Muscatine Trails and Maps

Looking for the best trails around Muscatine?

Find the top rated trails in Muscatine, 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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  • Length
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
20 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

67.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

13.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

3.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Flint River Trail (IA)

1.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Grass

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

2.7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

8 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel, Sand

Great River Trail

60 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Hoover Nature Trail (Conesville)

1.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Gravel

Hoover Nature Trail (Morning Sun)

3.2 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel

Hoover Nature Trail (Nichols)

2.7 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel

Hoover Nature Trail (Oasis to West Branch)

3.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Grass

Hoover Nature Trail (West Liberty)

0.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Iowa River Corridor Trail

13 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Kewash Nature Trail

13.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Riverfront Trail (IA)

11.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Sac and Fox Trail

7.2 mi
State: IA
Concrete, Crushed Stone

Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail

5.3 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail—part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail— follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely. The 68-mile trail comprises three former trails—the Cedar...
IA 67.8 mi Asphalt, 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 Flint River Trail, when complete, will run for approximately 20 miles between downtown Burlington, Iowa, and the Big Hollow Creek Recreation Area in the northern part of Des Moines County. The...
IA 1.5 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
Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century...
IA 2.7 mi Crushed Stone
About 8 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Linn County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way between Marion and Martelle. The trail currently is in three separate...
IA 8 mi Grass, Gravel, Sand
The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a...
IL 60 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
The Hoover Nature Trail in Conesville consists of two disjointed sections. The first runs for about .25 mile north along farmland from the intersection of 7th Street and Todds Ferry Road. The second...
IA 1.5 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The Morning Sun section of the Hoover Nature Trail actually runs from a couple miles north of Morning Sun to just south of it on the small town's eastern edge. The trail is mostly surfaced with mowed...
IA 3.2 mi Grass, Gravel
This section of the Hoover Nature Trail is the roughest and least maintained. The trail actually runs from just north of the small town of Nichols to a few miles south of West Liberty at 155th Street....
IA 2.7 mi Grass, Gravel
One of the many highlights of the Hoover Nature Trail is the completed section stretching from the tiny town of Oasis to the small city of West Branch. West Branch's main claim to fame is its status...
IA 3.5 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old...
IA 0.8 mi Asphalt
Running throughout Iowa City and the surrounding area, the Iowa River Corridor Trail provides residents and visitors alike with an invaluable off-road means of getting around the city. The trail has...
IA 13 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone...
IA 13.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
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 Sac and Fox Trail offers 7.2 miles of beautiful, shady recreation along the Cedar River and Indian Creek on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. The oldest designated National Recreation Trail in Iowa,...
IA 7.2 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Solon–Lake Macbride Recreation Trail runs for 5 miles between the scenic state park and the town of Solon to the east. The popular trail is perfect for cycling or walking and skiing or...
IA 5.3 mi Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

IA - 67.8 miles

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail—part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail— follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely. The 68-mile trail comprises three former trails—the Cedar...

Sac and Fox Trail

IA - 7.2 miles

The Sac and Fox Trail offers 7.2 miles of beautiful, shady recreation along the Cedar River and Indian Creek on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. The oldest designated National Recreation Trail in Iowa,...

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...

Hoover Nature Trail (West Liberty)

IA - 0.8 miles

The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old...

Accordion

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...

Iowa River Corridor Trail

IA - 13 miles

Running throughout Iowa City and the surrounding area, the Iowa River Corridor Trail provides residents and visitors alike with an invaluable off-road means of getting around the city. The trail has...

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...

Hoover Nature Trail (Morning Sun)

IA - 3.2 miles

The Morning Sun section of the Hoover Nature Trail actually runs from a couple miles north of Morning Sun to just south of it on the small town's eastern edge. The trail is mostly surfaced with mowed...

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...

