Rock River Recreation Path
ElevationAscent: 149' 45 m
Descent: -120' -37 m
High: 749' 228 m
Low: 705' 215 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 6% (4°)
Current trail conditions
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“A 10-mile hike along the beautiful Rock River!”— Jim Johannsen
Here, the trail converts from a paved pedestrian path to a concrete sidewalk along N. Madison Street for about half a mile. The trail becomes a paved pedestrian-only path at the Whitman Street bridge. Be sure to stop and check out the Nicolas Conservatory and Gardens on this segment.
After about 1.75 miles, the pedestrian path ends, and the trail continues on through a series of neighborhood streets with light traffic. A few turns about 0.75 miles will bring you back to the pedestrian path, which winds through Shorewood Park for about another 0.5 miles.
After Shorewood Park, the pedestrian trail ends again, and the trail continues north along East Drive for 0.5 miles. Turn at the first left, which is River Lane, to get back on the pedestrian path as it travels through Martin Park. At the north end of Martin Park, the path crosses the river on the Riverside Boulevard bridge. Continue until you get to the first traffic light after the river. Here, cross Riverside Boulevard and continue north, first descending through a couple of switchbacks.
The path continues along through a forested area for about a mile before entering the Sportscore Park. Continue to follow the river, being mindful of families at the park for soccer and baseball games, following the directional signs for another 2.3 miles until you reach the Harlem Road vehicle bridge.
Here, you can take the connecting trail north, going under the Harlem Road bridge, to explore Headquarters Forest Preserve. If you want to continue on the path, head east by crossing the Harlem Road Bridge. Switchback under the bridge after crossing the river and continue east until you reach the first intersection.
At Victory Lane, the pedestrian path ends again, and the trail continues north along the Victory Lane sidewalk for 0.6 miles. The trail becomes a pedestrian path again at the intersection of Victory Lane and Roosevelt Lane. Turn right here, continue past the Machesney Park Mall, past the Harlem Community Center, until you reach Scott Lane. The trail ends here.
Land Manager: Rockford Park District