The Quad Cities, located on the Mississippi River at the only place where it runs east to west, are comprised of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline-East Moline in Illinois; and surrounding communities.
The paved bike trails along the Mississippi River are a popular place to go. River Action just celebrated the closing of a half-mile gap in the trail between Davenport and Bettendorf in June. Work on the new trail connection started in mid-April and was completed in time for River Action's annual Ride the River. Now the trail is an 11-mile stretch from Credit Island in Davenport to Bettendorf along the Iowa riverfront. It's part of the longer Mississippi River Trail.
Also on the Iowa side is the Duck Creek bike path in Davenport. This trail is the oldest bike trail in the Quad Cities. Its origins date back to the 1930s when it was initially planned as a park road. During the 1970s, it was redesigned to be a bike/pedestrian trail. The present length of the trail is 13.5 miles and the scenery along the way includes: parks, wooded areas with deer, golf courses and limestone bluffs.
The Channel Cat Water Taxi is a unique amenity in the Quad Cities. This open-air boat can take people and bikes from the trail on the Iowa side of the mighty river to the Illinois side where the Great River Trail goes for 60 miles from Rock Island, Illinois, to Savanna, Illinois. The Great River Trail takes cyclists through three counties and 11 municipalities. The trails wind through some unique urban settings, but 75% of the trails are in rural settings that take the cyclist along the picturesque Mississippi riverfront.
Along each side of the river on the trails, riders will find public art to look at: an architectural park in Lindsay Park in Bettendorf; a group of life-sized sculptures of Seurat's painting of Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte; and a four-tiered sculpture fountain on Sylvan Island in Moline. Along each path there are historical markers that talk about the histories of the cities, as well as important events that happened there.
Bicyclists and horse lovers will like the Hennepin Canal State Trail in Illinois. Riders can enjoy 48 miles along the main canal and over 25 miles along the Feeder. The trail follows the canal that was constructed in 1892 and uses part of the towpath. The Hennepin also boasts the longest snowmobile trail in the State of Illinois 91 miles. There is also a shorter horse trail just outside Scott County Park in Long Grove, Iowa. This shaded two-mile trail follows the park border.
If you want to rev it up, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an off-highway vehicle area located northwest of Solon, Iowa. It is approximately 45 minutes from Davenport, and near Iowa City. There are approximately 160 acres of land devoted to off-road vehicle and motorcycle use. This tract of land has numerous trails with areas ranging from sandy shoreline flats to heavily wooded areas intermingled with lowland. A county road, a creek bed and the southern boundary, which is marked with highway guard rail, border this area.
As you can see, the Quad Cities has a wide variety of trails to keep you busy. We're getting ready for the 2006 National Trails Symposium in October and would love to welcome you for a sneak-peek of the area. For more information on the National Trails Symposium and links to trails in the Quad Cities and throughout Iowa and Illinois, visit us online at www.AmericanTrails.org.
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.
Where to find it:
Won by Joe Walker, from Denton, Texas:
Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!
The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training
Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program
Updated November 19, 2006
Contact us | Mission statement | Board of directors | Member organizations | Site map | Copyright | NRT | NTTP