Fox Locks Visitor Center

The Fox River Navigational System Authority is planning to build an interpretive center that will tell the story of the Fox River Locks System. This riverfront development will be an interactive venue located at Lock #3 in the revitalized Appleton Flats neighborhood just off of Lawe Street. The proposed site is convenient to popular riverfront trails, nearby parks, Lawrence University, Downtown Appleton, and restaurants.

The center will include multiple interactive exhibits and displays telling the story of the history and economic impact of the lock system. Visitors will be able to learn more about the steamboats and barges that criss-crossed the river, the history of the locktenders, the unique geologic features of the Fox River, and how the system shaped northeast Wisconsin. We will also include information on the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) problem and how the lock system is protecting the ecology of the waterway.

The Visitor Center will be a totally new attraction in the Fox Cities, which will enhance and recognize the significance of the Fox River Locks restoration project and the significance of the locks on the history of the region.

As of the spring of 2017, the FRNSA board is reviewing several multi-use proposals for the site and plans are being finalized for design.

Visitor Center site plan concept

Visitor Center site concept with docks & pavilion looking up river

Visitor Center site concept including lock tender house

Visitor Center proposed interior mock up

Visitor Center proposed interior floor plan