Trail Length

62.3 miles

Trail Start and End Details

Head to Broderick Drive at US 52 in Savanna, Illinois, to find the north entrance to Great River Trail. Parking is available. The south end of the trail is at Sunset Park, 18th Avenue and Mill Street, Rock Island, Illinois.

Description and Tips

Take a few days to get the most out of this trail. Camp at Thomson Causeway and ride north to Savanna, where you should be sure to take in the rail-car welcome center and the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center. Stop by Manny’s Pizza for a meal. Half-way back to Thomson is the Upper Mississippi River Savanna District Admin Building And Visitor Station, where you’ll find nice nature displays and clean bathrooms, plus a bicycle tool rack. Great River Trail runs right through Thomson Causeway, so it is convenient, and impossible to miss. If you have the time, head south to Fulton, Illinois, and tour an authentic Dutch windmill (the guides wear wooden shoes!). Across the street is a museum with several built-to-scale, very detailed Dutch windmills. The next day, drive the 40 miles south to Hampton, Illinois, and to Fisherman’s Corner, another Army Corp of Engineers campground. Great River Trail runs between the campground and Route 84. Bike south through Hampton, East Moline, Moline, and Rock Island, with many places to stop and view the river. If you do cross to Davenport, head left from the bridge for a couple of blocks, and you’ll find the Fresh Deli Market in a string mall along with a brewery and pizza place – try the fish tacos! You can head south from here to circle Credit Island and then head back north to pick up the Duck Creek Trail. You will want your camera on a few spots on this trail! If this is too strenuous, or it is too hot and humid, fear not: Channel Cat Water Taxi has a series of shuttle water taxis that are covered and have racks for about 6 bikes. The water taxis go between East Moline, Bettendorf, Davenport, and Moline all day long, and an all-day pass is only $8. The next day, you can head north through Rapids City, Port Byron, Corodova, and Albany, and then up to Fulton if you’re feeling ambitious. Be aware that Albany is poorly marked – bring a map!

Submitted By

Josef Appell