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Do you have a Rock River Trail story?

We’d love to feature your story on the Rock River Trail website in our new section called “Rock River Trail Stories”. In this new section we are looking to feature unique and authentic experiences, features, flavors of the communities found along the Rock River Trail. 

So, whether you’re an individual, belong to a group, or represent a community, we’d love to hear from you. Please send as an email if you’re interested in submitting your story.


Rock River Trail News

Rock River Trail to have booth at Canoecopia

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Canoecopia is the largest paddlesports consumer event in the world and the Rock River Trail Initiative will be there! The Rock River Trail Inititative has the opportunity to tell more than 20,000 visitors at Canoecopia about our river and our river communities at our table! We need volunteers to help man our booth in the…

Tips On How To Be A Safe Paddler

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Nature At The Confluence in South Beloit, Illinois, recently held a "Safe Paddling 101" program so paddlers can learn how to be better prepared and stay safe on the water. There has been quite a few days of high water on Turtle Creek (Beloit, South Beloit - tributary of the Rock River) and Rock River…

The Grand Opening of the Rock River Trail was a success!

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The grand opening ceremony of the Rock River Trail was held June 3rd at Rotary River Center in Beloit, Wisconsin, with celebration activities in a number of river communities in Wisconsin and Illinois. The ceremony was a successful one with 150 trail enthusiasts, friends and officials on hand to formally open the Rock River Trail…

Beloit paddlers will trace the same route taken 122 years ago on the Rock River

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William Oscar Hansen The Beloit Daily News has unearthed an intriguing story that links two Rock River paddling journeys...But the journeys are separated by 122 years, one took place in 1894 and the other will take place in 2017. May 24, 2017 - Beloit Daily News - Two men will launch…

WI State Legislature honors Rock River Trail and its founder Frank Schier with Resolution

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Rep. Spreitzer; Therese-Oldenburg, RRT; Rep. Loudenbeck Therese Oldenburg from the Rock River Trail Initiative proudly watched from the floor as the Wisconsin Assembly voted on May 10 on Joint Resolution 44 recognizing the Rock River Trail grand opening on June 3 and honoring the work of founder Frank Schier. Much appreciation…

Grand Opening of Rock River Trail set for June 3

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After many years of planning and preparing, the grand opening of the Rock River Trail will be celebrated on Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., at the Rotary River Center, 1160 S Riverside Drive, Beloit, Wis.  Grand opening events and activities will be held in both Beloit and South Beloit, Ill. and other river…

5,000 free oak trees to be distributed by Rock River Trail Initiative

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Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a free oak tree. For the seventh year in a row, the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) will distribute 5,000 trees along the Rock River corridor April 18-21, 2017. Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters' One Million Trees program, has donated 65,000 trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative…

Adventurer, Paddler, Photographer Nels Akerlund to be keynote speaker at RRT Grand Opening Ceremony

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Nels Akerlund has photographed the Dalai Lama. The Rock River Trail Initiative is pleased to announce that Nels Akerlund, reknowned photographer and adventurer from Rockford, Illinois, will be our keynote speaker at the Rock River Trail Grand Opening, June 3, 10am in Beloit, WI. Nels and his father Dan paddled the…

Celebrate the trail’s Grand Opening June 3!

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Help Us Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Rock River Trail! The grand opening celebration for the Rock River Trail will be held  on Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10-11am at the Rotary River Center, 1160 S Riverside Drive, Beloit, WI with events held in both Beloit, WI and South Beloit, IL. Events will be held…

Tribute to Rock River Trail Founder Frank Schier

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Remembering Frank Schier The Rock River Trail Initiative would like to share a wonderful tribute that Frank Schier's newspaper The Rock River Times published on January 25, 2017. Frank, the founder of the Rock River Trail Initiative, lost his batter with cancer on January 17, 2017. While we are all still coming to grips with…

Rock River Art Route will inspire visitors to seek the creative side of Rock River communities

