Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weather is key to popular locks paddle

Paddlers pack into Appleton lock #4 on their way to
Sunset Point Park in Kimberly. David Horst photo
By David Horst

iving history,  unseasonable warmth and the promise of eagles — all trimmed in fall color — made for a perfect combination to draw a crowd to the last Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle of the season.

We had 194 paddlers take to their kayaks, canoes and stand-up boards to tour the four Appleton locks Saturday, Sept. 27. We launched from Appleton’s Lutz Park and landed just over two hours later 6.5 miles downstream at Kimberly’s Sunset Point Park.

Along the way, four lockages courtesy of the Fox River Navigational System Authority required sardine-like proximity for the 130 paddle craft, two 10-person voyageur canoes and safety patrol boats from the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department and Appleton Fire Department.