Kishwaukee Riverfront Path


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Kishwaukee Riverfront Path Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Boone
Length: 6.9 miles
Trail end points: N. Main St. (just east of the State Street bridge) and N. Appleton Rd. and N. State St./US 20
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7447539
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Kishwaukee Riverfront Path Description

The Kishwaukee Riverfront Path winds nearly 7 miles through downtown Belvidere, east of Rockford in northern Illinois. As its name implies, the paved scenic trail follows the waterway for most of its journey through the Spencer Conservation Area, Belvidere Park and Doty Park.

The 105-acre Belvidere Park offers a fishing pier, sports facilities, playground, picnic shelters and a historic swinging bridge. The park also houses the historical Baltic Mill and museum. In Doty Park, you can find a large playground, skate park, fishing pier and athletic fields. The Spencer Conservation Area offers forests and wetlands for wildlife viewing, as well as fishing opportunities and hiking and cross-country ski trails.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking and restrooms can be found in the Spencer Conservation Area, Belvidere Park and Doty Park.

Kishwaukee Riverfront Path Reviews

There’s the official path. While nice and paved, also has nice locally known paths. If you have a dirt/gravel capable bike, seek out the more challenging side trails. They are marked at the trailheads but the signage is hidden behind tall grasses and trees. Parts of the trails are visible via Google Maps Satellite view. Pro tip: bring mosquito repellent.

The trail is in decent condition, and the run along the river is scenic. Beware the geese, they can be aggressive!

I go running on this path several times a week. It is in town and goes through three city parks, so it is not a grand wilderness adventure, but it is still very nice. There is a fun wooden bridge between Doty Park and Belvidere Park, and Belvidere Park has lovely landscaping with colors that shift all summer and well into the fall.

There are several points in the Spenser Conservation area (accessed via an underpass so you don't have to deal with crossing any streets) where the paved trail meets up with unpaved trails. The unpaved trails are also well maintained and stick much closer to the river. If you include those, it is pretty easy to have a 10 mile run. I don't think the unpaved sections are open to bikes.

This trail probably won't attract anyone who doesn't live in the area, but if you are near it is a great place to visit, especially with kids. There are several nice playgrounds along the path, and that makes it much easier to coax young children into walking longer distances. Mine love exploring the paths around the small ponds in the conservation area.


I am a hiker so paved trails are not something I seek out. I prefer being out in the woods. As paved trails go though, this is a nice one. It starts in Spencer Conservation Park and winds its way though the park. Then it follows the river through Belvidere Park, a short distance along side a city street, a boat launch, and then Doty Park, ending about a block past Doty Park.

Lots of geese and ducks. Plenty of places to fish. Typical city park facilities.

It connects to a bike path going north that continues all the way up to Bevidere North High School, but I have not walked that segment as it is along a busy road.

Spencer Park hosts the Pioneer Days Festival. There are some log cabins, a black smith shop, and other nifty things on the festival gounds that is part of Spencer Park and just a short distance off trail.

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