Clinton Trails and Maps

135 Reviews

Looking for the best trails around Clinton?

Find the top rated trails in Clinton, whether you're looking an easy walking path or a long bike trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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17 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Bear River Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Clinton Discovery Trail

4.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

13.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

3.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Galena River Trail

4.5 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Grass

Great River Trail

62.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Jane Addams Trail

18.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Joe Stengel Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Ballast, Grass, Gravel

Lowell Parkway Trail

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

3.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Oregon Park East Bike Path

0.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Riverfront Trail (IA)

11.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone
Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River....
IA 4.8 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a...
IA 0.75 mi Crushed Stone
The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...
IA 13.5 mi Asphalt
Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...
IA 3.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Galena River Trail is built upon an old railroad spur of the Burlington Railroad main line, constructed in 1886. The spur linked Galena to Galena Junction, where the main railroad line—still...
IL 4.5 mi Crushed Stone
Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is...
IA 0.5 mi Ballast, Grass
The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....
IL 62.3 mi Asphalt
The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...
IL 104.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...
IL 18.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...
IL 7.9 mi Ballast, Grass, Gravel
The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...
IL 3.5 mi Asphalt
The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of...
IL 3.7 mi Asphalt
Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...
IL 0.25 mi Asphalt
Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...
IA 5 mi Asphalt
Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...
IA 11.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and...
IL 2 mi Asphalt

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Trails by activity

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of...

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

IA - 13.5 miles

The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Galena River Trail is built upon an old railroad spur of the Burlington Railroad main line, constructed in 1886. The spur linked Galena to Galena Junction, where the main railroad line—still...

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a...

Accordion

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in...

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Great River Trail

IL - 62.3 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River....

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Lowell Parkway Trail

IL - 3.5 miles

The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and...

Riverfront Trail (IA)

IA - 11.9 miles

Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and...

Great River Trail

IL - 62.3 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River....

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a...

Accordion

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Galena River Trail is built upon an old railroad spur of the Burlington Railroad main line, constructed in 1886. The spur linked Galena to Galena Junction, where the main railroad line—still...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...

Lowell Parkway Trail

IL - 3.5 miles

The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

IA - 13.5 miles

The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Riverfront Trail (IA)

IA - 11.9 miles

Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

IA - 13.5 miles

The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and...

Accordion

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Galena River Trail is built upon an old railroad spur of the Burlington Railroad main line, constructed in 1886. The spur linked Galena to Galena Junction, where the main railroad line—still...

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of...

Great River Trail

IL - 62.3 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a...

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

Riverfront Trail (IA)

IA - 11.9 miles

Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in...

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River....

Lowell Parkway Trail

IL - 3.5 miles

The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...

Recent Trail Reviews

Galena River Trail

Fall 2017 Update

November, 2017 by m.hoffmann

With 60 degree weather the day after Thanksgiving I took a quick ride down the trail to the south end. I was pleasantly surprised with the progress being made on the trail extension. The 2-3 mile extension is carved into the side of the hill high above the railroad tracks. It traverses a new 60 ft bridge before descending down and running parallel to the service road. It looks to be complete to S. River Rd or Aiken sometime early in 2018.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

A Nice Ride

September, 2017 by mcaples67

Road 60 miles (30 out and back) from trailhead at Rock River in Colona. We brought our road bikes (23mm tires), expecting paved trails. It was slow going, but certainly doable. The trail is definitely in need of repair and maintenance. It is flat, peaceful and quite beautiful. The canal history and artifacts (locks, etc) are a very interesting perk.
Fortunately we packed extra water. We had trouble finding water stops along the way. There was a fountain at the lock (14 miles from the trailhead) but it was not working in late September even though it was almost 90 degrees.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Nice ride along Hennepin feeder canal

September, 2017 by hilbertdr

We rode from the trail head at Lock 22 (where CR 300E crosses the canal) up along the feeder canal for about 14 miles. The trail was in good shape for most of the way, mostly paved, and it was enjoyable ride. North of the Rte 92 crossing the trail quality deteriorated markedly and it was single track dirt through weeds and grass. We turned around at Osage Rd because of the trail condition. We tried riding west from Lock 22 but gave up after a little over a mail. It wasn't that bad but it was single track through recently mowed but still pretty high grass.