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Come appreciate our creativity! Let the local roads of Wisconsin and Illinois take your heart along the Rock River Trail Art Route. Get ready to have your spirit and mind touched by public and private displays of creativity depicting the human condition on the River of Heartland. Travel to more than 61 Wisconsin and  Illinois public sculptures…

We’ve launched the Rock River Chocolate Trail

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  We invite you to savor the wonderful flavors of the Rock River Trail on our new Chocolate Trail! The Rock River Trail covers 320 miles in 11 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois and many of the communities along the way offer many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Rock River Chocolate Trail highlights our…

Rock River Air Route is taking off with new signage

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Eric Bickel, Owner of Skydive The Rock and Greg Farnham of the Rock River Trail. With a little help from our aviation friends, the word is getting out about the Rock River Trail Air Route. Eric Bickel, the owner of Skydive The Rock, located at the Beloit Airport attended the January…

Skydive the Rock offers high flying adventure

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Skydiving gives you an amazing opportunity to see the Rock River area in a whole new way!. There's no end to the fun you can have along the Rock River Trail. With our new Rock River Trail Air Route, you have the chance to turn your eyes to the skies for adventure…

Frank Schier, founder of Rock River Trail, has lost battle with cancer

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We are saddened to report that Frank Schier, founder of the Rock River Trail Initiative, our colleague and dear friend, has died following his heroic battle with cancer. Frank's love of the Rock River, the river communities, and the wonderful people who live and work along the river, was evident in his personal interests, his…

Monterey Dam on Rock River In Janesville may be removed

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By Jake Magee, January 11, 2017 - Janesville Gazette  (original article from Rock Koshkonong Lake District website) Monterey Dam removal pros outweigh cons, panel says (Jvl Gazette, 1-11-17) JANESVILLE—When it comes to removing the Monterey Dam, the pros far outweigh the cons, a group of residents concluded Tuesday. At its second meeting, the Monterey Dam Citizen Advisory…

Drone Footage of the Lower Yahara River Trail

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Check out the drone construction footage (below) of the much anticipated and long awaited Lower Yahara River Trail. The multi-use trail will link to the Capital City Bike Trail at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, extending through Lake Farm County Park to McDaniel Park in McFarland. The Yahara River is a tributary of the Rock…

Rock River Trail Ribbon Cutting date set for June 3, 2017

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Please join us at the ribbon cutting of the Rock River Trail! Six years ago the effort to create a system of recreational trails encompassing the Rock River in Wisconsin and Illinois was launched. Today the Rock River Water Trail is recognized as a National Water Trail by the National Park Service, but it is…

Explore the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route this Autumn

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Two wheels, or four...your choice! Head out to explore the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route this autumn! The Rock River offers a widely changing landscape through it’s 320 miles. Explore the 11 counties and 37 charming river communities along the way! Each region has it’s own character, history and special features for you…

Rock River Trail Stories: Experience the Scenic Route 2 in Illinois

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Rock River Trail Stories: Experience the Scenic Route 2 in Illinois by Dave Druen I recently drove from Dixon to Rockford down Route IL 2, and I have to say that I think that route is one of the most scenic drives any where along the Rock River. The road hugs the Rock River closely and…

The results at in! Rock River Anything That Floats Race was a hit!

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ROCKFORD, IL – The Rock River Anything That Floats Race (RRATFR) volunteer committee is thrilled to share final results from the inaugural 2016 event that took place on Sunday, August 21.  The event raised nearly $9,000 to benefit the Rock River Trail Initiative, Rockford Fourth of July and Holiday Lighting efforts, and the Ski Broncs. The…

Share Your “Rock River Trail Story”

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Do you have a Rock River Trail story? We’d love to feature your story on the Rock River Trail website in our new section called “Rock River Trail Stories”. In this new section we are looking to feature unique and authentic experiences, features, flavors of the communities found along the Rock River Trail. So, whether you’re an…

