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Time for Some Sight Seeing
Two hundred and eighty miles of history and awe inspiring beauty flows before your eyes. Each bend of the river offers another twist in a tale waiting to be told. Whether I’s the fashionable elegance of the nineteenth century Villa Louis mansion, the cultural significance of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin or the stunning views from the limestone cliffs at High Cliff State Park, the Parkway offers a plethora of distinctive and interesting places to visit. So take some time to poke around and discover the many historical, cultural and recreational opportunities unique to this river corridor. Come for the wonder of nature at its finest and visit a little piece of history while you are here, because when it comes to engaging experiences the river always rises to the occasion.
In the 1800s most travelers and goods came to Wisconsin by way of the Mississippi, making a long and expensive journey around the country. However, with the arrival of steamships and the success of eastern canal systems, particularly the Erie Canal in 1825, early planners saw the potential to develop the corridor as a water highway system. Situated between two of the most navigable water routes in the country, the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers would be a direct link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, making the state an important commercial center and stopping place along the water route through the continent. While their plans did not quite come to fruition due to natural and economic factors, this system continues to be an important symbol of our young nation’s quest for control over the environment.
This theme focuses on the changing relationship between man and the rivers. It studies the effect humans have had on the corridor, through transportation and power innovations. In an effort of revitalization, today visitors can experience this water highway and learn about the various ways in which the need for transportation and commerce has altered the landscape.