A paddle planned for this Saturday, July 23, through a different section of the Fox River Locks than our public paddles have traveled before has proven so popular that NEWP has booked a school bus to assist with the vehicle shuttle prior to the 10 a.m. launch.
Paddlers will launch from Kimberly’s Sunset Park and pass through four locks, including the Cedars, Little Chute and both sections of the Combined Lock. Collectively, these four lockages will lower the boaters nearly 50 feet. All 17 locks in the Fox Locks system make navigation possible despite a drop in elevation between Lake Winnebago and the mouth of the Fox River in Green Bay about equal to the height of Niagara Falls. It is the only fully restored, hand-operated locks system operating in the United States.
Past locks paddles have gone through the four Appleton locks and ended in Kimberly. High water flows on a number of occasions have forced the event to be canceled or rerouted. This year’s locks route, while shorter, provides a protected channel for most of the trip, preventing paddlers from being sucked into the flow over the dams.
Paddlers for Saturday’s event can drop off their gear and passengers at Sunset Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. The driver only can shuttle the vehicle to the takeout point at Riverside Park in Kaukauna, where the school bus will make trips at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to return drivers to the launch. Please wear a mask for the bus trip.
The fee for the event is $15 per adult, $10 for NEWP members. Under age 16, is free with an adult. The fee covers ACA event insurance, marketing costs and the bus. No one is paid. Any proceeds above expenses help fund NEWP’s paddler education programs.