The first thirteen mile north along the feeder canal was a beautiful fun ride with good trail conditions, nice scenery, and a herons, turtles and jumping fish. We also saw very few other people on the ride. North of that and west of Lock 22 the trail was passable but less fun.

We ride hybrids with pretty wide tires. I'm not sure any of it would be fun on a road bike.

Accordion

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Great Trail

August, 2017 by iembrdr4u

Nice easygoing trail for a newbie like me. Stayed at Hickory Grove Campground (great new owners) then early morning ride. Crushed stone & asphalt a little overgrown on the edges but a great trail

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Hennepin East from Tiskilwa to Bureau Junction

July, 2017 by jdunsing1

I was on a two day ride from Kewanee, IL to Morris, IL yesterday and today (about 90 miles). I had hoped to ride as much of the Hennepin and Illinois and Michigan Canal trails as possible (I had expected to ride about 50-60 miles on trails split between those two trails). I attempted to ride both trails and have submitted a separate review of the I&M Canal trail.

I only rode about 6 miles of the Hennepin Trail from Tiskilwa towards Bureau Junction (West to east). It was a disappointment. As others have written, it was rough, with some sections of old, failing asphalt. I was not in a hurry, so stuck it out for as long as I felt comfortable. It's just not conducive to a fun ride. Too rough, changing paths from side to side, and just not a fun trail to be on. If you're going in this direction, I would advise taking the adjacent road. I was on it for a considerable time one I got off of the trail and never felt unsafe with cars or trucks.

The trail was disappointing.

Riverfront Trail (IA)

River front Trail & mississippi trail

February, 2017 by twotrikes

Ride the Iowa trail to Lindsey Park in Davenport,and take water taxi to Illinois. There ride the Mississippi trail west to Sunset park or east to Savanna Illinois, about 70 miles. There are 3 campgrounds on the Illinois side.
The water taxi is seasonal and daily pass ($) available.
An alternate crossing is the bridge at the Rock Island Arsenal. (HELMETS ARE REQUIRED at Arsenal)
ENJOY !

Joe Stengel Trail

Not a Trail for Every Bike Rider

January, 2017 by flmasterman

My maiden voyage on this trail happened on October 11, 2012. It was a gorgeous fall day and I was the only one out on the trail.

Riding my Trek 3700 mountain bike, I found this trail to be nearly perfect for my riding style at the time. Yes, it is grass-covered in spots, it has some muddy spots following a wet spell, and some critter damage here and there - something that seems to be a constant on the few hard-packed trails I've ridden over the years. With that being said, I found this rail trail to be quite pleasant. After all, I got a mountain bike so I could get off the pavement. If I wanted a paved riding experience, I would have chosen the Lowell Parkway Path a bit to the south.

Bordered by farm fields, it still provided a nice ride due to the trees along the right-of-way for most of the distance. In summer, it is quite shady for the most part.

The parking area off Judson Road is plenty adequate in my opinion, with the exception of the lack of at least a Port-a-Potty. The third-tree-on-the-left seems to have acquired an odor.

Fast forward to November 16, 2016...

Having ridden this trail at least once annually since 2012, this day allowed a bit different experience for me. This day, I rode my FatBike. The larger tires certainly did smooth out the ride considerably, even though a FatBike is not really necessary.

Earlier in 2016, I found a Port-a-Potty at one of the crossroads and that was a welcome sight, but by this time of year it had been removed - Major Bummer. I would think that a Port-a-Potty at each end of the trail would not be too much to ask for. After all, Polo and Woosung are pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, and if one drives any distance, a bit of pre-ride relief is a welcome thing.

Four years later, the trail condition is pretty much the same. I did notice that the Joe Stengel Trail signs have disappeared for the most part though (I've been in contact with the Park District about that and even volunteered my services to assist in reworking the signs and getting them planted, with no results).

I did notice earlier in the year 2016 also that they had a dedicated parking area in Woosung, which is nice. I feel better parking in a grassy field than alongside the road.

