Mississippi River Trail (MRT): Illinois

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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 MRT (Illinois) trail enthusiasts can utilize throughout the Quad Cities Region. 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.


Running for over 60 miles from Rock Island to Savanna, Illinois, the Quad Cities' portion of the Mississippi River Trail in the Illinois Quad Cities is a continuous, flat, hard-surfaced multipurpose trail for all ages and abilities. The trail connects to many neighborhoods, shopping districts, and parks and recreation areas. Sweeping riverfront vistas are abundant all along the trail in Illinois and also along the MRT in Iowa.

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 for the recreational enjoyment, health, conservation and tourism development of river communities, river states, and the nation. The trail provides access and connections to neighborhoods, commercial districts, industrial areas, recreational areas, and historical landmarks at the local, state, and national level.

Other Information

Within the Illinois Quad Cities region, local municipalities such as the cities of Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, Hampton, Rapids City, Port Byron, and Cordova, as well as Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission maintain the MRT and promote access.

Sections of the Mississippi River Trail in this region are also part of the Great River Trail (GRT),  the American Discovery Trail (ADT), and the Grand Illinois Trail (GIT). 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.  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 Mississippi River Trail in Illinois 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 MRT, but are not the MRT route itself.]

Trail Managers

For more information, visit the Mississippi River Trail Guide on the Ride Illinois website or contact 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

Ride Illinois

Ride Illinois
2550 Cheshire Drive
Aurora, IL 60504
Phone: (630) 978-0583

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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