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Grand Illinois Trail (GIT)

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Trailhead Information

There are many access points and trailheads that GIT trail enthusiasts can utilize. This section of the GIT in the Quad Cities Region passes through, or nearby, the cities of (clockwise from the eastern Henry County border):  Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, Colona, Carbon Cliff, Silvis, East Moline, Hampton, Rapids City, Port Byron, and Cordova.  In addition, there are parking and access points at Empire Park in East Moline; Heritage Park, Illiniwek Forest Preserve, and Fisherman's Corner in Hampton; Shuler's Shady Grove Park in Rapids City; and the riverfront park in Port Byron.

Description

The Quad Cities portion of the Grand Illinois Trail follows numerous other designated trails. The GIT follows the Mississippi River Trail/Great River Trail to East Moline, where it turns to share the same path with the American Discovery Trail through Silvis, Carbon Cliff, and Colona. From there, it continues east along the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail.  

As it loops more than 500 miles between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, the entire Grand Illinois Trail joins together existing and proposed state and local trails to create the state’s longest continuous trail. It hugs historic canals, crosses unglaciated hills, parallels the Rock and Fox Rivers, and includes one of America’s first rail-trails.

Other Information

In the early 1990s, with the growing network of northern Illinois trails, the DNR suggested a "Grand Illinois Trail" in the Illinois State Trails Plan. The concept was enthusiastically supported by cities and villages; park, forest preserve, and conservation districts; and non-profit organizations; the many local partners involved in the Grand Illinois Trail.

Sections of the Grand Ilinois Trail in this region are also part of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), the Great River Trail (GRT), and the American Discovery Trail (ADT). In its entirety, the Mississippi River Trail -- coursing along America’s backbone, the Mississippi River, from its headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico -- offers approximately 3,000 miles of on-road bikeways and pedestrian and bicycle pathways. The Great River Trail runs some 66 miles along the Mississippi River from the Quad Cities (Sunset Park in Rock Island) to Savanna, Illinois. The American Discovery Trail traverses the U.S., coast to coast, from California to Delaware for more than 6,800 miles across 15 states.

Trail Manager

Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Greenways and Trails Program online for more information including a user's guide or contact:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
DNR.Greenway@illinois.gov

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