Great River Trail (GRT): Rock Island Section

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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

The trail begins at Sunset Park and Marina, a 250-acres wooded park featuring Lake Potter, a 50-acre protected lake, with outlet to the Mississippi.  The park offers a ball diamond, outdoor ice-skating, picnic areas, picnic shelters, playground equipment, restrooms, parking, sand volleyball, a separate walk/jog path, and a scenic overlook of the Mississippi River. Following the path into the heart of Rock Island brings you to Schweibert Park.  The park is a trail head for the Rock Island Riverfront Trail and offers such amenities as art/sculptures, digital playground, fountain, great lawn, observation shelter, promenade, restrooms, parking, stage, triangle lawn, urban concrete beach, and a separate walk/jog path. The Rock Island Riverfront Trail ends at the Rock Island/Moline border at Sylvan Gateway Park which acts as another entry point to the trail and the currently close Sylvan Island Trail.


The 5.5-mile Rock Island Riverfront Trail begins in Sunset Park and continues to the Rock Island/Moline border at Sylvan Gateway Park. Trail users will experience a variety of the city's diverse landscape and many amenities and offerings.   The Riverfront Trail moves along Rock Island's Mississippi riverfront through beautiful and wild natural areas along the river, where trail users might see a variety of flora and fauna, and also through some of the city's industrial areas on a well-separated path.  Entering downtown Rock Island, trail users can stop and rest at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, which was named for former Mayor Mark Schwiebert (1989-2009 terms) for his tireless efforts to promote public use of the riverfront. Trail users can also find shopping and dining options downtown, or enjoy unique entertainment venues in The District. Continuing to the east, trail users can see historic Arsenal Island, which even today provides support through commerce and industry to the Nation’s military.  The Quad City Botanical Center is located just a few hundred feet off of the trail and offers living collections of plants from throughout the world. 

The Rock Island Riverfront Trail is part of the larger the Great River Trail (GRT) system. Running for 60 miles from Rock Island to Savanna, Illinois, in the Illinois Quad Cities, the trail is a continuous, flat, hard-surfaced multipurpose trail for all ages and abilities.  As the GRT winds through riverfront communities and countryside, walkers, runners, and cyclists will enjoy breathtaking views of the Mississippi River, abundant wildlife, and opportunities for shopping and dining.

Other Information

The Rock Island Riverfront Trail is also part of two other significant trail networks: the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and the American Discovery Trail (ADT). The 3,000 mile Mississippi River Trail system that follows the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota to the delta at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, Louisiana provides access and connections to neighborhoods, commercial districts, industrial areas, recreational areas, and historical landmarks at the local, state, and national level. The American Discovery Trail traverses the U.S., coast to coast, from California to Delaware for more than 6,800 miles across 15 states.

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 Manager

Visit the City of Rock Island online for more information or contact:

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


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