Great River Trail (GRT)

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Trail Alert
Safety: Potential Flooding/Water Hazards –

This trail is located close to or on open water, wetlands, or floodplain. Please use caution and be alert for water near or on the trail. Be alert for flooding and swiftly moving water. Check with your local trail manager for more information on closures during periods of high water.

Trailhead Information

There are many access points and trailheads that GRT trail enthusiasts can utilize. The trail parallels the Mississippi River, and there are numerous trailheads next to or near the road, such as in Sunset Park in Rock Island; Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline; 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.


The Great River Trail (GRT) runs beside the Mississippi River through the Quad Cities region from Sunset Park in Rock Island to the Rock Island County-Whiteside County line. This section of the GRT is part of the larger 66-mile GRT mile trail system that extends from Rock Island, Illinois at its south end to Savanna, Illinois at its northern terminus. The terrain is flat and the surface is asphalt and concrete working ideally as an alternative transportation link for both active and passive recreational benefits. In addition, the trail provides access and connections to neighborhoods, commercial districts, industrial areas, recreational areas, and historical landmarks. The trail parallels the Great River Road National Scenic Byway (Illinois state highways 92 and 84) throughout the region.

Other Information

The Great River Trail is also part of three other significant trail networks: the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), the American Discovery Trail (ADT), and the Grand Illinois Trail (GIT). The MRT is a 3,000 mile trail system that follows the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota to its delta at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, Louisiana. The ADT traverses the U.S. coast to coast from California to Delaware for more than 6,800 miles across 15 states.  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.

The GRT passes through numerous riverfront towns as it winds its way alongside the Mississippi - - Rock Island, Moline (Ralph B Birks Recreational Trail located within Ben Butterworth Memorial Parkway), East Moline, Hampton, Rapids City, Port Byron, and Cordova, in addition to Illiniwek Forest Preserve in northern Rock Island County.

Elevation Profile

The Great River Trail in the Quad Cities region is comprised of many local trails along its route. Please refer to the individual trails that are listed under the section "Show Connector Trails" and view trail postings to see their elevation profiles. [Note: some of these connector trails are trails that intersect the GRT, but are not the GRT route itself.]

Trail Managers

For more information, visit the Great River Trail (GRT) website or local trail managers:

City of East Moline, Illinois

City of East Moline, Illinois
Parks Department
East Moline City Hall
915 16th Avenue
East Moline, IL 61244
Phone: (309) 752-1573

City of Moline, Illinois

City of Moline, Illinois
3635 4th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 524-2424

City of Rock Island, Illinois

City of Rock Island, Illinois
Parks and Recreation Department
4303 24th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
Phone: (309) 732-7275

Rock Island County Forest Preserve District

Rock Island County Forest Preserve District
19406 Loud Thunder Road
Illinois City, IL 61259
Phone: (309) 795-1040

Village of Cordova, Illinois

Village of Cordova, Illinois
906 Main Avenue
Cordova, IL 61242
Phone: (309) 654-2620

Village of Hampton, Illinois

Village of Hampton, Illinois
P.O. Box 77
520 1st Avenue
Hampton, IL 61256
Phone: (309) 755-7165

Village of Port Byron, Illinois

Village of Port Byron, Illinois
P.O. Box 438
120 S. Main Street
Port Byron, IL 61275
Phone: (309) 523-3705

Village of Rapids City, Illinois

Village of Rapids City, Illinois
P.O. Box 134
1204 4th Avenue
Rapids City, IL 61278
Phone: (309) 496-2321


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smithern - June 10, 2022

We are thinking about biking part of the trail from Savannah to Rock Island. Are there any hotels midway?


Steve Rushton - January 30, 2020

Question for you all who may know - Is it possible to bike across either of the Mississippi River bridges from Clinton, IA across to Fulton, IL? After finishing the RAGBRAI in July, I'd like to come across and ride south down the GRT to Moline.

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