Hundreds of fine artists and crafters line “The Trollway,” Mount Horeb’s historic Main Street, lined with life-sized mythical creatures. Norwegian heritage is celebrated with a farmer’s market, buggy rides, quilt show, heritage demonstrations and the Sons of Norway Host Frokost, an authentic Norwegian Fall breakfast on Saturday in southwest Wisconsin. Fair and festivities run from 9 to 4 Saturday, Oct. 5, and 10 to 3 on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Distinctive shops and restaurants located in restored buildings and Victorian homes line historic Main Street in Mount Horeb. Also, the visitors’ center (Chamber of Commerce) is right downtown for all tourism information needs.
Ancient Norwegian legends bestow upon trolls special powers such as shape-shifting and prophecy. Trolls are often depicted with only four fingers or toes on each extremity and a long bushy tail. Trolls were first introduced to Mount Horeb in about 1976, when the Scandinavian gift shop owner started placing trolls from Norway on their lawn to entice visitors to their shop named Open House.
Business Highway 18/151 used to be the main thoroughfare from Madison to Dubuque, Iowa, but there is now a bypass around Mount Horeb. The troll theme aimed to keep visitors coming to Mount Horeb rather than bypassing it.
For ethnic Scandinavian food, Sjolinds on Main Street is tough to beat. From homemade soups and stuffed rolls to desserts and chocolates from around the world, it is worth a stop and feast (www.sjolinds.com).
The trolls also gave at least one woodcarver an avocation. Michael Feeney is known as the Troll Carver of Mount Horeb and has created many of the trolls on display.
Visitors to this area of Wisconsin find plenty of outdoor activities to compliment their visit to Mount Horeb. Camping, fishing, golfing, skate park, swimming, and a 39-mile recreation trail, the Military Ridge State Trail, great for biking, hiking and jogging are available.
The fabulous Fall Heritage Festival is fun for the whole family and a great excuse for a weekend getaway.
For more information about Mount Horeb, visit www.trollway.com.
To see a nearby natural wonder, see my story and slide show of: http://www.examiner.com/article/nature-s-wonders-abound-at-cave-of-the-mounds-blue-mounds-wisconsin