We finished our last days of the Quad Cities Outdoors trip with a visit to the Two Rivers YMCA Rowing Center. A boathouse has stood on this site for many, many years, and it was cool to see the history they’ve shared, both inside and outside. Imagine 4,000 attending a regatta to watch people row on the river – 4,000! This is a great resource for the people in the Quad Cities, giving easy access to paddling at a reasonable cost.
The four of us met with Wade (of Intrepid Daily), since we were missing a second hike with Wade on this day due to an earlier miscommunication in plans (the day we went cycling instead). He, in turn, brought his wife Clarissa, a yoga teacher who travels all over to inspire others via her practice (you can read more at ClarissaMae.com.) They are an energetic and fun couple and it was great to have them along.
SUPs and kayaks in hand, we walked out to the end of their T-dock and shoved off downstream. With hot temps, it was great to be on the water, especially with a little splashing of cool water. The Sylvan Slough (pronounced slo͞o, oddly enough) is a side channel of the Mississippi River that bends around the island housing the Rock Island Arsenal and flows past the cities of Moline and Rock Island. Within the Slough, we also got to visit the Sylvan Slough Natural Area, a five-acre natural area with native plantings and trails for walking, biking and mountain biking. Unfortunately, the bridge to the island is closed due to a need for replacement and a lack of funding), but we scrambled up to a bankside viewing area, as we could get to the island easily by water. Should you follow our lead, remember that the natural area is open during daylight hours only, though it would be amazing to paddle here at night.
As usual, since we were having fun chatting, checking out all the varieties of birds we saw, more teenage tomfoolery, and the temporary adoption of a turtle named Franklin Junior, the time flew and we spent more time than we were supposed to – I literally could have spent the entire day just floating and hanging out.
This is another fantastic way to spend a few hours or the entire day and, since the Sylvan Slough has a slow moving current, is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.
Directions to Two Rivers YMCA Rowing Center:
Thanks to Visit Quad Cities for setting this up – we had an amazing time and we’ll be back to paddle more of the waters in the area!