Walking among the Swiss in New Glarus

In July of 2022, we decided to hike in Blue Mound State Park and New Glarus Woods State Park in one outing. On Day 1, we took in Blue Mound and then headed to New Glarus to spend the night. Day 2 was devoted entirely to New Glarus and the park.

Since we arrived in New Glarus on a Monday, there wasn’t much to do. The town mostly closes up on that day. We later learned that this has only been since 2019. Perhaps this will change in the future. (I hope it does.)

We did find a few shops that were open though. But before we wandered the main street, we stopped in at the Visitor Center.

New Glarus Visitor Center

I believe this used to be a railroad depot. It’s located between Railroad Street and the Sugar River Trail, which is based on a railway bed.

This is what the other side of the building – where the main entrance is – looks like.

Visitor Center railside

Nearby is Wisconsin State Historical Marker #110, which gives a brief overview of the creation of New Glarus. (We learned more about this on Day 2.)

New Glarus historical marker

At the Rusty Raven on the corner of 5th and 1st, I bought some honey that was collected from hives in Brodhead. (Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of the downtown area. And yes, the original inhabitants didn’t get very creative when naming their streets and avenues.)

We drove to the Swiss Historical Village but found that it too was closed on Mondays.

Swiss Historical Village entrance

I took a few shots of some of the buildings and flowers from outside the grounds.

Historical Village buildings
Historical Village buildings

We did come back here on Day 2 and took the mostly-self-guided tour of the 15 or so buildings. One of them is a church. The groundskeeper happened to be nearby as we were peering into the church. He asked if we could play piano. (We both can.) After learning of our ability, he told us to wait while he went to find a key to unlock the church gate/door.

When he let us in, we found a pump organ that he invited us to play! We each took a turn. I think this was only the second pump organ I have ever played. (I played the Common Doxology.)

In the evening on Day 2, we went to Tofflers (no apostrophe) Pub & Grill. We decided to eat outside since the weather was being cooperative. We were surprised that there was going to be a musical performance on their outdoor stage.

It was the first performance of the 2022 edition of the New Glarus Kinderchor.

If you ever visit New Glarus, you should definitely tour the historical village. You can take a pass on Swissland Miniature Golf though…unless you want to see the goats (and maybe some other wildlife) near Hole 1.

Goat at mini golf
Two goats
Bunny and goat

To be kind, there is one hole with the Swiss emblem and another with a hunk of Swiss cheese, but that’s about it.

Swissland golf hole