2018 Progress Update for the Rock River Trail Initiative

Member of the Rock River Trail Initiative Council

In 2018 the Rock River Trail Initiative celebrates eight years since the inaugural river paddle in April 2010 set in motion implementation of plans to establish a system of recreational trails along the Rock River through Wisconsin and Illinois.  It has been an exciting journey and all who have been partners in this adventure can take pride in the accomplishments:  The first national water trail in Wisconsin and Illinois, a scenic and historic road route designated by legislation in Madison and Springfield, a bike route from headwaters in south central Wisconsin to the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa, an air route, hiking and horse riding trails, an art route and even a chocolate trail!

It is appropriate that we recognize two individuals whose efforts contributed immeasurably to the success of the Rock River Trail and who regrettably died last year.  Frank Schier of Rockford was editor and publisher of The Rock River Times newspaper and founder of the Rock River Trail.  Frank’s love of the Rock River, his advocacy for clean water and his vision of a river trails system continue to inspire us and guide our planning effort.  David Schreiber of Madison was an accomplished landscape architect whose work graces the riverfronts of several Rock River communities.  He was one of our original council members and his expertise greatly assisted our trail planning work.  Frank and Dave are missed.
We begin our ninth year working closely with park districts, tourism agencies, counties and river communities to promote and market the Rock River Trail as a leisure destination.  We recently elected Therese Oldenburg of Beloit as co-coordinator and expanded the number of management council seats to include tourism organizations.  And we will be recruiting several residents of the river corridor to serve as county representatives on the council.  If you would like to be considered for a representative position, please contact us.
The Rock River Trail has a bright future and we look forward to enhancing public use and enjoyment of the trails and thereby contribute to economic development and revitalization of our river communities.
Greg Farnham, Coordinator
Rock River Trail Initiative