Pecatonica River Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"An idyllic pastoral stream, the Pecatonica winds its way through farmland nearly always sheltered by trees or high banks to give the illusion that you are nowhere near a cornfield. The meandering course and occasional deadfall require some navigation but rarely much effort.
The Pecatonica River is a rather lengthy one for its modest size, stretching 120 miles from its southern Wisconsin origins into Illinois, where it passes Freeport and takes a turn to the northwest, eventually reaching the Rock River at Rockton. A 50-mile East Branch joins it just west of Browntown, Wisconsin. The origin of the name is Native American via the invariable mispronunciations of nonnative speakers. It may have meant “muddy river,” “slow water,” or “crooked stream.” Take your pick—they are all accurate. Thanks to the river bottom and its muddy banks, the gentle, meandering river is generally as opaque as chocolate milk. Along its length in both states are excellent natural parks and preserves."