Exploring Devil’s Staircase | Ice Age National Scenic Trail | Janesville, WI

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By Therese Oldenburg | Wisconsin Master Naturalist | July 9, 2016 The Rock River Trail recently added Hiking Trails as one of the experiences you can enjoy along the trail. I manage the website for the Rock River Trail Initiative and helped put together the hiking map. While adding items to the map I was intrigued…

Get Creative and Get Registered for the “Rock River Anything That Floats Race”

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From the Rock River Times, June 28, 2016 - By Frank Schier, Editor & Publisher  With the August 1 deadline only a month away, and with the race on Aug. 21, more than 23 teams have registered for the Rock River Anything That Floats Race (RRATFR). Since up to 100 teams will be accepted, you and…

Rock River quality ebbs, flows during past century

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From the Daily Union, May 24, 2016 -   Read entire article. Overlooking the Rock River, the Fort Atkinson Club community center was the perfect venue for the Rock River Coalition’s “Testing the Waters: A Paddle and Probe Adventure” Monday evening. On May 15, the coalition kicked off an 11-day paddle down the Rock River,…

2016 North American Safe Boating Week May 21-27

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Safety for all while paddling the Rock River National Water Trail. Wear It! The Rock River Trail Initiative received a grant from the National Safe Boating Council to help promote National Safe Boating Week and safe boating in general, and use of life vests by all who recreate on the river. The Rock River Trail…

RRTI and Living Lands & Waters Free Oak Trees planted in Dane County, courtesy of Dane County Parks

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For the sixth year in a row, the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) distributed 10,000 trees in the 11 counties of the Rock River, April 13-April 15. Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program, has donated these 60,000 trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative and our river. The kind…

Rock River Trail to add Aviation Route component to trail offerings

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Taken at Lakeview Campground and Bar on Lake Koshkonong, Sept 2014 by Therese Oldenburg At the Rock River Trail Initiative committee meeting in Dixon, Illinois on April 28, 2016, Emmons Patzer, a guest speaker from the aviation world, presented the concept of adding an Aviation Route along the Rock River Trail.…

The Mighty Rock River and Friends featured in Northwest Quarterly Magazine

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The Rock River was featured in the 2016 Winter/Spring edition of Northwest Quarterly.com Magazine Written by Jon McGinty Read the full article The Rock River has suffered the impact of urbanization, but many dedicated groups have worked and are working to restore its health. Jon McGinty explores the impact of these efforts, including recognition by…

Earth Day Clean Up efforts along the Rock River by McDonald’s employees

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To celebrate Earth Day a group of Stateline area McDonald's employees and their family members pitched in to clean up an area along the Rock River and Turtle Creek at Nature At The Confluence, 306 Dickop Street, South Beloit, Illinois. The cleanup crew was coordinated by manager Dan Beyer and was comprised of crew members from…

Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest Tournament to be held in Rock Falls in 2016

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The Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest Tournament Series invites everyone to the historic Rock Falls riverfront for the Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series. This team tournament is presented by Bass Pro Shops and will be hosted by Rock Falls Tourism. This is the first ever tournament stop in Rock Falls and is the Midwest…

“Testing the Waters” Rock River Paddle and Probe Event to be held May 15-25, 2016

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Don’t miss out on this exciting paddling, monitoring and community education program coordinated by Rock River Coalition. This event starts in Mayville, Wisconsin on May 15 and finishes in Beloit on May 25. You are invited to paddle with the team. See schedule at the bottom to see where they will be on a particular…

“The Mighty Rock River and Friends” article in Northwest Quarterly

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The Rock River has suffered the impact of urbanization, but many dedicated groups have worked and are working to restore its health. Jon McGinty explores the impact of these efforts, including recognition by the National Park Service. Article in Northwest Quarterly by Jon McGinty, Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 Once a waterway of pristine beauty, the Rock…

RRTI Presentation for Sustain Jefferson

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On March 7, 2016, Greg Farnham from the Rock River Trail initiative had the pleasure of speaking to Sustain Jefferson, a non-profit group advocating for conservation and sustainability in local communities in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  Below is Greg's presentation on the Rock River Trail Initiative. Below is the URL link to the article on Greg's presentation in the Daily Jefferson…

Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-ups Open

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Washington, DC - USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced this year’s deadline for producer applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 31. March 31 is also the deadline by which initial applications are needed from farmers with expiring 2012-2016 contracts if they want to renew them for another five years. Some…

Rock River Anything That Floats Race (RRATFR) | Rockford, Illinois

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Photo from Riverlink.org Are you ready for 50,000 spectators to line the Rock River to watch a race? Ladies and Gentlemen, start your mental paddles! Remember the Rockford Rock River Raft Race from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s? That race is reported to have 50,000 spectators in 1988. The contest is…

Promotion of the Rock River Trail

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As we look ahead to activities to move the Rock River Trail forward, it is instructive to reflect on the vision for the trail initiative as adopted in 2012.  "The Rock River Trail Initiative envisions a commonality of interests in and respect for the Rock River that will result in active participation by a diverse…

New Rock River Trail Signage in Rockford

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Our thanks to Tim Dimke and David Spencer of the Rockford Park District for completing installation of signage to mark the Rock River National Water Trail at put in/take out sites on the river through the city. The signs look great and designate safe access for paddling the Rock River.  

Rock River Recovery Update from WI-DNR

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From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website By Mark Riedel, DNR Rock River TMDL Coordinator Our Rock River Basin community has made exceptional progress this past year with our collective Rock River Recovery efforts and implementation of the Rock River Basin TMDL. While most of our newsletters and communications share…

“Testing the Waters” | A Paddle and Probe Adventure on the Rock River

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From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website By Suzanne Wade, Project Coordinator How exciting it will be to have the Rock River in Wisconsin united through our paddling, monitoring and educational event. We’re working out the details, so EVERYTHING IS STILL DRAFT. Check for updates on our website, Facebook and in…

10 Ways You Can Help Improve Our Waters

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By Becky Binz, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Rock River Stormwater Group From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website Did you know that actions (particularly yard care actions) we take at home have a direct impact on our waterways? When precipitation falls, water runs off of our yards and roofs, into…

Nature At The Confluence Center to open in June 2016 along the Rock River in South Beloit

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“Nature at The Confluence” is an initiative to transform the area of land where Turtle Creek meets the Rock River into a community space that celebrates the natural and historical  signifigance of the land. Beloit 2020, to coordination organizations has announced that funding has been secured to begin transforming the former Dahlman Muffler shop into Nature At…

Announcing The Rock River Trail 320-Mile Award

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The Rock River Trail 320-Mile Award The Rock River Trail Inititative has established a 320-Mile Award for those individuals who reach the goal of doing the whole 320 miles of the Rock River Trail, whether it’s hiking, biking, paddling or driving. Those who finish the trail will be recognized on our 320-Mile Wall of Fame and awarded the Rock…

Give a special gift this Christmas and support the Rock River Trail

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Recipients receive this patch and a custom certificate Honor someone with a gift to the Rock River Trail Initiative in their name Do you know someone who loves the Rock River? We offer the opportunity to donate to the Rock River Trail inititiative in honor of the special person in your life.…

Get your Rock River Trail Patch

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Show your support for the Rock River Trail by purchasing Rock River Trail patches. Whether you paddle, drive, bike or hike the Rock River Trail, we hope you'll show your love for the trail by purchasing and displaying our beautiful new patch. It's only $10 and includes shipping and handling. Makes a great gift! Purchase it…

Kids In Kayaks Program

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Read more about this program at National Parks Service website Traveling along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, 8th graders at The Mount Washington School learned about important history and a problem of today's world. The students had been studying Captain John Smith's work to map the waterways of the Chesapeake. With paddles…

