The trail provides not only a fantastic recreational resource for local residents but also a functional, safe, and scenic transportation alternative connecting the cities of Freeport and Rockford while passing through the villages of Pecatonica, Winnebago, and Ridott. No admission fee is required.

The Pecatonica River and several streams meander along the length of the trail. In rural areas, the trail travels through farmland, woods, remnant prairies, wetlands, and scenic meadows. In urban areas, it runs along with residential, commercial, and industrial sites.


The Pecatonica Prairie Trail will remain open during the 2019/2020 Illinois Hunting seasons. The Pecatonica Prairie Trail Commission strongly recommends that anyone using the trail during designated hunting dates wear the standard, hunter-recognized blaze orange apparel.
Hunters are not allowed to hunt or carry weapons on, or shoot across, the trail right-of-way, or use the trail as access to hunting areas. Hunters are allowed to cross the trail and retrieve a game that has fallen on the trail right-of-way.

Connection to Jane Addams Trail

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail will in the future connect to the Jane Addams Trail in downtown Freeport at Tutty’s Crossing. The Jane Addams Trail is a multi-use 15-mile trail that offers beautiful scenery and 21 decked bridges passing wetlands, creeks, woods, prairies, geologic formations, and farmland. The trail, named after Jane Addams, the humanitarian and public health pioneer born and raised in nearby Cedarville, is part of the Grand Illinois Trail. Its crushed limestone surface may be used by hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers. The Jane Addams Trail connects at the Wisconsin state line to the Badger Trail which extends to Madison, Wisconsin.


Pecatonica Prairie Path from South Meridian Road to Weldon Road will be closed for utility work.  The work was started in March-2017 and will continue this year. It is anticipated to be completed by the end of May-2018.  Traffic control will be provided.  However, no detour will be provided and path users should use caution and be prepared to stop/turn around.