Explore the Many Activities the Root River Has to Offer



Experience over 4 miles of river pathways that wind through urban parklands linking a forested bird sanctuary to Racine’s beautiful downtown.

For over 4 miles, the Root River Pathway winds through urban parkland and several neighborhoods linking a forested bird sanctuary to Racine’s downtown. Colonial Park offers a labyrinth of trails traversing hardwood forests, riparian and prairie habitats. A walk further downstream takes visitors through Island Park and Riverside Parks. These parks were designed from 1906-1914 by Jens Jensen, a world-renown Danish-born landscape architect. The ‘prairie style’ pioneered by Mr. Jensen has been incorporated into modern landscape designs throughout the area.

Fun for the Whole Family

Up the hill from Riverside Park is Mound Cemetery, originally a Native-American ceremonial and sacred burial site of the Woodland Mound Builders along the shores of Glacial Lake Chicago. Mound Cemetery was deeded to the City of Racine in 1851 to be used as a city cemetery and now hosts many of Racine’s fore-families alongside the ancient effigies. Access from the Root River Pathway requires a short walk on Kinzie Avenue.

5 STARS Very nice trail with some on-street sections. Views of great old bridges and some nice new ones for the path itself in Washington Park and Lincoln Park.

Continuing downstream is Clayton Park, one of the original ‘Cream City Brick’ quarries used to build homes throughout Racine and rebuild Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Chicago & Northwestern Root River Swing Bridge (c1908) crossing the Root River signals a transition from urban parkland to industrial/commercial sector.

Further along the Root River is the Root River Environmental Education Community Center, the original home of Golden Books (Mound Ave. Business Center), the site of the first Case Tractor plant (now CNH headquarters), Azarian Marina, Fifth Street Yacht Club, Riverside Marina, Skipper Buds, Harborlite Yacht Club DP Wigley Company and many other businesses.

The Root River Pathway connects with the Lake Michigan Pathway at the Racine harbor, just beyond the Main Street Bridge.

> | Find out more about hiking the Root River trails here!