Rock River advocates to launch inaugural Outdoor Sports Expo in Sterling

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Rock River Trail Initiative council members Matthew Hilligoss and Dave Druen are making it happen in Sterling, Illinois! Make plans to attend the inaugural Outdoor Sports Expo to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at Moonlight Bay Marina, 1552 Mound Hill Road, Sterling, Illinois. Read Article from www.saukvalley.com http://www.saukvalley.com/2015/07/27/rock-river-advocates-to-launch-outdoor-sports-expo/aon64ul/ Photo…

A plan to create a canoe-sharing service Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

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Hmmm, Could this work on the Rock River Trail? Download entire article Article from The Star Tribune - July 29, 2015 | http://www.startribune.com/national-park-service-explores-canoe-sharing-service-along-mississippi/319720951/ Photo credit Jim Gehrz A canoe ride on the Mississippi River, the stuff of dreams for many, could soon be possible on a whim. The National Park Service is…

The Yoda, MacGyver and Good Samaritan of RAGBRAI rolled into one

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Dean Mathias | Photo by Kyle Munson on ragbrai.com Our own Dean "Bareback" Mathias, Rock River Trail council representative for Rock Island County, is in the news for his good Samaritan efforts on the RAGBRAI bicycle ride across Iowa. Read about Dean and photos of his exploits to help fellow riders at this…

Restoring butterfly habitat on the Rock River

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Photo by Therese Oldenburg The Rock River Trail Initiative supports planting of milkweed to restore lost butterfly habitat and forage throughout the river corridor in Wisconsin and Illinois. Mary O'Toole of Lake Sinissippi (Rock River - Hustisford, Wis.) kindly forwarded photos of a Swallowtail butterfly and bee on milkweed plants at…

Universally Accessible Paddle Craft Launch on Black River, Port Huron, Michigan

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The city of Port Huron and St. Clair County, Mich. teamed with EZ-Dock to construct a universally accessible launch for canoes and kayaks on the Black River, downtown Port Huron. The launch is used not only by persons with disabilities, but also by other folks who while fully mobile welcome the easy assist of the…

Rock River Trail featured in Destinations Travel Magazine

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The Rock River Trail was featured in the June 15 edition of Destinations Travel Magazein as part of an article on National Water Trails. Check it out! Click To Read

RRT Signs are going up in Illinois!

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IDOT-Dixon has begun installation of road signs to mark the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Ogle County.  The initial installation site is on IL Rt 2 at Grand Detour - a beautiful section of the road route. IDOT-Dixon has also given permission to the city of Oregon to install signs to mark the Rock…

Rock River Trail Initiative honored by the Quad City Riverfront Council

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The Rock River Trail Initiative was honored on May 19, 2015 by the Quad City Riverfront Council for development of bike and water trails along the Rock River at an awards luncheon in Moline, Ill. last Tuesday. Pictured are Greg Farnham (l) and Frank Schier (r), co-coordinators of the Initiative with Bill Nelson, parks director…

Fifth year in a row that over 10,000 trees have been planted

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Debbie Thompson, Lee County; Frank Shier, RRT Founder, Ashely Stover, Living Land and Waters Tree Specialist. A big thank you to Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program. Chad and his organzation has donated these trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative and our river. This marks the fifth year…

Over 400 youth involved in tree planting project

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One of the joys of distributing free oak trees by the Rock River Trail Initiative is to engage with young people in the Rock River corridor. These photos are from Virginia Wiggen and Betsy Parker of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, Wis. Over 400 youth were involved in tree planting including Badger Volunteers…

Successful distribution of free oak trees by Rock River Trail Initiative

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The Rock River Trail Initiative distributed free oak trees to the eleven counties of the Rock River corridor this week. This marks the fifth year in a row that over 10,000 trees have been planted within the view shed of the Rock River in Illinois and Wisconsin - a total of over 50,000 hardwood trees…

Rock River Trail is distributing 10,000 oak trees from Living Lands and Waters

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Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a free oak tree and learning how to help the Monarch butterfly by planting milkweed. For the fifth year in a row, the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) will distribute 11,825 trees in the 11 counties of the Rock River, April 22, April 23 and April 24. Chad Pregracke, president of…

