There are amazing opportunities for paddling in our area!
- The Rock River Trail is a National Water Trail that winds its way through some of the most scenic parts of Winnebago County.
- A visitor center for the Rock River Trail is located at Nature At The Confluence in South Beloit and open June-August.
- Rock Cut State Park Concessions offers kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board rentals for paddling on Pierce Lake.
- The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County have many beautiful preserves along our major rivers.
- Rocktown Adventures offers instruction, outfitting, and trips around the area.
- Larsen’s Landing provides canoe and kayak outfitting and group tours on the Kishwaukee River.
Rivers in Winnebago County
Bending here, winding there, the “Crooked River” sometimes almost doubles back on itself, stretching 194 miles across five counties in two states. The river’s headwaters are nestled in the hills of Iowa County in the Southwest Savanna region of Wisconsin. The two branches flow south, meeting just north of the state line before continuing south to Freeport, Illinois. Here, the river cuts east and wanders through the Rock River Hill Country of northern Illinois. The Pecatonica receives the waters of the Sugar River near Shirland, Illinois, before emptying its own waters into the Rock River at Rockton, Illinois.
To maximize safety, check the water height and flow rate before going out and avoid paddling if there has been recent storms. Based on their experience, local guides recommend paddling only if the the rivers are below these levels:
Check out our paddling map below and get on the water!