This paved recreational trail runs more than five miles along an old railroad bed, making it the perfect path for an easy family ride or run. The trail travels from Broadway and 24th North Street/K.C. Road to German and 20th South Streets. Along the way, take in the river, a few city parks and even some farm land. The trail is clearly marked and largely shaded, with benches along the way in case you need a rest. An additional two-mile path follows the rolling landscape along North Highland from 7th North to Highway 14W.
It’s a mini-golf course that’s also an environmental adventure! While you’re trying to sink a putt on this 9-hole “green” mini-golf course made of recycled and renewed materials, you will learn about sustainability and the choices your family can make to help protect the environment. There are holes that depict Minnesota’s geography, the impact of pollution, how water is part of the eco-system and the advantages of bio-fuels. There is a shaded picnic area with benches, a solar-powered refreshment stand and a geodesic dome for educational seminars. A hiking trail along the nearby Minnesota River also affords learning opportunities. Field trips for groups of all ages and interests are often given, and educational training on ecological issues is also part of their focus. “Growing Green,” a recent effort at raising vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, has proven successful, so consider supporting them with a purchase when you visit.
The New Ulm Country Club is a picturesque 18-hole, par 71, semi-private course surrounded by Flandrau State Park and perched atop the bluffs of the Cottonwood River. A distinctive feature of the course is the many mature oak trees that border the fairways. The Country Club was established in 1929 as a nine-hole course and expanded to 18 holes in 1966. The front nine saw a remodeling effort in 2001 with the addition of hazards, tree boxes and sand-traps to add an overall depth to the course. Several tournaments happen throughout the year; call for more information on those.
The clubhouse is complete with bar service, a recently remodeled dining room and banquet area, airy meeting rooms, clean locker rooms and a complete pro shop. The restaurant operation is open year round, and they welcome banquet-style gatherings. Green fees are available for guests of members and for visitors to New Ulm.
Location: 1 Golf Drive (the south end of Summit Avenue)
Both parks are free and open to the public, with BMX Park use limited to May through September. The skate park may be used by inline skaters or skateboarders.
Location: 1st South and German Streets
This city, located between two rivers, is a mecca for hunters: small game, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, pheasants, ducks and geese, to name a few. Deer hunting also has a very pleasurable and successful season around New Ulm. For a rewarding hunting experience, try River Ridge Gun Club, a private reserve with over 1,000 acres to provide 14 different hunting areas. For more information, call 507-359-5770.
New Ulm has good fishing in nearby Clear Lake and Lake Hanska. Cooperative efforts led by local conservation and government groups have brought these two lakes back to be successful fishing lakes. One of Minnesota’s most diverse fishing possibilities is the Minnesota River. Within 10 miles on either side of New Ulm, the river produces large numbers of catfish and trophy walleye. The Cottonwood River also flows through New Ulm and has small-mouth bass, along with a good number of northerns.
Flandrau State Park, bordering the city limits, has miles of groomed cross country trails with boot and ski rentals available.
In addition to our indoor rinks at the Civic Center, Harman Park has two lighted hockey rinks and one lighted open-skate rink, and Lincoln Park has one unlit rink. Both have warming houses with restrooms.
Bird watchers will love the many opportunities for birding in and around New Ulm! Flandrau State Park, on the southern city boundaries, has recorded up to 158 different specie sightings. Fifteen miles east is Swan Lake, which is a wildlife preserve with many varieties of birds for viewing. Getting on or along the rivers will also provide you chances to spot unusual birds, including eagles.
Visitors to New Ulm are encouraged to join in the Christmas fun by participating in the Annual Christmas Bird Count held in the middle of December. Results are given to the Audubon Society for recording. Contact Elaine Poulson for details at 507-354-5662 or email@example.com.
Concordia Lanes has open bowling daily on 16 lanes, with automatic scoring. Birthday party and group packages are available, and there are special weekend events. Bowling leagues for all ages are offered with certified coaches on staff. Large groups are welcome, and they have the ability to host hundreds for weddings (check the website!) or other large banquets. It’s great fun for the whole family and something to do in the evening.
“The Kegel Klub” (“kegel” is the German word for “bowling”) is the bar operation with the bowling alley; they feature a large bar area with pool tables, darts and other games, and several large-screen TVs. There are two sand volleyball courts with a large viewing deck and an outdoor bar. Adult and youth leagues play from May
Location: 419 19th North
Telephone: (507) 354-2923
This popular state park comprises 1,000 acres, including grasslands, marshes, and wooded areas along the Big Cottonwood River. Located in southwest New Ulm, the park is just minutes from downtown. Among the amenities are eight miles of hiking and groomed cross-country trails, a chlorinated sand-bottomed pool, beach, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment and fire and horseshoe pits. The park has 88 campsites in three campgrounds, 2 camper cabins and a large Group Center that can accommodate 110 people in eight bunkhouses. In addition to its natural beauty, the park also holds a significant place in New Ulm’s history. In the 1930s and 1940s it was the site of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project and a beautiful purple quartzite building those crews erected still stands. During World War II, part of the park was used as a prisoner of war camp. It is named after Charles E. Flandrau, who played a pivotal role in the defense of New Ulm in the “U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.”
Location: Entrance at 1300 Summit Avenue, New Ulm, MN 56073-3664
Contacts: (507) 233-9800 Campsite Reservations: 1-866-85PARKS. Web Site: www.stayatmnparks.com • www.dnr.state.mn.us
Times: Park is open year-round 8 AM-10 PM for day use; camping is available year-round.
Cost: State Park vehicle entry fee is $25 for a year, or $5 for a 1-day pass.
Enjoy the free concert series during the summer months, when audiences spread out on the hillside to hear musical groups perform in German Park. Or enjoy a quiet moment beside the fountain in the formal gardens while the kids play on the nearby playground and climb on the Herbie the Hedgehog statue. Located just a short walk from the center of downtown, at German Street between 2nd and 3rd North Streets.
In the mid-1800s, the banks of the river near Riverside Park welcomed steamboats carrying soldiers, supplies and German settlers. Today it is home to the Regional River History and Information Center and a new “pirate ship” playground that the kids will love. The park also is host to the annual Riverblast festival and flotilla, held over Labor Day weekend.
New Ulm has more than a dozen other parks, with two nine-hole disc golf courses, two wading pools, soccer and ball fields, sledding hills and picnic areas.