Second day of the Quad Cities Outdoors trip and, due to some miscommunication, we found ourselves standing on the banks of the Mississippi River with our hands in our pockets, wondering what to do. We had plans that never materialized and were waiting for the 4th member of our group to arrive, so we contacted our hosts, the Quad Cities CVB, and asked for suggestions.
First suggestion was the John Deere Pavilion, where we ogled the giant machines and attempted to control them utilizing hand controls and video games. Not much success on that one – the people who operate this heavy machinery have a more difficult time than we expected. Since the Pavilion is just down the street from the bus station (turns out taking an express bus out to Moline takes no more time than driving, which is really cool), we met up with the last member of the group and hit the John Deer store, where it was really difficult not to buy one of everything. So many models and shirts and it went on and on. I limited myself to one collectible tractor and we headed over to the CVB, where….
We hopped on rental hybrid bikes the CVB has and headed out on the Great River Trail, which runs along the banks of the Mississippi River and is a great way to see not only the water, but also a bunch of the industry that runs along the shore. Old ruins made for a makeshift playground (three of us were teenage boys after all), stones were skipped and heaved into the water (depending on the size of said stone) and the only disappointment was that Sylvan Island, a nature preserve, was closed due to an unsafe bridge, and also the time went way too fast. The Great River Trail runs for more than 60 miles and connects with other trails. (Hopefully a reader familiar with the trail can comment on just how far you can go by connecting one trail to another to another.)
This is a fantastic way to spend a few hours or the entire day and, since the trail is paved and relatively flat, is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.
Directions to the Quad Cities CVB:
Thanks to Visit Quad Cities for setting this up – we had an amazing time and we’ll be back to ride the trails again, this time maybe we’ll cross the river and explore Arsenal Island! Read about our time in the Quad Cities outdoors paddling, mountain biking, and hiking!