Rock River kayakers paddle through Rockford, head south

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 trio was met with open arms by Frank Schier, founder of the Rock River Trail. Schier, along with the Rockford Convention & Visitors Bureau, organized Wednesday’s activities, including a visit to Universal Hovercraft. At Universal, rides in two hovercrafts were planned. Instead, both crafts malfunctioned and the kayakers continued south from Blackhawk Park. They were met by more friends of the Rock River Trail at the SM&SF Club, before continuing toward Byron, Ill.

“Another beautiful day on the river!! Great weather and once again great people” Garrett Feik posted to Facebook. “We were provided with another delicious lunch and we were even given a tour of Rockford’s gorgeous Nicholas Conservatory. We were then interviewed by two Rockford news crews. Following that we got to watch a hovercraft fly up and down the river which was an awesome experience to say the least. Thank you everyone who made today such a success!! Also thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Psalm 104:24- O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of your riches.”

Follow the trip at Updates are also listed at and

Send donations to:

Maranatha Baptist University Sabercats
745 West Main St.
Watertown, WI 53094

Online donations can be made at The goal is to raise $10,000 for new athletic uniforms and to help repaint the gymnasium.