Lock System Overview

We have preserved the heritage of one of the nation’s most unique transportation systems—the Fox River lock system. The locks are a gateway to the vibrant downtowns, attractions, and quaint small towns along the banks of the river. The system links Lake Winnebago to the Fox River Valley, through the Bay of Green Bay to the ports of the Great Lakes—and through the St. Lawrence Seaway to anywhere in the world!

For a daytrip or a vacation explore the locks!

  • Public welcome! Watch living history in action at the locks in De Pere, Little Chute, or Appleton’s lock 4 at Riverheath.
  • Kayak and canoe portages available at many of the individual locks.
  • To purchase a day pass for only $10 or a season pass, please visit this link. Remember, passes may only be purchased online.
  • Explore via boat and tie up at many public docks at several locks and boat launches to explore the picturesque towns.
  • Hike miles of public trails connecting the locks with area parks and downtowns.
  • Tie up at area locks and access Appleton’s vibrant downtown with shops, restaurants, museums and more!
  • Sample the charming ethnic heritage of regional towns: Dutch, Irish, German and French cultures come to life in local events and cuisine!

Locks history

Most of the 17 locks were originally installed in the mid-1800s to transport Wisconsin goods to market via the waterway, and recent efforts have restored the operation of the locks opening large portions of the Fox River to full navigation. Visitors can enjoy the locks and watch the lock tenders open and close the locks or visit nearby trails, parks and picnic areas at most of the locks. Use this site as a guide for navigating the lock system by water or by land.


The system of locks covers 39 miles and drops in elevation 168 feet—a vertical drop equal in height to the total drop of Niagara Falls. Kaukauna features the steepest drop in elevation: a drop of 50.4 feet in just over one mile.


Please note that a lock’s phone (and voicemail) is only monitored during its operating hours.

Lock Name Phone Address City Zip    
Kaukauna 920-455-9174 1008 Augustine St Kaukauna 54130    
Menasha n/a 82 Broad St Menasha 54952    
Appleton #1 920-750-3306 951 S. Olde Oneida St Appleton 54915    
Appleton #2 n/a 914 S. Olde Oneida St Appleton 54915    
Appleton #3 n/a 810 S. Lawe St Appleton 54915    
Appleton #4 920-750-3307 1090 E. Banta Ct Appleton 54915    
Cedars 920-750-3309 1169 W. Main St Little Chute 54140    
Little Chute Guard n/a 200 Mill St Little Chute 54140    
Little Chute n/a 200 Mill St Little Chute 54140    
Combined 920-809-2189 205 Sanitorium Road Little Chute 54140    
Kaukauna Guard n/a 157 Wisconsin Ave Kaukauna 54130    
Kaukauna #1 920-202-1855 701 Canal St Kaukauna 54130    
Kaukauna #2 n/a 950 Augustine St Kaukauna 54130    
Kaukauna #3 n/a 1008 Augustine St Kaukauna 54130    
Kaukauna #4 n/a 1200 Augustine St Kaukauna 54130    
Kaukauna #5 n/a 1750 Augustine St Kaukauna 54130    
Rapide Croche 920-809-3299 N2205 Lock Road Kaukauna 54130    
Little Rapids 920-227-7043 1856 Little Rapids Road De Pere 54115    
De Pere 920-227-7043 195 James St De Pere 54115