The Great River (Mississippi) Trail

Oh, the things we discover when we just…slow…down a little bit. Tonight’s discovery is the Great River Bike Trail along the Mississippi River north and south of the Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettendorf, IA and Rock Island and Moline, IL).

This is a wonderful series of biking or walking/running paths between many of the river towns in the area, anchored both by the Mississippi and a wildlife refuge which honors one of the area’s original environmental heroes, Elton Fawks, who saved a critical bald eagles’ nesting habitat.  There is much nature to see here, as well as sites to tour and microbreweries to visit!

We stayed at the Illiniwek Forest Preserve and Campground right on the riverfront. $14.00 a night, can you beat that??


There are 74 miles of biking paths through the forest here alone. And we are just downstream from one of 29 Upper Mississippi Locks and Dams, which regulate the flow of water and probably account for the fact that this stretch of the river is not under water, as was the case upstream in Cedar Rapids this past week.

Looking forward to many more well-kept secrets along the way — there are so many great sites under the care of the National Park Service and US Forest Service — treasures that are ours for the asking.


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