20 1st Ave SW
New London, MN 56273
New London, also known as “The City on the Pond,” is one place you should put on your list of “small towns to visit.” The picturesque town is located north of Spicer off Highway 23 on Highway 9. It is an easy two-hour drive from Minneapolis and an easy forty-five minutes south of St. Cloud. There’s so much to be said about this small town with a New England charm. It offers an experience unlike others with recreation, rich history, community celebrations, fine art, shopping and dining.
An outdoor travel writer might start by saying that New London has ten lakes within ten minutes, but this small community has much more to offer. The Mill Pond, actually three connected ponds in the heart of New London, gives a unique atmosphere reminiscent of small New England towns and is part of the Crow River which meanders from lake to lake throughout southwestern Minnesota. From the center of town you can canoe, kayak or cruise upriver nearly five miles and enjoy bass, northern or pan fishing in undisturbed primitive conditions.
New London’s rich history is still conversation at the local coffee shop and restaurants, as is the always present discussion of where to find the best fishing or hunting. At one time, New London was the county seat for Monongalia County. Although the county no longer exists, the court house building is still there and is now a part of local stores. The streets are lined with giant oak, maple and ash trees which grace homes that date back to the 1800’s.
One of the unique qualities about this community is the diversity of talent among the locals. Don’t be surprised to see beautiful artistic creations on the walls of buildings or inside one of the art galleries in town. You’ll also find many locals showcasing their talents under the bright lights on the stage of the Little Theatre Auditorium.
The boutiques, décor shops, bakery and restaurants are mixed with a microbrewery, coffee shop, clothing stores, art galleries, quilt supply store and numerous shopping experiences.
Throughout the summer, New London hosts several community celebrations. In June, local and regional artists take part in the Willmar Area Arts Council’s Studio Hop and the Crow River Fishing Tournament attracts over one hundred avid competitors. July and August bring the New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run and the New London Water Days.
Neer Park, only four blocks from downtown shopping, is filled on most Friday evenings during the summer with visitors who come to see the famous Little Crow Ski Team. On other summer days kids still swim in the Mill Pond and local residents teach their children to fish from the pond’s shores.
Lodging is available at Sibley State Park, Games Lake County Park, private campgrounds and area resorts and hotels. These lodging locations make for easy access, not only to New London, but also to bike, horse and snowmobile trails, as well as to Little Crow Golf Resort. Also just out of town is the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center which provides extensive outdoor learning experiences throughout the year.
The city of New London, Minnesota, is home to 1,252 residents and is part of Independent School District No. 345, otherwise known as NL-S (New London-Spicer) Schools — Home of the Wildcats! They proudly host the High School, Middle School, Prairie Woods Elementary and ALP (alternative learning).