The Fox River looms large in the life and landscape of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Along its east side the Riverwalk follows the contours of the downtown shoreline like two friends on an evening stroll. Then, just south of the Mason Street Bridgeofficiallyit merges seamlessly into the 25-mile Fox River State Recreational Trail. In the past this has been a well-traveled route: first by Native Americans, then French explorers and traders, and later the Milwaukee and Northern Railway.
For the initial 5 miles the wide and forceful river flows beside the trail. You might notice some industry and maybe a large ship unloading on the far side. In this urban segment (Green Bay) the trail is just out the back door of riverfront homes, restaurants and even a bike shop. Near the start in Green Bay is the Hazelwood Historic House Museum and the Brown County Historical Society. Take some time to enjoy this mighty riverthere are benches, an overlook and a dock to choose from.
Weekend trail traffic is a lively blend of ages and transportation modes. If you are looking for more of a workout, hit the fitness challenge course in the Allouez section at 1.25 miles. Also here is St. Francis Park, where a charming gazebo, river views and picnic tables invite you to take a break.
In the town of De Pere, at 4.2 miles, the trail passes a popular fishing spot at Voyager Park before it bends away from the river. By Rockland Road (about 6.5 miles), the numbers of people diminish, the surface changes from asphalt to crushed stone and the route remains rural. Equestrians use accompanying bridle paths from Heritage Road in De Pere south to the trail's end.
The trail passes through several small communities before reaching Greenleaf, where the southern trailhead is located. The Fox River Trail itself, however, continues about 6 more miles to Ott Road. In this section, you can connect to the Friendship State Trail
in Forest Junction to reach Brillion 4 miles away. The trail's popularity has led to additional paving, and there are plans to extend the trail two miles south to Hilbert in Calumet County.
A State Trail Pass or a Daily Pass is required for bicyclists, in-line skaters and horseback riders over 16 years old. Passes are available at self-registration stations and other locations along the trail. Visit the Wisconsin State Parks website
From Milwaukee, take I-43 north to Green Bay (about 120 miles). Take Exit 180 then immediately take the State Route 172 W ramp. Go for 3.7 miles and take the County Road X Exit. Turn right onto SR 57 N (Riverside Dr.). Go 2.3 miles and turn left onto Cass Street. Turn right onto S. Adams Street. The Fox River Trail begins at the junction of Porlier Street and S. Adams Street in Green Bay. Parking is available on S. Adams Street and on weekends in the lot under the Mason Street Bridge.
To reach the southern trailhead in Greenleaf, take State Route 32/57 south from Green Bay to SR 96 (Day Street), turn left and go 1 block to Follett Street. Turn left and go 1 more block. The trailhead is on the right.
Trail access and parking are also available at the Fox Point Boat Launch facility, Voyager Park, Bomier Boat Launch and the corner of Klaus and Follett Streets in Greenleaf.