Trip Offers Paddlers Special Views of Tall Ships


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 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.


2013 Park to Park Paddle – Neenah to Appleton

Photo by Dave Horst

Photo by Dave Horst

The Park-to-Park Paddle will once again put hundreds of kayak and canoe paddlers on the Fox River. This annual event, part of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle series, offers paddlers an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and historic importance of the Fox River from the vantage point of the river itself.

The 8.5-mile Park-to-Park Paddle begins in Neenah and concludes in Appleton. The route takes paddlers briefly onto Lake Winnebago, through downtown Menasha and the Menasha Lock and down the length of the Little Lake Butte des Morts before landing in Appleton.

2013 Park-to-Park Paddle  – Saturday, July  20th

7 a.m. Unload at Shattuck Park in Neenah

9:30 a.m. Launch at Shattuck Park in Neenah

11:30 a.m. Approximate Menasha Lock passage

1:00 p.m. Arrival at Lutz Park in Appleton

Post-Paddle Presentation at Appleton Yacht Club

This year, paddlers launching at Shattuck will be able to try accessible launch platforms provided by the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway as a trial for planned permanent placements throughout the Fox-Wisconsin waterway.


A full schedule, shuttle information and other details are available at

Beginning at noon, paddlers and non-paddlers alike are invited to the Appleton Yacht Club for a post-paddle celebration presented by paddle sponsor, North East Wisconsin Land Trust. Paul Robbins, director of the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, will speak on “No Going Back: Daunting Environmental Challenges and Surprising Opportunities in a Changing World” at about 1 p.m.

View photos from the 2012 Park-to-Park Paddle

Nature Current BIG Canoe Participating on Fox – Wisconsin Heritage Parkway Paddles

The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway and the North East Wisconsin Paddlers are proud to bring you the 2013 Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddles. This annual paddling series is designed to celebrate and explore the Parkway region.

This year our Nature Current Voyageur canoe will be joining the paddlers starting on June 22nd in Princeton and all the rest of the paddles in the series through the Sept. 28th Appleton Locks Paddle.  If you would like a ride with us on one of the these Heritage Paddles please get in touch with Mark at Nature Current. 



Upper Fox River

June 22-23: Upper Fox Paddles
22 – Princeton to Berlin
Camp at Berlin’s Riverside Park
23 – Winneconne to Terrell Island to Rainbow Park in Oshkosh
Meet & shuttle: 9:30-10:30 AM; Launch 11 AM

Lower Fox River

July 20: Park-to-Park Paddle
Shattuck Park (Neenah) to Lutz Park (Appleton)
Meet & shuttle: 7:30-9 AM; Launch 9:30 AM

August 17: Tall Ships Paddle
De Pere to Green Bay
Paddle among replicas of historic sailing ships
Meet & shuttle: 8-9 AM; Launch 9:30 AM

September 28: Appleton Locks Paddle
Lutz Park (Appleton) to Sunset Point Park (Kimberly)
Paddle through Appleton’s four hand-operated locks
Meet & shuttle: 8-9 AM; Launch 9:30 AM

Heritage Paddle Activities

Paddlers are encouraged to seek additional heritage opportunities at each paddle event.

June 22-23: Upper Fox Paddles
Two voyageur canoes and two DNR canoes will be available. On June 23, Pierre Le Blanc will interpret fur trader times as a passenger from one of the canoes during the paddle.

July 20: Park-to-Park Paddle
Two voyageur canoes and two DNR canoes will be available. Please join us after the paddle at the Appleton Yacht Club for a special guest speaker. Paul Robbins, director of the UW Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, will be speanking Wisconsin water bodies and the implications of climate Change.

August 17: Tall Ships Paddle
One voyageur canoe will be available, as well as historic voyageur, Pierre Le Blanc. The Tall Ships Festival will take place downtown Green Bay, August 16-18.

September 28: Appleton Locks Paddle
Two voyageur canoes and two DNR canoes will be available, as well as historic voyageur, Pierre Le Blanc.

Heritage Paddle Helpful Links

Reserve your spot in our Voyageur Canoe

Contact Mark at Nature Current to reserve your spot.  Email:


Crystal River – Long Lake to Smith Rd

The Crystal River starts at the south end of Long Lake on the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes. Clear, cool and mostly shallow the Crystal is a fun little river to paddle. Rocks and small rapids are frequent as is beautiful scenery all along the river. I recommend using a shorter boat that is easy to maneuver and you won’t mind if it gets scratched up.

Enjoy this video which starts at the headwaters of the Crystal River at Long Lake on this first leg of the river to Smith Road.

Watch the next video on the Crystal River, going through the small village of Rural on the Crystal River.

Wisconsin Segment – Lake Michigan Water Trail

Milwaukee skyline from Lakeshore State Park by Todd Montgomery

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has put together a planning site for the Lake Michigan Water Trail.

Paddlers will have a resource to follow the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan from Marinette to Kenosha.

More information from the site:

Water trails are paths along rivers and coastlines that provide recreational users (such as kayakers, sailors, boaters, and anglers) with information on access points, safety considerations, activities, and points of interest. The Lake Michigan Water Trail network will:

  • Develop a new 450 mile water trail along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. This would become the second longest trail in Wisconsin, behind the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
  • Identify gaps or zones where further public access is needed to complete this trail. These zones would be targeted to increase public land holdings along the shoreline.
  • Develop a branding strategy that local communities and private affiliates can embrace as a Lake Michigan Water Trail Network.
  • Provide for educational opportunities that will encourage the understanding of the Lake Michigan ecosystem

Check out the site at:

Fox River Appleton Locks Paddle Video Part 5

Voyager Canoe leaving lock #4

The final video from the Appleton Locks group paddle on September 24th. 119 canoes and kayaks enjoyed a fun outing on the Fox River in Appleton. Paddlers started at Lutz Park in Appleton and traveled to Sunset Park in Kimberly, traveling through the 4 Appleton locks over the 6 mile paddle. Check out the previous 4 videos to see the entire trip in video.

Thanks for watching this final segment of the Appleton Locks paddle.

Enjoy videos from part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 of our paddle journey through the Appleton locks.

Fox River Appleton Locks Paddle Video part 4

Fox River Appleton Locks Oneida St. bridge

Appleton Locks Paddle 4th segment video from our group paddle on September 24th. This video is of the group paddling through the locks from Appleton Lock #3 to Lock #4 with 119 other paddlers. Thanks to Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers for organizing this group paddle outing.

Check out videos from part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the Appleton Locks group paddle.