Note - this review is for the walk-up sites only This is our go-to campground when we decide we want to go camping with short notice. The park itself is neither very popular nor very interesting, so there are usually still sites available for reservation only a few days before your intended camping trip. The park itself isn't that interesting, but it is worth noting that it is located across the road from New Glarus Brewery. The brewery is an easy walk or bike ride from the walk-in campsites.
We have camped at several of the walk-in sites. The sites are all located along the bike trail, and carts are available for transporting your gear which means you can bring more gear than you would bring backpacking. The walk-in sites have a good amount of space between each site, however the sites on the east side of the bike trail get less level the further you get from the parking lot. All sites are shaded and have fire pits and picnic tables. The sites on the west side of the trail are more level but closer to the trail, so you have less privacy from passers-by. Our personal favorite site is #19. It is the closest site to the parking lot on the east side of the trail, but you have to take a short foot-path off the main trail to get to the site and the site itself can't actually be seen from the trail or the parking lot. This makes it very quiet and private, but still not too far from your car. The campgrounds do have a lot of raccoons so it is nice to be within an easy walk of your vehicle if you would prefer to secure your food. Site 19 is also very level and spacious, with plenty of room for at least two good sized tents. You can hear some road noise in all of the walk-in sites due to the highway being near by, but it's buffered a bit by the woods so it is more of a white noise.
The walk-ins have a vault toilet centrally located along the trail, and it has always been clean whenever we've camped there. A water spigot is also located centrally among the walk-in sites. You can take a short hike to the park's ampitheater from the walk-in sites, but they do not have programs very often.
Only stayed one night, we were in the area to visit New Glarus Brewery and do a river float trip in Albany (though we couldn’t do the float trip because the water level was too high).
I enjoyed our night here but I don’t think I would return to this campground. We were at sites 15 & 16 which is right off a county highway. I was surprised how close it was to the road, and it’s not just a road in the state park, it’s a highway with thru traffic. Also the smell of the vault toilets was almost unbearable, I would avoid campsite next to/directly across from the toilets…there some trails that if we’d had more time I would have loved to explore.
If I return I would be interested in checking out the walk in or group campsites.
Beautiful camp site where you forget the high way is nearby. The small town this site is located in was cute as well as they show off their Scandinavian heritage. Would highly recommend checking out the New Glarus brewery as well as it's one of the cleanest, and most impressive breweries I've been to yet. The amount of copper in the brewery was truly breath taking.
This park is a favorite stop of ours when we want to go visit new glarus brewery for a few beers. It's about a mile and half away. The park is simple. There are some really shallow tent spots though, so make sure you reserve in advance. The sites are clean, each with a fire ring and a table. Some have gravel, some dont. Some are deep enough that you forget where you are once in the tent for the night. The only thing I cant get over is the vault toilets. I would have thought they updated these by now. Creaky wood doors, BRIGHT lights, and always buggy. And of course the gross smell when it really heats up. But, at least theres a toilet. No sinks. There are some nice short walking trails and very close to a good biking trail. Wonderful town to stop in and eat at as well.
New Glarus Woods is a small State Park tucked away in the Southern Wisconsin countryside. Drive-in sites come with nice amenities. Walk-in sites offer a bit more solitude from the neighbors but nearby highway traffic is audible. One of these highways bisects the park so the occasional truck will drive by, but drivers are usually respectful of campers and day hikers.