Great Outdoors

Greater Rock Falls Area Trails

Rock Falls , IL

Rock Falls Trail System

The City of Rock Falls and the surrounding communities are quickly establishing a large-scale network of trails for public use. In the immediate Rock Falls area there are three separate trails that can be enjoyed at this time.


Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail

The longest, and most well established trail in Rock Falls is the former tow path that runs adjacent to the Hennepin Feeder Canal. This 29-mile paved trail is a part of the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park and can be utilized for walking, running, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail connects at Sheffield, Illinois to the greater Hennepin Canal trail system. At this conjunction the network of trails grows to over 100-miles as part of the Grand Illinois Trail. Parking for the Hennepin Canal Trail can be found at the Jim Arduini Boat Launch on East 2nd Avenue or at the state provided roadside pull-offs along Illinois Route 40 on the south end of Rock Falls.


Rock Falls Recreational Trail

The second most popular trail in Rock Falls is the Rock Falls Recreational Trail. This reclaimed stretch of train tracks is nearly 4-miles long and runs diagonally through the center of Rock Falls. The Rock Falls Recreational Trail is primarily grass covered and is ideal for casual walking and running. In recent years, volunteers refurbished Linville Crossing, a scenic train bridge located on the trail. Prairie grass and flowers have flourished  alongside the trail. Parking and access points for the Rock Falls Recreational Trail can be found at several locations throughout town.


Storybook Trail 

Welcome to the first permanent Storybook Trail in Illinois. The half-mile trail extends from Avenue D near Linville Crossing to McNeil Road in Rock Falls. It opened on Friday October 9th 2015 with a dedication ceremony at the bridge near Avenue D. The trail features 32 poles that hold pages from books that have nature themes. The first book is “Plant A Pocket Of Prairie.” It eventually will be replaced with a winter-themed book. Click Here for Storybook Trail Teacher Resources.


Rock Falls Riverfront Trail 

The City of Rock Falls is currently pursuing a Rock River riverfront redevelopment. As part of the overall project, a new trail path has been constructed along the city’s northern east riverfront. The trail’s initial infrastructure and gravel work was completed in the summer of 2013. As the riverfront redevelopment grows, so too will the trail project. Look for continued riverfront trail updates on this website.


Sinnissippi Dam Walkway

Cross over from Rock Falls into Sterling, enjoy a leisurely stroll and check out the Dillon Home museum and Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society on the other side!  In Rock Falls, you can enjoy the Jim Arduini Boat Launch, the Hennepin Feeder Canal or a walk along the River's edge! 

Built in 1906, this dam raised the Rock River water level by 11 feet so it would flow into the Hennepin Canal. In 2007, the State of Illinois, in a collaborative effort with Rock Falls, Sterling and their respective park districts constructed a 10’ wide walking bridge that spans the Sinnissippi Dam. Known as Sinnissippi Dam Walkway, the nearly 500’ bridge provides a much need safe link between the ever expanding trail systems of Rock Falls and Sterling; while also providing walkers, runners and bicyclists with a scenic view of the Rock River. 


Additional Info

  • What To Do: Great Outdoors
  • City: Rock Falls
  • State: IL
Start from: Get directions Show Street View
  • Spring Travel Tips

    March 8, 2019

    Spring is upon us! Regardless of what the temperature might be right now, warmer weather is on the way and we can’t help but turn our minds to wanting to get out of the house and out on the road…
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