Great River Trail (GRT): Hampton Heritage Park/Illiniwek Forest Preserve Section

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Trailhead Information

This section of the GRT can be accessed from Empire Park or the Hampton Heritage Center near the southwest edge of the Village of Hampton. Pedestrians, cyclists and hikers can also connect to the Great River Trail via Illiniwek Forest Preserve at the northeast edge of the town.  


This section of the Great River Trail has abundant offerings to recreational enthusiasts. Heritage Park in Hampton, Illinois is a 34-acre community park that looks out across the Mighty Mississippi River. It offers ample parking, picnic areas, a pavilion, and plenty of park benches with splendid views of the river.  Trail users can rest awhile at the Hampton Heritage Interpretive Center, which has interpretive displays designed to inform and educate visitors about the ecosystem of the Mississippi River and how the river played a role in the founding and heritage of Hampton. Illiniwek Forest Preserve is a 174-acre park in Hampton, Illinois and is maintained by Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. Activities abound with camping, hiking trails, mountain biking trails, river access for boating, fishing, picnic areas, shelter rentals, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, and sledding. This 2.1-mile section of trail is flat and has a concrete and asphalt surface, making it an easy to moderate experience for trail users.

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 GRT is widely used as an alternative transportation link and 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.

Elevation Profile

The elevation profile above approximates terrain along the specified section of trail and is provided for general information. Use your best judgment to choose trails with elevation changes to match your comfort level. See QC Trails Terms of Use for more information.

Trail Managers

Visit the Village of Hampton or the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District online for more information or contact:

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 Hampton, Illinois

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


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