Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway

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Heritage Parkway News, Issue 6 – Summer 2010

Kohl, Kagen Introduce Legislation to Designate the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway as a National Heritage Area
Legislation includes 15 counties throughout Wisconsin in proposed National Heritage Area.

WASHINGTON. On July 30, 2010, Senator Herb Kohl and Congressman Steve Kagen introduced legislation to establish the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway as a National Heritage Area. The proposed Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway runs through parts of 15 counties throughout Wisconsin and marks the path of Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliets exploration through Wisconsin to the Mississippi River.

The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway highlights a key portion of Wisconsin history that needs to be preserved for future generations. The development of the Mississippi and the West was due in part to the work of Marquette and Joliet, and it would be a shame for this piece of history to be lost as the years go on, Kohl said.

“As Aldo Leopold taught us, there is no separation between Mankind and our natural environment, and it is therefore our duty to preserve the environment we enjoy today for future generations. The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway is not just an important piece of the Wisconsin landscape, but a key part of American history, and protecting this route of exploration in its natural form is essential, Kagen said.

The legislation can be reviewed by clicking on the following links:

Additionally, you can choose to support the bills by clicking on the support buttons at each website.

Related to the legislation, the National Park Service has reviewed the Feasibility Study for the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway and had the following comments:

This feasibility assessment is quite strong. It documents a robust list of partners already working together, a region that not only paid for their own feasibility study but is now beginning a regional interpretive plan, also out of pocket. They identified a list of strengths greater than many other regions and are poised for success. We recommend that the National Park Service testify in favor of their designation while, at the same time, recommending deferred designation until program legislation is passed. -Sue Pridemore, National Park Service.

Historical Markers along the Parkway

by Patrick Reinsma

One thing not to be overlooked as you travel along the Parkway are the numerous historical markers! They are prime examples of significant historical points to help you interpret the experience. There are many different historical markers of interest but this article will focus on four unique markers. Each one corresponds to a major historical point along the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway. The first is the Marquette Jolliet Expedition Historic Marker which was erected in 1973 in the park at the NE corner of Broadway and George Streets, in De Pere, Brown County. This is
where it all began as it marks the location of the start of their journey of exploration in 1673. It also marks the location upon which they returned after their explorations.

Marquette Jolliet Expedition (Historic Marker Erected 1973)

The second is the Marquette Historic Marker erected in 1957 along Hwy. 33, 0.5 miles east of Portage in Columbia County. This marker highlights the start of the 1.28 mile portage on June 14, 1673 to the Wisconsin River.

Marquette (Historic Marker Erected 1957)

The third Historical Marker is located in Prairie Du Chien at the Gateway Visitor Center along the Mississippi River Bridge in Crawford County. This Historic Marker was erected in 1973. While reading the historical sign be sure to take in the beautiful views of the Mississippi River! In addition, stop in at the Gateway Visitor Center and talk with helpful travel counselors and let them direct you to other points of interest.

Pere Marque’ite and Sieur Jolliet (Historic Marker Erected 1973)

Lastly, while not an official State historical marker there is a marker in Wyalusing State Park located at the point lookout commemorating where Marquette and Joliet entered the
Mississippi River. In addition to this marker enjoy the outstanding scenery where the Wisconsin River enters the Mississippi river. For the source of much of this information check out a great resource called History Just Ahead, a guide to Wisconsins historical markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride. [McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison: WHS, 1999).]

Voyageur Canoe Trips Popular In Lower Wisconsin River Again In 2010

MUSCODA…..Guided tours of the Wisconsin River sponsored by the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board were a big hit again this year, that according to Executive Director Mark Cupp. The board sponsored 12 outings in 15 days paddling the Wisconsin River from Prairie du Sac to Bridgeport. The large voyageur replica canoes commissioned by the State of Wisconsin in conjunction with the sesquicentennial in 1998 were used for the trips.

Cupp said, Almost every trip was filled to capacity with a waiting list indicating the popularity of these excursions continues to grow. Trips were taken by people from age 5 to 95 and enjoyed by all.”

Cupp said the trips include narratives of the history of the valley and the Riverway project. The outings provide a perfect venue for introducing people to the wonders and majesty of the lower Wisconsin River valley. The canoes are large and stable and can accommodate folks of all paddling skill levels.

In addition to the tremendous beauty of the bluffs, bottomlands, islands and sandbars, participants on most trips were thrilled by the site of numerous bald eagles, blue herons, kingfishers, sandhill cranes, abundant songbirds and the occasional deer, not to mention a bounty of turtles sunning on nearby logs, said Cupp.

Cupp anticipated trips would be offered in late June and early July in 2011 and encouraged people interested in more information to contact the Riverway Board office at 1-800-221-3792 or 608-739-3188. Images of trips also may be viewed at the boards website:

Fox River Heritage Paddle Segments Rescheduled due to high river flow conditions

Record rainfalls across most of the 6,400 square mileFox-Wolf Basin this summer have generated extremely high flows through the entire Fox River. These heavy flows result in very challenging and unsafe paddling conditions for events of this type. Here is a summary of
the changes – more details below:
Segment 7 – Neenah to Appleton – Park-to-Park Paddle –
MOVED to Saturday September 4
Segment 7B – Lutz Park/ Appleton to Sunset Point/
Kimberly (Appleton Locks Paddle) – MOVED to Sunday
September 12
Segment 8a – Kaukauna to Rapide Croche/ Wrightstown
Segment 8b – Wrightstown to De Pere – was rescheduled for Sunday August 15
Segment 9 – De Pere to Green Bay – Tall Ships Paddle – was not changed – Saturday August 14
For more information, please visit

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