One thing you may wish to pay attention to, is that they now allow All-terrain vehicles on the trail. I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing, I haven't encountered any yet and I haven't seen any signs of damage to the trail due to ATV's.

All in all, this is still one of my favorite rail trails to date. It's the closest trail to my home and it provides a pleasant riding experience. I really enjoy seeing the songbirds and playing tag with grasshoppers along the way.

I've only ridden bikes on this trail, so this review is limited to that viewpoint.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Fun, easy 20 mile loop from Bureau to Tiskilwa

September, 2016 by bretthousman

I'm from Morris and have frequented the I&M for a few years now. Yesterday I went to the Hennepin for the first time ever. I started in Bureau Junction and took the canal to Tiskilwa, then transferred over to the road that follows that little river back to Bureau.

The canal was great. I have a cross bike and it handled well. I wouldn't recommend a road bike with anything less that 28c tires (and this is pushing it, better bring tubes!) There were a few holes I hit. Debris was at a minimum but there was some overgrowth on the path. Nothing I would complain about. No major trees over the path. After knowing how parts of the I&M canal are I would say the conditions in this small 10 mile section of the Hennepin are a good. Especially considering how remote it is. Large hills in the background, and there are more larger oak and sycamore trees around than the I&M.

The road surface conditions on the way back to Bureau were fair-good, but the places that the road takes you through are great. Not too sure if locals care for bike-riders, there were only 3 that passed me going the way I was going but I wasn't given much room any time.

In either case, if you want to do a quick 20 miles this was a fun easy loop. It was a hot day and 35 ounces of water worked fine as the canal is pretty cool in the shaded areas.

Recommended!

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Dangerous and not maintained

August, 2016 by JudgeKKelley

Large put holes, weeds in middle of the trail not cut. This trail is not being maintained probably because of Illinois budget problems. Not fit for riding at any speed. Very rough and dangerous on eastern end of trail. Went 12 miles till I hit a huge pothole covered by weeds and went over the handlebars. Ouch! Unless the state or some other group addresses the issues, I won't ride it again

Great River Trail

I Wish I Could Rate it Higher...

August, 2016 by sundog70

Planned to do 60 miles roundtrip, from Rapids City to Thomson and back. Beautiful day for riding in July - temps not high, not humid, slight breeze. The small towns of Rapids City and Port Byron were quite nice to ride through; a lot of direct river access/views. Primarily flat with a few small slopes or hills here and there. Cordova also has a couple nice riverfront parks with working water fountains. However, we ended up only doing half, and turning around just before Albany. My biggest gripe - which almost had me turning around sooner - was how closely the trail follows highway 84. It's better than nothing or riding on the road, don't get me wrong, but as someone who prefers more remote trails the segments along the road just killed it for me. A lot of ugly spots, auto noise and fumes. A lot of trash and bottles tossed onto the median between the road and the trail or onto the trail itself. 84 isn't exactly high traffic but it also isn't low. The trail also soon started to angle away from the river and once north of Cordova, you barely see it again, at least through the point where we turned. There are stretches where vegetation is growing out into the trail and you frequently have to ride on the outer edge of the trail - generally not a problem as the trail was not busy, and a stretch where someone has clearly gone in to try and cut things back but ended up leaving a lot of wood debris which isn't great for bike tires. There were also some spots where a couple holes are in the trail; one marked by some orange cones that hopefully no one moves as it could cause serious damage or even injury if someone rode into it. Some nice little wooden bridges at various points but with a little too much rise, which caused some bumps for my 700x38c tires and I can't image what they do for road bike tires if you hit them wrong, so keep an eye out when approaching bridges. The 3M factory also doesn't make for a great view (sorry 3M, I buy your products, I just don't enjoy biking past you) although things did start to look a little nicer just north of the plant for a while, detouring through a nice little woods before going back to following 84. The trail comes to an abrupt end where one has to ride for about half a mile on Meredosia Road, which has no shoulder or bike lane but does seem to be low traffic. You then catch the Albany Mounds Trail (if you are riding north, there is no sign to tell you to turn left and the trail/sign is hidden; just turn left at the first road you come to and the trail head is right there). The trail does have a couple small hills, max 8% grade, and rides through a lovely field of Bluestem grass and then a short wooded section, with views of the tops of a few mounds over the grasses. At the far end of the trail is a nice rest area with a shelter, working water fountain, and pit toilets. The mounds were one of the highlights of the trip, natural and peaceful even with the nearby houses encroaching, and I highly recommend it. Unfortunately we decided not to go on so never made it into the town of Albany or beyond as the thought of more roadside trail riding was so unpalatable by this point. It may have gotten better, I don't know, and we'd really wanted to visit the sand prairie area by Thomson, the Heirloom cafe, as well as the lock and dam, but not this day. The second highlight of the day did occur after retracing our route, on one of the ugly stretches of roadside trail - I happened to look down and found wild cactus growing! So that made up for things a bit. All told, just shy of 40 miles roundtrip, with a really nice meal at Brothers restaurant in Rapids City, just a block or two away from the parking area. There were definitely several good points as mentioned above, and plenty of people would likely not mind the close proximity of the trail to the road, it just isn't my cup of tea. We may go back another day and ride Savanna south to Albany to see what we missed.

