Rock River Water Trail - National Water Trails System
The Rock River Water Trail is a water trail of the Upper Mississippi River Region and runs from its headwaters above the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in south central Wisconsin 330 miles to the confluence with the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. The Rock River Water Trail crosses five counties in Wisconsin, six counties in Illinois and 37 municipalities, meandering down a gentle gradient to safely carry the water traveler and recreational enthusiast alike past picturesque rural and scenic landscapes, natural wilderness areas and vibrant urban riverfronts.
The Rock River Water Trail begins at two trailheads in the Wisconsin headwaters: Waupun County Park on the South Branch of the river in Waupun and Rivers Edge Park on the East Branch in Theresa. The water trail is known for its diversity and choice of landscape, vista and recreational experience and for its ease of accessibility. There are 32 signed access sites to the water trail in Dodge County.
In March 2013 the Rock River Water Trail was designated into the National Water Trails System by the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior. It is the first National Water Trail in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Watertrails Map & Guide
The Jefferson County Waterways Committee has recently released the Glacial Heritage Area Watertrails Map and Guide.
The Glacial Heritage Area (GHA) is a network of recreation and conservation lands centered primarily in western Jefferson County, Wisconsin. The project seeks to help meet the growing demand for a wide range of outdoor, nature-based land and water recreation activities while protecting natural habitats.
Watertrails are recreational waterways on a lake, river or creek, between specific points, containing access points for the boating public. Watertrails emphasize low-impact use and promote stewardship of natural resources. Enjoy the many paddling trips, by both canoe and kayak, that await you in the Glacial Heritage Area!
How did this happen! Through the hard work of volunteers!
Jefferson County Parks Department received a $5,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop a print-ready, fold-out map containing wayfinding and route guidance information including existing put-in/take-out (PiTo) sites, water trail distances, route descriptions, places of interest along paddleable waters, suggested route options on river and stream systems in the project area. Rebecca Mehringer, consultant, was hired to coordinate and produce the map. A Paddling Committee was formed and the rest is history. The members of the committee scouted sites, contacted property owners, raised the money, etc., etc., etc. The Jefferson County Parks Department and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are sincerely appreciative of the hard work of the volunteers and the businesses and organizations that partnered together for a common goal.
John McKenzie, James Kerler, Carl Glassford, Rachel Primmer, Chad Dallman, Dick Wanie, Steve Grabow, Kim Grunow, Greg David, Dick David, Steve Cline, Gerald Kokkonen, Andy Erdman, Steve Miller, John Pohlman, Rebecca Mehringer, Peter Jacobs, Chad Dallman, Joe Nehmer
Sponsors of the map:
Café Carpe, Ducks Unlimited, Earl & Eugenia Quirk Foundation, Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, Fort HealthCare, Fort Wisconservation Club, Heather's Rockdale Bar and Grill, Jefferson County Bicycle Club, Johnson Bank of Fort Atkinson, Jellystone Park, Lake Koshkonong Wetlands Association, Modern Woodmen Insurance, Norm's Hideaway Bar & Grill, Pickets Country Store, Rock River Coalition, Inc., Schreiber Anderson Associates, Inc., Subway, Sunset Bar & Grill, Town & Country RC&D, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Below are canoe maps that are available on-line only. These maps are courtesy of the Glacial Heritage Land Legacy Project. They were designed by the Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department.
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