Flint River Trail (IA)

IA - 1.5 miles

The Flint River Trail, when complete, will run for approximately 20 miles between downtown Burlington, Iowa, and the Big Hollow Creek Recreation Area in the northern part of Des Moines County. The...

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 - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a...

Kewash Nature Trail

IA - 13.8 miles

The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone...

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...

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

IA - 67.8 miles

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail—part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail— follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely. The 68-mile trail comprises three former trails—the Cedar...

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

IA - 2.7 miles

Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century...

Hoover Nature Trail (Morning Sun)

IA - 3.2 miles

The Morning Sun section of the Hoover Nature Trail actually runs from a couple miles north of Morning Sun to just south of it on the small town's eastern edge. The trail is mostly surfaced with mowed...

Hoover Nature Trail (West Liberty)

IA - 0.8 miles

The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old...

Accordion

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...

Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail

IA - 5.3 miles

The Solon–Lake Macbride Recreation Trail runs for 5 miles between the scenic state park and the town of Solon to the east. The popular trail is perfect for cycling or walking and skiing or...

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...

Flint River Trail (IA)

IA - 1.5 miles

The Flint River Trail, when complete, will run for approximately 20 miles between downtown Burlington, Iowa, and the Big Hollow Creek Recreation Area in the northern part of Des Moines County. The...

Hoover Nature Trail (Nichols)

IA - 2.7 miles

This section of the Hoover Nature Trail is the roughest and least maintained. The trail actually runs from just north of the small town of Nichols to a few miles south of West Liberty at 155th Street....

Hoover Nature Trail (Conesville)

IA - 1.5 miles

The Hoover Nature Trail in Conesville consists of two disjointed sections. The first runs for about .25 mile north along farmland from the intersection of 7th Street and Todds Ferry Road. The second...

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...

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...

Iowa River Corridor Trail

IA - 13 miles

Running throughout Iowa City and the surrounding area, the Iowa River Corridor Trail provides residents and visitors alike with an invaluable off-road means of getting around the city. The trail has...

Hoover Nature Trail (Oasis to West Branch)

IA - 3.5 miles

One of the many highlights of the Hoover Nature Trail is the completed section stretching from the tiny town of Oasis to the small city of West Branch. West Branch's main claim to fame is its status...

Sac and Fox Trail

IA - 7.2 miles

The Sac and Fox Trail offers 7.2 miles of beautiful, shady recreation along the Cedar River and Indian Creek on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. The oldest designated National Recreation Trail in Iowa,...

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...

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

IA - 8 miles

About 8 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Linn County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way between Marion and Martelle. The trail currently is in three separate...

Great River Trail

IL - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a...

Kewash Nature Trail

IA - 13.8 miles

The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone...

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...

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

IA - 2.7 miles

Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century...

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

IA - 67.8 miles

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail—part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail— follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely. The 68-mile trail comprises three former trails—the Cedar...

Hoover Nature Trail (Morning Sun)

IA - 3.2 miles

The Morning Sun section of the Hoover Nature Trail actually runs from a couple miles north of Morning Sun to just south of it on the small town's eastern edge. The trail is mostly surfaced with mowed...

Flint River Trail (IA)

IA - 1.5 miles

The Flint River Trail, when complete, will run for approximately 20 miles between downtown Burlington, Iowa, and the Big Hollow Creek Recreation Area in the northern part of Des Moines County. The...

Accordion

Great River Trail

IL - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a...

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

IA - 8 miles

About 8 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Linn County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way between Marion and Martelle. The trail currently is in three separate...

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...

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...

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...

Hoover Nature Trail (Oasis to West Branch)

IA - 3.5 miles

One of the many highlights of the Hoover Nature Trail is the completed section stretching from the tiny town of Oasis to the small city of West Branch. West Branch's main claim to fame is its status...

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...

Kewash Nature Trail

IA - 13.8 miles

The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone...

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...

Hoover Nature Trail (West Liberty)

IA - 0.8 miles

The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old...

Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail

IA - 5.3 miles

The Solon–Lake Macbride Recreation Trail runs for 5 miles between the scenic state park and the town of Solon to the east. The popular trail is perfect for cycling or walking and skiing or...

Hoover Nature Trail (Conesville)

IA - 1.5 miles

The Hoover Nature Trail in Conesville consists of two disjointed sections. The first runs for about .25 mile north along farmland from the intersection of 7th Street and Todds Ferry Road. The second...

Sac and Fox Trail

IA - 7.2 miles

The Sac and Fox Trail offers 7.2 miles of beautiful, shady recreation along the Cedar River and Indian Creek on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. The oldest designated National Recreation Trail in Iowa,...

Iowa River Corridor Trail

IA - 13 miles

Running throughout Iowa City and the surrounding area, the Iowa River Corridor Trail provides residents and visitors alike with an invaluable off-road means of getting around the city. The trail has...

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...

Hoover Nature Trail (Nichols)

IA - 2.7 miles

This section of the Hoover Nature Trail is the roughest and least maintained. The trail actually runs from just north of the small town of Nichols to a few miles south of West Liberty at 155th Street....

Recent Trail Reviews

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.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Evansdale to La Porte City

July, 2017 by emilyprochaska11

I headed south from Evansdale toward La Porte City. It's a good trail in the fact that it's flat so I didn't have to struggle with lots of hills like some other trails around the Cedar Valley. However there is a part of the trail closer to Evansdale that is gone in which you have to take your bike on a little dirt path to continue riding. There is also a bridge out closer to La Porte City. I hope they plan on fixing these issues so that the trail is in better shape.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Great trail for beginners to intermediate riders

April, 2017 by hlubbock

Just started riding a bike for the first time since I was 10 and this trail is very enjoyable

Accordion

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 !

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

Rustic, quiet, partially abandoned, still enjoyable !

January, 2017 by sneaky pete

You may not want to try this on a narrow-tired road bike, the surface is largely either turf, sand, or rocky turf :)

The Westernmost segment is about 3.2 miles long, somewhere in the middle there is maybe 50-75 yards of boggy (wet) grass from a spring, your tires may cut in a little.

It's about .7 miles of surface roads to the Center segment, which is about 2.3 miles long.

The Easternmost segment appears to have been abandoned. The TrailLink map shows the West end of this segment beginning at Alderman Rd, but, I don't think that the trail is accessible there unless you ride a fat bike and enjoy serious boon-docking. There -is- access to the Easternmost segment at Linn Grove Rd, (about 3.3 miles of Gravel roads from the East end of the Center segment), but, it's only passable going East, and then only for about .25 miles of nearly knee-high grass, until it dead-ends into a fence.


Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

A different kind of ride.

November, 2016 by mummer005

A great trail if you want to try a more primitive bike ride.I used a mountain bike and glad I did.This is mostly a grass trail with a gravel rut to run on,I saw a few walkers with dogs but no other bikers.It has great potential! Rode 1st 2 segments starting from Highway 13 going east and ran out time as I averaged about 8 mph because it's a little slower going.A cool change of pace from the normal Cedar Rapids paved trails!

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Cedar Valley Trail

October, 2016 by trailsguy88

This is a great trail for novice riders, or those getting into shape. It's an old rail trail, so it's flat. It's very scenic and a nice ride. There is trail damage from a recent flood and a section near Waterloo is completely washed out. It's closed there, but you can get through if you can carry your bike. I did almost 27 miles and greatly enjoyed it!

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!

Hoover Nature Trail (Morning Sun)

Good morning Mr Hoover

September, 2016 by titanic1

Just east of town, there is dedicated parking by the town garage. Some railroad structures remain. You can ride a couple miles north on partly shaded trail. The path also goes a half mile south on grass covered gravel to the highway. The three mile segment running south from Columbus Junction not far from this section is very grassy and had some trees down. The Iowa State bike map shows it open.

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
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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.

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