Freeport, Illinois – Lee Butler is a pretty happy guy lately. As the Secretary /Treasurer of the Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation Lee, along with all the other great people connected with the Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation have reason to be too.
At Tutty’s Crossing on the Pecatonica River in downtown Freeport, Illinois a brand new floating boat dock with kayak launch was just recently installed.
With trips of a 1/2 mile all the way up to 100 miles, a boat or kayaking adventure is just minutes away with lots of choices of stops available in between.
The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation’s mission is to preserve, protect and foster the vitality of the Pecatonica River for the plant, animal and human communities within the Stephenson County, Illinois watershed.
The Pecatonica River is 58 miles long in Stephenson County and 94 miles in Illinois. The river joins the Rock River at Macktown, near Rockton.
With the addition now of the new floating boat dock with kayak launch at Tutty’s Crossing, enthusiasts can travel the following trips along the Pecatonica River.
Trip #1 – 6.2 miles – Brewster Landing to McConnell Bobtown Landing Trip #2 – 7.9 miles – McConnell Bobtown Landing to McNeil’s Damascus Landing Illinois’ Friendliest Paddle Trip #3 – 8 miles – McNeil’s Damascus Landing to Wes Block Trail Head Trip #4 – 6.2 miles – Wes Block Trail Head to Tutty’s Crossing in Freeport
Trip #5 – 1/2 mile or 3 mile – Tutty’s Crossing to Hancock Ave Boat Ramp or VFW 2.8 miles – Tutty’s crossing to VFW
Trip #6 – 16 miles – Hancock Ave Boat Ramp to Ridott Fishing Park Trip #7 – 7 miles – Ridott Fishing Park to Atten’s Landing
Trip #8 – 7 miles – Atten’s Landing to Pecatonica Village Park
For paddlers looking for a short 2.8 mile trip, paddling from Tutty’s Crossing to the VFW is a fun trip that will not tire the novice paddler.
Another possible Landing between McNeil’s Damascus Landing and Tutty’s Crossing is also available, the group says. It is the Wes Block Trailhead, 8 miles downstream from McNeil’s Damascus Landing and 6 miles to Tutty’s Crossing. Friends of the Pec said they will be working on this site next.
For those new to paddling the group suggests learning to paddle in a lake such as Lake Le Aqua Na in Lena, Il, Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park, Il, or paddle Yellow Creek in Krape Park.
Mike Swob, Author of Paddling Illinois, Paddling, Northern Wisconsin and Paddling Southern Wisconsin says that any community that would like to revitalize a river that flows through it and in so doing, to enhance the environment and economic potential of that community, would do well to emulate the example of the Friends of the Pecatonica River.
A water trail is a series of access sites along a waterway tied together by signs at each site to form a trail. The signs post rules, identify launch sites, indicate hazards such as a dam, and provide general interest information.
Unlike hiking paths, a water trail concentrates construction and planning efforts on safe, accessible launches, and in organizing opportunities to discover the trail through maps, amenities and promotions.
The recreation provided by water trails is a fun and healthy outdoor exercise that is family oriented. The direct exposure to nature creates knowledge of nature systems and fosters stewardship of the environment.
If you would like more information about the Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation visit this page here.