Great River Trail

good but so much lost.

August, 2016 by tiztim_tl

Living in Chicago, I'm spoiled: the Lake Front Trail which lead to the McClory Trail which leads to Skokie Valley Trail--all lovely smooth asphalt. The perfumed streets (thanks to the plants installed by professional landscaping)of the North Shore suburbs are paradise to any cyclst with nearly an infinite choice of routes. Then, of course, eschewing asphalt you can chose among the Fox Valley Trail (mostly but not entirely asphalt), and Illinois Prairie Path will both take you to the Wisconsin state line. The I&M Trail parallelling teh Illinois River is one of the original bicycle trails for the area.
So, now no longer in Chicago and happily living in rural NW Illinois, I feel churlish complaining about any nearby trail. All of them show admirable effort for which I am grateful and can raise their quality over time to that of the Chicago-area trails.

There is so much potential we miss! I am convinced that many trails are installed by workers who never themselves spend much time on a bike or assume bike trails are mostly for little kids. Many do not appreciate the differences and capabilities of road, trail, hybrid and other bikes and what kind of trail and routing is best adapted for these types.

The signage here is ambiguous and a sometime thing. I was stunned at Albany to find myself directed onto Uther Rd: two miles of sharp, unstable gravel on top of an unyielding substrate. This a road to eat tires. This is the worst route I've seen in the many states and many thousands of miles of trails. My Schwalbs protected me from disaster and having to hitch a ride back to my car. My route is then directed into a steep hill an alternate route would easily avoid. There is a long stretch of cement trail right up against the pounding, busy highway for miles. I am sure in time a better, quieter and more scenic and enjoyable route will be found and established
.
The trail is in many places exposed to sun and wind on unprotected prairie trails and open streets. I'm surpised the US govt-maintained (I assume) trails are so good (smooth, lovely asphalt) and missed opportunity (straight through open prairie. A lightning storm there would be truly scary).

So, I'm writing mostly not criticize. If I seem critical, I apologize but I write hoping what I have to say will be read by administrators and designers. We have a gem now, but somewhat in the rough. I remember the 50s and 60s when the radical idea of a bicycle trail of any kind was met with derision and hopelessness. We've made a lot of progress then. We'll make progress more. Soon we'll have Interstates exclusively for bicycles! I hope I live long enough.

To all cyclists reading: Take this trail! use it from top to bottom. Every bike on this route validates and strengthens it.

Riverfront Trail (IA)

Very nice little ride

July, 2016 by lorilindner

We rode from Credit Island up to and across Arsenal Bridge to the lock and dam on the Illinois side. Along the way we stopped at the Freight House brewery, a nice little area with an active farmers market and a local foods store. Then we moved on to downtown, where the Bix Festival was in full swing with a ton of food vendors and live music. The trail offered a wide variety of scenery, from the shady river bottom views around Credit Island through a little bit of prairie, through the renovated areas of the river front with nice playground areas and gazebos to the more historic areas near Davenport's East Village. The trail was paved and well maintained. Also flat and well marked. In all a very pleasant ride.

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