Historic paddle events retrace route of early explorers

Michael King interviewed me for the article he put together about this year’s Fox – Wisconsin Heritage Paddle events for the Appleton Post Crescent and Wisconsin Outdoor Fun.  The following is an excerpt from the article.


Article from Wisconsin Outdoor Fun by Michael King

Mark Gehrke, of Hortonville, is among a group of paddling enthusiasts who will soon embark on the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle 2011, retracing the historic route taken by early explorers.

More than three centuries have passed since Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet traversed the Fox and Wisconsin rivers as a route from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and beyond for early settlers.

On June 5, the pair’s historic 1673 crossing between the rivers will be celebrated with the first of eight paddle events this year during the Canal Days festival in Portage, where the Wisconsin and Fox come close to each other.

Gehrke, 47, plans to participate in most of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle segments covering 120 miles of the two rivers this summer. He was one of more than 400 canoeists and kayakers who participated last year on one or more of the 12 segments covering 120 miles of the Fox River.

“I love going through the Fox Cities on the Fox River,” Gehrke said. “There is a lot of natural beauty along the river banks right in the heart of the Valley.”

The Fox River segments include the popular Park-to-Park Paddle from Neenah to Appleton on July 23, a new moonlight paddle Aug. 12 from De Pere to Green Bay and a paddle through the Appleton locks during Octoberfest on Sept. 24.

Read the entire article here

See the full schedule of Fox – Wisconsin Heritage Paddles on our Events Page.

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