Past Meetup

"America's Little Switzerland" Weekend (Oktoberfest!)

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Join us for a fun Oktoberfest weekend outing, Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th, in New Glarus, the center of "America's Little Switzerland", a unique and authentic Swiss community in southern Wisconsin.

There will be something for everyone this weekend, with both trail rides and road rides.

New Glarus (http://www.swisstown.com/) has a quaint downtown area with shopping (http://www.swisstown.com/shopping.shtml) and dining (http://www.swisstown.com/restaurants.shtml), the Swiss Historical Village and Museum (http://www.swisshistoricalvillage.org/), the New Glarus Brewery (http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/), which even has tours, a winery, and nearby cheese factories with tours.

Each day, we will have a group breakfast, then head out for a bike ride. Afternoon activities after our bike rides include swimming in the pool, touring the town and relaxing at the motel. Each evening, we will have a group dinner.

New Glarus is celebrating their Oktoberfest (http://www.swisstown.com/oktoberfest.shtml) this weekend, with many activities and events planned in the afternoon and evening all weekend in downtown New Glarus.

Trail Rides

We will ride the Sugar River State Trail and the Badger State Trail this weekend. Both trails have a crushed limestone surface and are suitable for hybrid bikes or road bikes with wider tires. All rides include a lunch stop and several other rest stops along the way.

Saturday: Sugar River State Trail (Options for 12, 32 or 46 miles)

The Sugar River State Trail (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/sugarriver/) runs in the valley of the Sugar River and is very flat. The length of the entire trail is 23 miles (one way), which will take you over a replica covered bridge to Brodhead. The shorter routes take you on out-and-back trips to Monticello and Albany. We'll stop for lunch in Brodhead and take several breaks along the way.

Sunday: Badger State Trail (20 miles)

The Badger State Trail (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/badger/) is on a former rail grade and is very flat. This trail takes us through the 1,200-foot-long Stewart Tunnel and on to the town of Belleville where we'll stop for lunch before returning to New Glarus. You'll need to have a headlight for your bicycle or bring a flashlight to make your way through the tunnel.

Road Rides

Three unique and very challenging road rides are planned for the weekend. Think "Swiss Alps" because each day's road ride will offer mile-after-mile of rolling hills and several very challenging hills as well. (Click HERE (http://files.meetup.com/886410/ALSW%20-%20Elevation%20Profiles.pdf) for elevation profiles.) All rides include a lunch stop and several other rest stops along the way.

Friday: Trolling to Mount Horeb (Options for 40 or 62 miles)

For those who wish to arrive early for the weekend, Friday afternoon's ride takes us to Mount Horeb, known as Troll Capital of the World. The 62-mile ride is an extension of the 40-mile ride to Mount Horeb and goes past Blue Mounds State Park.

Saturday: Yellowstone Lake State Park (Options for 24 or 68 miles)

Saturday's ride is extremely challenging with continuous rolling hills. The longer route includes a stop at Yellowstone Lake State Park (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/yellowstone/).

Sunday: Down By The Lazy River (Options for 38 or 61 miles)

Sunday's road ride weaves back-and-forth over the Sugar River several times, where you may switch over to the Sugar River State Trail (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/sugarriver/) if you wish. The 38-mile route goes to Albany and the 61-mile route also goes to Brodhead.

New Glarus and Verona Accommodations

The New Glarus website (http://www.swisstown.com/lodging.shtml) lists 2 motels, several B&B's and a primitive campground. The 2 motels are:

Chalet Landhaus Inn (New Glarus) (http://www.chaletlandhaus.com/) 1-608-527-5234 Swiss Aire Motel (New Glarus) (http://www.swissaire.com/) 1-608-527-2138 These motels are probably already sold-out due to the demand for Oktoberfest weekend. I suggest getting on their waiting lists, but also reserving a motel in Verona to make sure you have a room in case you don't clear the waiting list. Suggested accommodations in Verona include:

Holiday Inn Express (Verona) (http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/verona/msnve/hoteldetail) 1-608-497-4500 Super 8 (Verona) (http://www.super8verona.com/) 1-608-848-7829 * * * Due to this being Oktoberfest weekend, it is strongly recommended that reservations be made ASAP for your lodging for the course of your stay. * * *

On Friday, plan to arrive at 10:30 AM. We will push-off promptly at 11:00 AM.

On Saturday and Sunday, plan to arrive by 8:00 AM. We will push-off promptly at 8:30 AM.

An email will be sent to everyone who RSVPs with further specific plans for each day.

Trail Pass Information

Note: A Wisconsin state trail pass (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/trailpass.html) is required to ride on these trails. There are many places in New Glarus where you may purchase a trail pass if needed.