below by clicking on the particular image. Naturally the bike path and not the canal itself is visualized. But at least between Berching and Nuremberg the bike path is directly at or near by the canal.
As you probably know GPS devices are not accurately down to the inch. In addition the path was recorded in discrete points. So it can happen that the displayed path appears a little bit left or right from the real path, or - especially in curves - that it takes a shortcut through the ground or even the water.
To use Google Earth it is necessary to install the Google Earth Client. Google Maps works without any installation inside current browsers but hence has less functionality. When you open one of the tracks below in Google Earth you will find it in the "Temporary Places" folder. Here can you open the subfolders and select the objects you like to see or to hide. Opening a track in Google Maps gives the object tree at the left hand side of the window, where it is also possible to select the objects of interest. Unfortunately it is not possible to display the whole way at once in Google Maps. It contains to many objects for this application.
|The whole way||Here you can import all data into Google Earth by one click. But because the track is so long you will see the track not before zooming into a smaller part. The same data is available in the following rows, but divided into shorter sections. Because there are so many objects on the whole way it is unfortunately not possible to display it with Google Maps.|
|Kelheim - Eggersberg||Very beautiful landscape here. The canal was within the Altmühl river. Today it is replaced by the Main-Danube Canal . Three locks of the old canal still exist.|
Length 24 km, 3 locks
|Eggersberg - Berching||Some kilometres before Berching the still water bearing part of the canal starts. For cycling it is better to follow the Main-Danube Canal until Berching. The displayed original path of the Old Canal diverts near Ottmaring and is bumpy at some parts.|
Length 29 km, 7 locks
|Berching - Neumarkt||This is the third best section for me. It follows almost the whole way the water bearing canal. You should take the time for a short detour into the historical centre of Berching.|
Length 21 km, 9 locks
|Neumarkt - Burgthann||This and the following sections are the most lovely parts of the canal. There is in fact no lock between Neumarkt and Burthann, but the landscape is beautiful (especially during apple tree blossom).|
Length: 17 km, no lock
|Burgthann - Nuremberg||The section with the most locks. A nice way always directly at the canal. If you have time and if you feel like you can do some sightseeing in Nuremberg at the end.|
Length 25 km, 42 locks
|Nuremberg - Bamberg||Almost nothing from the canal remains here. So it does not make much sense to follow the former path here. An alterative is to cycle along the Main-Danube Canal or take a car. Take the opportunity and stay a while in the beautiful Bamberg at the end.|
6 lock (i.e. almost ruins or lock cottages only)