Let’s make 320-mile course of the Rock River a Monarch butterfly corridor

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For the fifth year in a row, the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) will distribute 10,000 trees in the 11 counties of the Rock River, April 22, April 23 and April 24. Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program, has donated these 50,000 trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative…

Green Valley Ecological Restoration and Landscape Project- Rock Island County, Illinois by River Action

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Green Valley Restoration: Building on Phase 1 efforts, funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, Mississippi Valley Sportsmen, the Moline Foundation, and Black Hawk College have made it possible to continue ecological restoration at Green Valley, a 250 acre nature preserve located on the Rock River in Moline, IL.  Partnering with the…

Hennepin Canal Environmental Park Improvements – Rock Island County, Illinois by River Action

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Hennepin Canal Environmental Park Improvements: The Hennepin Canal Environmental Park is located at the Steel Dam along the Rock River and Lock 30 on the Hennepin Canal in Milan, IL.  In 2015 River Action will undertake several park improvements that will make it more accessible and inviting for park, canal and river users.  Restoration and…

Hustisford Dam Removal, Dodge County, Wisconsin

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With grants from the Wisconsin departments of commerce and natural resources in 2011, the village of Hustisford and Lake Sinissippi Improvement District were able to remove the low-head canning dam in the Rock River channel just downstream of the main Hustisford Dam.  The low-head dam was built in the early 1900s to create a pool to provide…

Nature at the Confluence – South Beloit, Winnebago County, Illinois

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Nature at The Confluence is an initiative to transform the area of land where Turtle Creek meets the Rock River into a community space that celebrates the natural and historical  signifigance of the land. Located at mile marker 165 1/2 on the Rock River Trail, this land has been used and explored by humans for more than…

Prepare to Launch! – Guidelines For Assessing, Designing & Building Access Sites For Carry-In Watercraft

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Guidelines For Assessing, Designing & Building Access Sites For Carry-In Watercraft - by River Management Society Prepare to Launch! is a resource designed to help facility and trail planners and park and recreation project leaders plan and build or update an access site tailored to the needs of canoeists, kayakers, tubers, stand-up paddlers, or small…

River In A Box Article

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River In A Box Article  Download River in a Box, by Tom Lindblade (pdf)

Rollin’ On The Rock

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Bob McCray paddle a portion of the Rock River Trail in the summer of 2014 and wrote a wonderful article about paddling on the Rock River in Silent Sports Magazine. The portion he paddled was Oregon, Illinois to Castle Rock State Park, but he also broadly covers the whole river in his article. Enjoy! Click…

Save the Monarch

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Over the last 20 years, 90 percent of monarch butterflies in North America have died off.[1] And we know the reason: massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides killing off milkweed -- the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs, and the primary food source for monarch caterpillars.[2] We can save the monarch butterfly in…

Kayakers finish 300-mile trek down Rock River in Rock Island

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Kayaker Jake Boucher adjusts his sunglasses as his friends, Garrett Feik and Jon Gress, paddle ahead of him Tuesday on the Rock River. They were nearing the end of a 300-mile journey from the headwaters of the river to Sunset Marina, Rock Island. Photo by  John Schultz Great articles by the Quad City Times on the…

First test of Rock River Trail a success!

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Rock River kayakers complete 320-mile journey down Rock River By Jim HagertyStaff Writer The first kayak trip from the headwaters of the Rock River to the mighty Mississippi since the Rock River Trail was added to the National Water Trails System is in the books. Maranatha Baptist University students Jake Boucher and Jon Gress, along…

Rock River Trail paddle nearing end

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Jake Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik are nearing the end of their start-to-finish kayak trip of the Rock River. Paddling from Oregon, Ill., Friday, May 23,  the team made it to Crow Valley Campground in Sterling, Ill.–a 35-mile trip. “Dan and Shelly Long assisted us in maneuvering around the…

Rock River kayakers: ‘It’s been great so far’

