Saturday, June 24: Gather in the historic community of Mineral Point, WI, Saturday evening for cocktails in a Cornish pub followed by dinner. Meet your fellow riders, pick up your rider packets and hear what’s in store for the next five days. Come early or stay late to enjoy the many attractions in this charming community settled by Cornish miners from England known for its historic sites and artisans. Watch a potter at work at Brewery Creek Pottery or explore Shake Rag Alley, the Railroad Museum, historic Pendarvis, the Brewery Creek Brewery or some of the many artisan galleries and gift shops. Or, visit Taliesin, the world-renowned American Players Theatre or the Wright-inspired House on the Rock in nearby Spring Green.
Sunday, June 25: Mineral Point - New Glarus. 65 or 61 miles. Explore quiet back roads en route to Blue Mounds and the ‘trollway’ of Mount Horeb, with many fine choices for lunch, including the Grumpy Troll Brewery. Once in New Glarus (America’s ‘Little Switzerland), take in a self-guided tour and/or taste the freshly brewed samples at the New Glarus Brewery--home of Spotted Cow ale, visit the Swiss Historical Village or stop at the bakery, chocolate shop, winery, meat market, etc. In the evening, enjoy Swiss entertainment followed by dinner.
Monday, June 26: New Glarus - Monroe: 65 or 49 miles. Meander along some of our favorite country lanes on our way to a local cheese factory where you can savor a delicious grilled cheese sandwich before heading to a Swiss farm to learn about farming and even milk a cow! Our destination for the evening is Monroe, the Swiss Cheese Capital of America. Visit the Green County Welcome and Historic Cheesemaking Center to learn how cheese is made or the Alp & Dell Cheese Store at the Roth Kase Cheese Factory, winner of over 100 regional, national and international awards in the 140 years they've been hand-crafting European-Style and American original cheese. After all, this IS the Cheese Capital of the U.S. and you know the saying..."When in Rome...." Afterwards, enjoy a sweet treat at Chocolate Temptation or walk around the historic downtown square with its many shops and eateries, including Baumgartner's Cheese Store & Tavern, home to a huge selection of award winning cheeses and local beers. Later that afternoon, join the group for a tour of Minhas Brewery--the second oldest brewery in the nation, then quench your thirst with some samples of their microbrews or root beer.
Tuesday, June 27: Monroe-Galena. 67 miles. Today we'll stop at an awesome bakery for mouthwatering sweet treats before crossing the state line into lovely Galena, IL, named one of "America's Distrinctive Dozen Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and consistently voted by Midwest Living readers as "Best Main Street in the Midwest". Dinner is on your own tonight, allowing you to choose from the many options available. Overnight at the lovely DeSoto House in the heart of downtown Galena.
Thursday, June 29: 58 miles. After a full hot breakfast, we meander back to Wisconsin for more great cycling before arrriving at Mineral Point, the tours end. Showers provided.
Wednesday, June 28: Galena-Galena.
0-45 miles. Enjoy a day off or go for an optional ride---the choice is yours! Endless options abound in this historic town named by Forbes Traveler as one of the 10 prettiest towns in America and a definite trip highlight of past trip participants! Visit any of the 90+ boutique shops, coffee houses, restaurants, art galleries, specialty shops, and historic attractions which charmingly occupy picturesque mid–19th century storefronts. Enjoy the quiet outdoors with a stroll through the lush Linmar Gardens--3 ½ acres of artfully planted perennials and annuals interspersed with walkways, gazebos and waterfalls. Tour the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, wind along the river on a kayak or canoe, or tour the town on an historic trolley tour and then join the group for our final dinner.
One of the many barn quilts you'll see on the tour
Sampling award-winning Wisconsin cheese on delicious grilled cheese sandwiches