Fox River Water Trail

  The Village of Waterford is exploring the process of seeking national water trail designation from the National Parks Service. We are in the initial steps of reviewing the process and developing partnerships. The Fox River Summit, held annually in Burlington, features organizers of the Rock River Water Trail, which has received such designation. 
  Village staff are members of the Core Development Team (CDT), working with the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership in Illinois, the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the Rock River Trail Initiative, and the National Park Service to develop the WI-IL Fox River Water Trail which will run 220 miles from Waukesha County to Ottawa, Illinois. The group received a technical assistance grant from the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program for assistance in the trail development.
   The Village held a ribbon-cutting celebration for the new canoe/kayak launches which allow for safe and easy portage around the Waterford and Rochester dams, the two major impediments on the Fox River in Wisconsin. This was a joint project with Racine County, which owns Case Eagle Park where the launches in Rochester are located. The project was possible because of grant funding - $86,000 through a Stewardship grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and $40,000 from the Racine Community Foundation. The total project cost was just over $208,000, with the balance paid for by the Village and County for their respective launches.
   The CDT will soon be looking to individuals and communities along the Fox River for assistance in collecting data on access points, amenities, hazards, and more along the river for the purposes of mapping the trail and following the best practices of the National Park Service for water trail development with a goal of seeking national designation as a water trail. 

WI-IL Fox River Trail

Mission Statement

The mission of the WI-IL Fox River Water Trail Core Development Team is to develop and support a sustainable 223-mile water trail along the Fox River.


 1. Develop the WI-IL Fox River Trail Action Plan using the National Water Trail 
     System's best management practices and guidance. 
     a. Conduct an evaluation of access sites and locations for existing conditions
         and do a gap analysis to identify where new access points may be needed.
      b. Develop the WI-IL Fox River Water Trail map, website, signage with 
          information on access points, dams and other hazards, trip times, points of
          interest, resources, and historical, cultural and natural features. 
      c. Complete and submit a application for national designation in the National
          Water Trail System.
      d. Support the enhancement and development of access sites for all abilities
          as needed. 
 2. Develop and promote an education component that recognizes the geologic and 
     human history of the river and communities along the river, the cultural features, 
     natural resources, and wildlife that visitors will encounter.
 3. Protect and advocate for the environment and water quality of the Fox River and
     a program of promoting the Fox River environment and features. 
 4. Design a public planning process to engage communities and other stakeholders
     to develop and sustain the water trail.
 5. Identify a sustainable oversight partnership to guide water trail implementation, 
     including programming, maintenance, and promotion.