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10th Annual Park-to-Park a Success
Posted by helen on August 1st, 2011
On Saturday, July 23, 195 paddlers gathered on the Fox River to celebrate the 10th annual Park-to-Park Paddle. The event is a joint effort between the North East Wisconsin Paddlers and the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway, and celebrates the unique history and recreational resources of the Fox River.
The 8.5-mile paddle began bright and early at Shattuck Park in Neenah and concluded at Lutz Park in Appleton. Highlights of the paddle included a kayak rolling demonstration, passage through the Menasha Lock and crossing Little Lake Butte des Morts. A map of the route can be viewed here.
After the paddle, the Paper Discovery Center, a Parkway partner, hosted “Celebrate the Fox.” The event featured art, music and food from local vendors.
If you weren’t able to make it this year, plenty of images and videos from the day are available online. Local columnist, David Horst posted a slideshow on his nature blog, Up on the Sandhill. Mark Gehrke, of WI Paddle, also shot a video from his kayak. See the video below, courtesy of Pat Schoonover.
While the threat of early morning thunderstorms resulted in a lower turnout of 136 boats, the event has grown in popularity in recent years (peaking in 2009 with 169 boats).
Jeff Mazanec, president of the North East Wisconsin Paddlers, reflected on a decade of Park to Park (as quoted in the Post Crescent), “We’ve seen many significant changes over the years, including the reconstruction of Shattuck and Lutz parks, impressive waterfront development, new lock portage landings, floating dock access in the City of Menasha, opening of the Friendship (trestle) Trail across Little Lake Butte des Morts and improvements to Fritse Park”
As of 2010, the paddle is one segment of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle. The summer long paddle series, which started in Portage in June, includes a series of weekend paddles along the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. Upcoming trips include a moonlight paddle from DePere to Green Bay on August 12 and an Appleton locks paddle from Appleton to Kimberly on September 24.
All the proceeds of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle go to support the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway.