About Racine

About Racine
Racine, Wisconsin is a major port on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. It lies south of Milwaukee, the state's largest city, at the mouth of the Root River.


"Racine" derives from the French word for "root," and thus the city (and its encompassing county) are named for the Root River. An early name for the location was an analogous native term, Chippecotton.

The River

The Root River rises near New Berlin and flows southeastward to Lake Michigan over a course of some 35 miles. Racine County has designated a good portion of its banks as the Root River Parkway, a recreational and conservation area.

Racine Reef

Just offshore from the city of Racine lies a submerged reef, historically a half-mile wide and a mile-and-a-quarter long. A skeleton tower erected on the foundation of the historic Racine Reef Light still warns ships of the bank's shallow waters and rocks.


The state of Wisconsin has designated four natural areas in Racine County: Sander's Park Hardwoods, Renak-Polak Maple-Beech Woods, Karcher Springs and Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow.


With the Root River and Lake Michigan so close, Racine is a good spot for fishermen. Cast your lines at Lincoln Park, Horlick Dam and other nearby sites.

Article Written By Ethan Schowalter-Hay

Ethan Schowalter-Hay is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon. He has written for the "Observer," the Bureau of Land Management and various online publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin.

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