"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 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.
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.