Thrune Visitors Center
Driving into Norskedalen, the entrance road leads you to the Thrune Visitors' Center. The Center was built in 1983 thanks to a generous gift made by Mrs. Ethel Thrune of Midland, Michigan, in memory of her husband Richard, who grew up in Coon Valley. An addition to the center - the Paul E. Stry Wing - was added in 1991. Construction of the wing was funded by the Paul E. Stry Foundation.
The Thrune Visitors' Center includes a meeting hall, gift shop, heritage and nature rooms full of displays, the Jennifer Lee Marker Memorial Library, two kitchens, and Norskedalen's offices.
Visitors to Norskedalen begin their visit here where they can sign in and view a short video giving a beautiful overview of all Norskedalen has to offer. Trail maps and other informational handouts are available at the Visitors' Center.
The meeting room features displays such as cross country and jumping skis, immigrant trunks and the history of Norwegian immigration to the area. It is also the site for programs such as the popular 'Sometimes on a Sunday' series, featuring a wide variety of speakers every Sunday at 2PM from May through November.
The Heritage Hall features permanent and temporary exhibits from the extensive collection of artifacts from the early settlers of the region, including items brought from Norway as well as items made here.
The Nature Room has a delightful variety of hands-on exhibits featuring the flora and fauna of the area. Children of all ages are welcome to touch, examine, and learn from the skins, bones, feathers, fossils, and many more items and activities in this room. Our resident friend, Tungsten the ball python, makes his home in this room.
The Gift Shop features a wide variety of items that compliment the heritage and nature themes of Norskedalen including clothing, books, gift items and food.
The Jennifer Lee Marker Memorial Library was established in 1982 by a gift from George and Connie Marker in memory of their daughter Jennifer. The library serves as a local and regional center for natural and ethnic history. It has a very large genealogical collection, books written by local authors, books in Norwegian, and area history.
You can rent rooms in the Thrune Visitors' Center for meetings, workshops and special events.