Fort Winnebago

Wi State Highway 33 east of Portage

One of three fortifications built by the army in Wisconsin along the river waterways.


Fort Winnebago Marker

Part of the site of Fort Winnebago is now a Wisconsin DOT Wayside (rest area) on state highway 33, just east of the modern city of Portage. It overlooks the site where explorers, travelers and fur traders began their portage between the Fox River and Wisconsin River, a distance of about a mile and a quarter.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning



Fort Winnebago was one of three forts built by the army to protect the important waterways in the Wisconsin Territory. The forts were Fort Howard in modern Green Bay on the Fox River, Fort Winnebago at the site of the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, and at Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, where the Wisconsin flows into the Mississippi River.

They were eventually connected by the Military Road, but the forts were built to protect the all-important Fox and Wisconsin river highways.

Fort Winnebago was the half-way mark on the Military Road.

Update Log 

  • September 6, 2010: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com