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Joe Walker of Texas is winner of John Deere ATV

18th National Trails Symposium Quad Cities October 19-22, 2006

Read the details of winners of the 2006 National Trails Awards or download a PowerPoint (4.09 mb) with photos of the award winners.

American Trails held the 18th National Trails Symposium October 19-22, 2006 in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. The National Trails Symposium is held every other year and is sponsored by American Trails with state and local sponsors. We invite you to browse the dozens of educational sessions, the mobile workshops, and other featured events that we have scheduled.

The Symposium provides an opportunity for greenways and trails advocates, managers, planners, and users, outdoor product providers, as well as conservationists, private landowners, and tourism and business interests to come together for an inspirational and educational conference. The Symposium addresses both non-motorized and motorized issues and our vision for trails and greenways nationwide. Dozens of speakers and keynote presenters cover the top topics in the trails community with presentations from across America.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend:

  1. Help make "Trails For America: Every Where, Every Way, Every Day!" a reality!
  2. So much to see and do, it takes 4 cities and 2 states to hold it all!
  3. Midwest hospitality.
  4. A Keynote Speaker (Gil Penalosa) who led the closure of 50+ miles of roads to cars every Sunday, where now over 1.5 million people walk, run, skate and bike!
  5. Over 60 cutting-edge presentations.
  6. Exhibits, field trips and hands-on workshops.
  7. Discover new ways to develop, promote and sell the importance of trails in your community.
  8. The largest exhibit hall ever, with over 100 booths and a greenway with trails running through it!
  9. Network with trails experts and enthusiasts from around the country and the world!
  10. A Riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River!

Symposium features and programs

The 18th National Trails Symposium will be held at the RiverCenter Convention Center in Davenport, Iowa, while the Awards Banquet will be held at the adjacent Adler Theatre. The Symposium program will feature cutting-edge workshops and educational sessions delivered by respected national and local experts, an array of new Trail Topic Mini-Workshops, events and field trips, outstanding recreational opportunities, an impressive exhibition hall, and much more.

The outings will showcase many of the best trails and natural lands in the region. The centerpiece is the RiverWay, a scenic corridor stretching 65 miles along both sides of the Mississippi River. It features riverside parks, trails, natural areas and overlooks, art and historical sites, unifying themes and attractive and consistent wayfinding entrances. In addition, the river front trails are a part of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail and the Headwaters-to-Gulf Mississippi River Trail. This is a wonderful example of trails and greenways contributing to economic development.

"The Quad Cities is pleased to host the 2006 National Trails Symposium as it demonstrates our destination's growing importance in trail development," said Joe Taylor, President/CEO, Quad Cities CVB. "The Quad Cities is already a major trail hub with our location on the American Discovery Trail, but we will soon become a national trail hub with the Mississippi River Trail. In addition, we anticipate an economic benefit to the area of $1.5 million."

For additional information about attending the 2006 Symposium, holding an affiliated meeting, serving as a sponsor or providing an exhibit, please contact American Trails at or (530) 547-2060 or the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Center at (800) 747-7800. Visit the American Trails website at for up to date information. Details of the 2004 Symposium held in Austin, Texas, and the 2002 Symposium held in Orlando, Florida, are also available on the website to give you an idea of the kinds of programs, mobile workshops, and events that are part of every National Trails Symposium.


Where are the Quad Cities?

The Quad Cities area is located right on the Mississippi River and is made up of the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline/East Moline in Illinois; and surrounding communities.

The Quad Cities region is midway between Chicago, and Des Moines on Interstate 80. The area is also a short drive from other major metropolitan areas in the Midwest on Interstates 74 and 88 and several major federal and state highways.

Arriving by air is a breeze. The Quad City International Airport (MLI) in Moline, Illinois offers daily flights to Orlando, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Memphis, Detroit, Atlanta and Cincinnati on AirTran, United, Northwest, Delta and their regional partners. See details at

The Quad Cities has a highly developed riverfront trail system that connects the region. These connections have resulted from partnering to cross the physical barrier of one of the world's greatest rivers and to cross the political boundaries of scores of governmental units.

The Quad Cities is at the crossroads of the American Discovery Trail, the Mississippi River Trail, Great River Trail, Grand Illinois Trail, and Hennepin Canal Trail.

More trails:


Facts about the Quad Cities

The city of Davenport, Iowa (see Wikipedia article) was incorporated in 1839. The city often makes national headlines when the Mississippi River floods. It is the only city over 20,000 people bordering the Mississippi that has no permanent floodwall or levee. Davenport prefers the open access to the river for parks and vistas over having access cut off by dikes and levees. Davenport has adopted ordinances that any new construction in the floodplain must be elevated above the 100-year flood level or protected with walls. Davenport is also the home of several well-known annual festivals, such as Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival. An internationally known seven-mile foot race called the Bix 7 is run during the festival.

  • The Quad Cities is on both sides of the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois.
  • Unlike any other place along the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities is the only section where the river runs east to west for about 14 miles.
  • John Deere moved to Moline in 1848 to take advantage of the river to build his factories. Deere & Company world headquarters are still here.
  • The river's narrow channel made it a prime location to build the first railroad bridge, now the Government Bridge, which crossed the Mississippi River in 1856.
  • The Quad Cities has miles and miles of trails on both sides of the river to explore.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis met for the first and possibly only time on a farm in Milan, IL, (just outside the metro Quad Cities) during the Black Hawk War.
  • Ronald Reagan began his career at WOC, the first radio station west of the Mississippi River.
  • In the 1920s Al Capone came to the Quad Cities from Chicago. He wanted to move in on the Quad Cities and take over its underworld, but local vice lord John Looney refused to release his control.
  • Walt Disney applied for his first job at the Victor Animatograph Corp. in Davenport, Iowa. They didn't hire him.

For more information on the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, visit We'll be providing more on the National Trails Symposium at

Where to find it:


Won by Joe Walker, from Denton, Texas:




Updated January 13, 2010

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