If every city in the United States had the foresight and commitment of Davenport, Iowa, we would be a perpetually pleased nation. While Davenport boasts a convenient location halfway between the increasingly bike-friendly cities of Chicago and Des Moines, it is the city's incredible trail network that truly makes Davenport a paradise for bikers, skaters, walkers and runners.
The Duck Creek Recreational Trail is the main feature of this trail network. The trail got its start in the 1930s, although the asphalt-surfaced design that is familiar today was initiated in the 1970s. Along its 13.5-mile route, almost all of Davenport's many public parks are connected. While this might seem a reasonable (though still quite nice) feature for a small town, Davenport is a fairly large city with a population over 100,000. In addition to linking Davenport's parks, the Duck Creek Recreational Trail connects the city to neighboring Bettendorf, which is oxymoronically considered the fifth Quad City along the Iowa–Illinois border.
If you plan on traversing the entire length of the trail, consider starting your journey at Emeis Park on the western side of Davenport. The trail travels north past residential development for less than a mile before turning sharply to the east. For much of the rest of the route, the trail runs alongside woods and open fields, as well as the eponymous Duck Creek. Runners and bikers are never far from houses or businesses, and the trail puts the proximity to good use—there are a number of connections to neighborhood roads along the way. Recreational amenities, such as baseball fields and tennis courts, are available at a few of the parks on the trail's route, including Garfield Park on Eastern Avenue. The trail ends in Bettendorf to the east of Davenport just off busy State Street, where a short ride or run on S. Kensington Street will connect you to the impressive Riverfront Trail.
While the Duck Creek Recreational Trail features tunnel crossings underneath some of the busier roads (including Interstate 74) and one rail line, trail users should be aware that there are a few at-grade street crossings. Just be sure to exercise caution when navigating the trail, especially at night.
There are dedicated parking lots for the Duck Creek Recreational Trail at every park along the trail's route. From west to east, these parks include: Eimes Park, Northwest Park, Junge Park, Garfield Park, Duck Creek Park, Middle Park, Hollow View Park, Devils Glen Park and Havens Acre Park. Refer to the TrailLink map for the exact location of the parking lots.