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Garrett Feik is an avid outdoorsman. If there’s an empty deer or turkey tag within reach, it’s a safe bet he’ll fill it or spend the rest of the season trying. Catching fish is old hat for the 19-year-old. So is kayaking the entire length of the Rock River, a…

Support your local honey farms along the Rock River Trail

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By Susan Johnson Copy Editor Wisconsin Dane County: Brodhead — Ten Eyck Orchard, on Hwy. 11/81, 3 miles west of Brodhead, open daily from late August to mid-November; 608-897-4014. Cottage Grove — Door Creek Orchard, 3252 Vilas Road, Cottage Grove. (open 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) 608-838-4762. Cross Plains — Appleberry Farm, 8079 Maurer Road, Cross Plains.…

Rock River kayakers paddle through Rockford, head south

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Rock River Trail News By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Kayakers Jon Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik paddled through Rockford Wednesday, May 21, making stops at several downtown locations, including Nicholas Conservatory, Prairie Street Brewhouse and Blackhawk Park, before continuing their push to Rock Island, Ill., where the Rock River empties into the Mississippi. The…

Stateline in sight for Rock River kayakers

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Kayak for Sabercats: Day 6 By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer The three college students on the Rock River paddling trip known as “Kayak for Sabercats” are approaching the Rockford area. After a relaxing Friday, May 16, Jake Boucher, Garrett Feik and Jon Gress  set up camp on private Wisconsin farmland before a laborious Saturday paddle, one against…

Kayak trip reaches Janesville, paddles into Rockford Wednesday, May 21

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Jake Boucher, Jon Gress and Garrett Feik were 117 miles into their 320-mile kayak trip of the entire Rock River Monday, May 19, as they approached Janesville, Wis., on their way to the Quad Cities. The men battled a choppy Lake Koshkonong over the weekend, and should remain a half day…

Another great paddling event coming up Saturday June 28th on the Rock River National Water Trail

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Another great paddling event coming up Saturday June 28th on the Rock River National Water Trail - this time a wonderful excursion through the wilderness of the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area in Dodge County, Wisconsin. Seven miles on the river with interpreters along the route and a shuttle service to transport you back to Greenhead Landing!

Kayak for Sabercats: Paddlers approach Rockford

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Kayak for Sabercats: Day 8 By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer A night at Hononegah Forest Preserve is all that stands between Jake Boucher, Jon Gress and Garrett Feik and their arrival in Rockford Wednesday, May 21. When they paddle into Rockford, the men will be 134 miles from their ultimate destination: Rock Island, Ill., where…

Time change for arrival of kayakers

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The kayakers paddling the entire Rock River will be in Rockford at 2 p.m., at the Prairie Street Brewhouse. They will not arrive at 12:30 p.m., as initially planned. The community is welcome to meet Jon, Jake, and Garrett as they paddle through Rockford this afternoon.

Kayakers continue down the Rock River Trail

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer The start-to-finish Rock River kayak trip continued Friday, May 23, as three college students from Illinois paddled toward Dixon, Ill., on their way to the mighty Mississippi. Jon Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik stopped in Rockford Wednesday, May 21. The team met Frank Schier, founder of the Rock River…

Rock River kayakers chilly, yet on schedule: Day 2

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer The three university students headed for the Quad Cities by kayak down the Rock River began the third of their 18-day trip slightly later than planned Thursday, May 15. However, Jon Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik didn’t allow morning rain and unseasonably brisk temperatures to delay the trip long enough…

Rock River kayakers welcomed by their school

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Rock River Journey: Day 4 By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Maranatha Baptist University students and faculty, along with the Watertown, Wis., community, welcomed Jake Boucher, Garrett Feik and Jon Gress as they paddled through the city Friday, May, 16. “We decided to go all the way to Watertown last night,” Boucher said. A plan to set up…

