Nine historic replicas of tall ships will be joined by an armada of kayaks and canoes and the Nature Current Voyageur canoe when the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Paddle series passes through Green Bay and the Baylake Bank Tall Ships Festival Saturday.
Paddlers will meet at the Bomier Street boat landing in De Pere starting at 7 a.m. They will shuttle their vehicles to the takeout at the Green Bay Metro landing on Bay Beach Drive and be bused back to Bomier for a 9:30 a.m. launch.
The 8-mile trip on the Fox River includes passage through the historic, hand-operated De Pere lock on the way to downtown Green Bay and the tall ships. Paddlers will be instructed to stay in the middle of the river and not approach the ships, as ordered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Registration is $10 at the launch, with children under 16 free with an adult. Participants are encouraged to go to http://www.wisconsinpaddlers.org to print out and complete registration forms and bring them to the launch. Donations to offset a $5 launch fee at Bomier are also encouraged.
The group will include children and mentors from Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha paddling in the Fox of the River, a historic replica of a French fur trader voyageur canoe. This is the second installment of No Child Left on Shore, an effort by the paddle series to introduce young people to the joys of paddling and beauty of the waterway. Their participation is possible thanks to a grant from the Schmerein Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle series highlights the natural beauty and historic importance of the Fox and Lower Wisconsin River waterway, which recently was designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle series is cooperative project of North East Wisconsin Paddlers and the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway. Any proceeds above costs go to support the water trail.