Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway: Interpretive Planning

Appleton, WI

Interpreting history along the Fox-Wisconsin Water Trail

Scope: Interpretive Planning

Download: Interpretive Master Plan

The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Waterway runs across the state of Wisconsin, connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. Originally designed for steamboat traffic, this river system is comprised of two unique rivers. The industrialized Fox River includes one of only two hand-operated navigable lock systems remaining in the United States. The beautiful, wild and scenic Wisconsin River boasts diverse flora and fauna and observable geological features created by glaciers more than 12,000 years ago.

In the summer of 2011, Interpretive Solutions was asked to assist with development of an Interpretive Master Plan to identify the most compelling stories along the 280–mile long waterway. The waterway follows the historic route of Fr. Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet in 1673. After completion of the Interpretive Master Plan in 2012, the Parkway extended IS’ contract to include implementation of the plan. During the next two years, working from a field office based in Portage, WI, IS developed an even deeper understanding of the importance of the waterway to the development of Wisconsin and even the nation.