Students to kayak entire length of Rock River

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Follow Jon Gress, Jake Boucher, and Garrett Feik as they kayak the Rock River from the Horicon Marsh to its end at the Mississippi---320 mile trip beginningTuesday, May 13. The end of a school year is always bittersweet. It is difficult to say “goodbye”, and yet the opportunity to go home, start new employment, summer…

Rock River Journey: Day 1

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By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Jon Gress, Jake Boucher and Garret Feik arrived at the southern tip of Lake Sinissippi, in Dodge County, Wis., a bit chilly, yet on schedule Tuesday, May 13. The three college students are now in their second day of an almost three-week kayak trip down the entire 320-mile stretch of the Rock River.…

Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Rock River Trail Initiative honored at the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference.

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The Rock River Trail Initiative was honored at the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference held in Chicago, Ill., on October 29th.   Receiving awards for leadership in establishing and developing the Rock River Trail in Illinois and Wisconsin were co-coordinators Frank Schier and Greg Farnham.

With the cooperation of the Illinois DNR, City of Milan, Rock Island Parks and Recreation District, and the Quad Cities’ River Action Network, this warning sign was posted above the Milan Steel Dam (special thanks to Dan McNeil).

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With the cooperation of the Illinois DNR, City of Milan, Rock Island Parks and Recreation District, and the Quad Cities' River Action Network, this warning sign was posted above the Milan Steel Dam (special thanks to Dan McNeil). The Rock River Trail Initiative is working to post warning signs on all 23 dams on the…

The original road sign prototype developed by Wisconsin and Illinois.

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The original road sign prototype developed by the Wisconsin and Illinois departments of transportation for marking the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route along the river.  The road marker was signed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on July 5th and by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on December 3rd.  The signed marker will be displayed…

Beloit officially opens the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route

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September 16, 2013 was the official opening of the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Beloit, Wis. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at Riverside Park on the Rock River near Celebration Monument. Signs have been installed on the streets that comprise the road route through the city. Participating in the opening ceremony were from…

Governor Walker signs the first road sign produced by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the road route.

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Governor Walker signs the first road sign produced by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the road route.

Governor’s signing of legislation for the road route in Wisconsin

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On July 5th Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation designating the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route along the river in Wisconsin. The signing ceremony took place in the Governor's Office in the Capitol. Present for the signing with the Governor were Greg Farnham of the Rock River Trail Initiative (holding the new road…

Rock River Trail road route passed in both Wisconsin and Illinois

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• In Illinois, Stadelman and Jefferson advocate for Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route, complete with free fishing Staff Report The Wisconsin and Illinois legislatures have passed bills designating the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route on roads adjacent to the 320-mile-long river in both states. This road route was presented by the Rock…

Frank Schier at this year’s Green Festival

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Frank Schier RRTI Founder & Coordinator at Green Festival Chicago, Navy Pier May 18th & 19th 2013

Wisconsin Legislature designates Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route – April 22, 2013

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Good news! Early this afternoon the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly were in session and each passed unanimously its companion bill (SB 41 or AB 55) to designate the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Wisconsin. The bill now goes to Governor Walker for his signature, at which time the bill will become…

April 22, 2013 Proclamation

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April 22, 2013 Press Release

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Wisconsin Legislature designates Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route – April 22, 2013

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Good news! Early this afternoon the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly were in session and each passed unanimously its companion bill (SB 41 or AB 55) to designate the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Wisconsin. The bill now goes to Governor Walker for his signature, at which time the bill will become…

Rock River Trail gains National Water Trails status! April 4, 2013

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The Rock River Water Trail has been designated into the National Water Trails System by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, according to an announcement by the National Park Service in Washington, DC. The National Water Trails System is a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails of local and regional significance that are cooperatively…

Public Hearing Before The Assembly Committee on Transportation to Designate The Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Wisconsin

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Public Hearing Before The Assembly Committee on Transportation to Designate The Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Wisconsin. State Capitol in Madison March 12, 2013 Greg Farnham (L) and David Schreiber (R) of the Rock River Trail Initiative Council with Wisconsin State Representative Debra Kolste
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