The De Pere Riverwalk is a unique attraction that connects Voyageur Park, the Fox River Trail, and downtown De Pere to the previously inaccessible Locktender’s Island – the public has access to stunning river views and a chance to experience Fox River wildlife from 325′ away from the natural shoreline.
The Lock Systems and Locktender’s House
The De Pere lock system was actively used as a part of the shipping industry from the late 1800’s through the 1980s, when the Fox River lock system was decommissioned. Now under the control of the Fox River Navigational Authority, restored locks are once again in use, but mainly for leisure boaters. You can see a brief montage of De Pere history and our locks watch here. The Locktender’s House, located on Locktender’s Island was previously inhabited by De Pere locktender’s and their families. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fishing and Wildlife on the Fox River
From the De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier, you can see a variety of wildlife including sturgeon, walleye, salmon, bald eagles, black cormorants, pelicans, and countless more fish and bird species. Just north of the Wildlife Viewing Pier, the Walleye Fishing Decks and surrounding waters offer public access to some of the best walleye fishing spots in Northeast Wisconsin. Thousands of fishermen seek De Pere’s Fox River waters in late spring and in winter for ice fishing.
Locks on the Riverwalk
You may have noticed padlocks along the cabling at Sunset Point on the De Pere Riverwalk. The tradition of locking a padlock with a couple’s initials on a bridge or scenic vantage point is done in De Pere as well as in larger cities across the globe, such as on the Love Lock Bridge in Paris, France, or on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.