- The Rock River Times - http://rockrivertimes.com -
Rock River Trail opening Beloit and Rock Falls sections
Posted By Brandon Reid On September 12, 2012 @ 6:55 am In Local News, News | No Comments
By Greg Farnham
Rock River Trail Initiative Coordinator
The opening of the Beloit Section of the Rock River Water Trail will occur Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Wisconsin; and Thursday, Sept. 13, the Rock Falls section of the trail will be opened in Illinois.
These openings follow sections of the Rock River Water Trail opening in Waupun, Horicon, Mayville and Janesville in Wisconsin and in Cleveland, Ill. Trail signs for campsites and dam portages have been erected in Winnebago and Ogle County, with plans nearing completion to open various sections in those counties as well as Dixon in Whiteside County.
Beloit section opening
The Beloit opening ceremony will be at the John Rose Canoe & Kayak Launch, 534 Fourth St. (adjacent to the Chester Square Public Parking Lot and the Paddle and Trail store) at 5:30 p.m., in downtown Beloit, Wis.
Sheila De Forest, City of Beloit councilor and member of the Rock River Trail Initiative Council, will cut the ribbon to officially open the water trail section and present a water trail logo sign to Brian Ramsey, Director of Parks & Leisure Services for the City of Beloit, for posting at the John Rose Canoe & Kayak Launch.
The gathering will last no later than 6 p.m. as several attendees have a commitment at 6:30 p.m. for a meeting of the city’s park, recreation & conservation advisory commission.
This will be an opportunity to celebrate the establishment of a recreational water trail along 320 miles of the beautiful Rock River through Wisconsin and Illinois. The opening of the water trail in Beloit affirms the city’s special place as the Gateway to Wisconsin and a gem of the Rock River Valley.
The Rock River Water Trail is a key component of the vision of the Rock River Trail Initiative.
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 and growing number of residents and visitors in recreational trails on and along the river, revitalized and prosperous river communities on a clean river and the enjoyment and appreciation by all of the scenic beauty, natural resources and historic and cultural assets of the Rock River Valley.
I look forward to being the Master of Ceremonies and presenting the following special guests and speakers: Helen Forbeck, field representative for U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-2); State Sen. Tim Cullen, (D-15); Larry Arft, city manager, City of Beloit; Brigit Brown, state trails coordinator, Wisconsin DNR; Frank Schier, Rock River Trail Initiative founder & coordinator; Sheila De Forest, councilor, City of Beloit and Rock River Trail Initiative council member.
Rock Falls section opening
The Rock Falls section of the trail will be opened Thursday, Sept. 13, 1 p.m., at the Jim Arduini Boat Launch next to the Upper Dam and Hennepin Feeder Canal in Illinois.
David Schreiber, SAA Design Group and member of the Rock River Trail Initiative Council, will be the Master of Ceremonies and present the following special guests: David Blanton, Mayor, City of Rock Falls; Cathy Brunner, executive director, Rock Falls Tourism; Sandra Henrekin, executive director, Rock Falls Development Corporation; Michael Sterba, director of Parks & Recreation, Coloma Township Park District; and Frank Schier, Rock River Trail Initiative founder & coordinator.
What is the Rock River Water Trail?
From: Rock River Water Trail Inventory, Analysis and Plan August 2012
The water trail is a delineated path on the Rock River that connects access sites, resting places and attractions for users of water craft. The trail will enhance public use of the river for recreation with wayfinding and amenities such as restrooms, shelter, parking and camping. While the water trail is primarily designed for use by paddle craft, it also provides significant recreational value to those who enjoy swimming, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, pleasure boating and river stewardship. The trail project establishes standards for environmental types and recreational experiences on the river, and provides description of river segments and access sites, unified signage, maps and other public educational materials for safe and enjoyable recreational use of the Rock River. The water trail is unified under the service mark of Rock River Water Trail.
Who will nake use of the water trail?
The Rock River is a diverse recreational waterway more than 320 miles in length through 11 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. The river has a gentle gradient, 23 dams and three river impoundments that form Lake Sinissippi and Lake Koshkonong in Wisconsin and Sinnissippi Lake in Illinois. Recreational uses include canoe and kayak paddling, motorized boats for pleasure, water skiing, fishing and hunting; even sail boats are used on the large lakes.
The gentle gradient of the river (1 foot per mile) provides both novice and intermediate paddlers with miles of scenic beauty and enjoyment, while long distances on the meandering river course will be challenging for even the advanced paddler. The river provides diverse and varied rural, scenic and wilderness landscapes, as well as exciting paddling experiences in urban environments. Travelers have access to cultural, educational and historic assets and points of interest in the river communities.
River access sites along the water trail vary in type and condition. Sites are numerous and in proximity of each other in urban areas, while infrequent and widely spaced in rural and wilderness segments of the trail.
A number of river sites and portions of the water trail are accessible to people with disabilities.
Camping is available along the trail at more than 20 public and private facilities, although spacing between facilities varies considerably. The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, owns three river islands in Wisconsin, each of which is available to the water traveler for primitive camping.
In addition, many river communities have made their riverfronts a destination for residents and visitors alike. A community can serve as a recreational center that integrates the water trail, adjacent land trails and urban bike and pedestrian paths with the cultural and historic center of the community. The concept of a confluence of water trail, land trails and community as a recreational center can be replicated in most of the river communities.
In summary, the Rock River Water Trail will serve a variety of user age groups, abilities and skill levels, offering to all diverse trail experiences, accommodations and trip destinations.
Rock River Trail Scenic & Historic Route
The motto of the Rock River Trail is “Drive it. Hike it. Bike it. Kayak it. Canoe it.”
The Rock River Water Trail provides for the last two activities of the motto, and legislation passed by the Illinois Legislature is undergoing its final amendments to provide for the “Drive it” opportunity, creating the Rock River Trail Scenic & Historic Route..
State Rep. Pat Vershore (D-72) of the Quad Cites and former State Rep. Dave Winters (R-68) of Rockford sponsored the original legislation, and Vershore will carry it to the final amendment procedures this November.
Planning is under way for the next phase of the Rock River Trail, so you can “Hike it. Bike it.” all along the 320 miles of the Rock River.
Editor and Publisher Frank Schier contributed to this article.
From the Sept. 12-18, 2012, issue
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2012/09/12/rock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://delicious.com/post?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F&title=Rock+River+Trail+opening+Beloit+and+Rock+Falls+sections
 Image: http://digg.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F&title=Rock+River+Trail+opening+Beloit+and+Rock+Falls+sections&bodytext=By+Greg+Farnham%0D%0ARock+River+Trail+Initiative+Coordinator%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+opening+of+the+Beloit+Section+of+the+Rock+River+Water+Trail+will+occur+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+12%2C+in+Wisconsin%3B+and+Thursday%2C+Sept.+13%2C+the+Rock+Falls+section+of+the+trail+will+be+opened+in+Illinois.%0D%0A%0D%0AThese+openings+follow+sections+of+the+Rock+River+Water+Trai
 Image: http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F&t=Rock+River+Trail+opening+Beloit+and+Rock+Falls+sections
 Image: http://www.reddit.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F&title=Rock+River+Trail+opening+Beloit+and+Rock+Falls+sections
 Image: http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F&title=Rock+River+Trail+opening+Beloit+and+Rock+Falls+sections
 Image: http://twitter.com/home/?status=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2012%2F09%2F12%2Frock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections%2F
 Image: http://rockrivertimes.com/2012/09/12/rock-river-trail-opening-beloit-and-rock-falls-sections/feed
Copyright © 2009 The Rock River Times. All rights reserved.