Quad Cities – The fall season not only brings new colors to the trees, but new activities to the Quad Cities as well! Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, or cruising down the river or speedway, or if you would prefer more laid back activities like wine tastings and festivals, this fall has a lot to offer and the Quad Cities invites you to discover the many fall adventures on the Mississippi River.
A Quad Cities favorite, the Celebration Belle riverboat, offers a wide variety of Mississippi River cruises this fall. The Fall Foliage Cruise sets sail during the first three weeks of October. Sit back and enjoy the big and bold Mississippi River for a four-hour cruise filled with beautiful fall scenery. You can choose from all-day cruises, two-day trips, and lunch cruises. Be sure to book your reservation now for any one of the amazing Mississippi River cruises that the Celebration Belle provides. For more information and to make reservations, contact 800-297-0034 or visit www.celebrationbelle.com.
The Riverboat Twilight also offers two-day cruises and a one and a half-hour sightseeing cruises through the end of October. The cruises depart from LeClaire, Iowa, and go to Dubuque during the two-day cruises. Passengers stay overnight in Dubuque at a hotel. The next morning, go to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium before returning back to picturesque town of LeClaire—home of the History Channel’s American Pickers. For more information and to make reservations, contact 800-331-1467 or visit www.riverboattwilight.com
Not much of a water person and prefer to be on land? Enjoy the Mississippi River from a different point of view by riding a bike alongside it. Residents and visitors alike can pedal their way down the paved paths near the Mississippi River with a bike of their own, or a rental from Visit Quad Cities. There are many trails to choose from, such as the 60-mile long Great River Trail in Illinois or the 10.5-mile Duck Creek Trail in Iowa. Biking around the Quad Cities is a great way to become familiar with venues in the area or just to see the scenery.
Bicycles can be rented from the RiverCenter Visitor Center, 2nd & Perry Street, in downtown Davenport, Iowa; or Bass Street Landing Visitor Center, 1601 River Drive in downtown Moline, Illinois. These centers are located very near the riverfront bike paths.
For off-trail adventure, the Quad Cities has many designated mountain bike trails maintained by the Friends of Off-Road Cycling, www.qcforc.org. Sylvan Island in Rock Island, Illinois, is great for quick, easy rides. It is of moderate difficulty with few hills, but enough of a single track-type ride to keep it interesting. An 11-mile trail is in Scott County Park in Long Grove, Iowa, and it starts at Pride Lake. There are a couple different loops for riders to follow. Sunderbruch Park on Davenport’s west side has about seven miles of hiking and mountain biking trails from green to black diamond levels of difficulty. Illiniwek Park in Hampton, Illinois, is the newest of the FORC trail systems with the greatest elevation changes and greatest flowing corners in the area.
Join River Action for the annual Taming of the Slough Adventure Triathlon on Saturday, September 21, 2019, to paddle, mountain bike, and run your way to the top. This year’s Taming of the Slough takes place in downtown Moline, Ill. The route goes through the Sylvan Slough by kayak or canoe, then through one of the Quad Cities excellent singletrack mountain bike trails on Sylvan Island, and finishes with a two-mile run along Arsenal Island’s riverfront. Compete individually or form a team to Tame the Slough! For more information, visit www.riveraction.org
Want something more slow-paced? On Saturday, October 5, from 9-11:30 a.m. join photographer Jim Frink for an indoor program showing fungi at the Black Hawk State Historic Site followed by a walk to observe them in the forest. In years with above average rain, the fungi, including mushrooms, thrive and the forest is filled with fungi surprises. The program will be held at Singing Bird Center, located north of Blackhawk Rd (IL Rte 5) in Rock Island, Illinois. There are four miles of hiking trails through the forest that you can explore anytime during daylight hours. For more information, visit www.blackhawkpark.org
Scott County Park, with 1280 acres, is the largest in Scott County. Scott County Park has twelve picnic areas and shelters with tables, grills and/or fireplaces accessible. It offers a baseball field, playground equipment, a radio-controlled airplane site, nature trails, an equestrian area and five unique camping areas, including cabins and some deluxe “glamping” cabins. You can also explore the Dan Nagle Walnut Grove Pioneer Village. For more information, visit www.scottcountyiowa.com/conservation
With more than 1,000 acres, Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Rock Island County offers the visitor a variety of recreational activities including camping, equestrian and hiking trails, picnicking, boating, boat rentals, fishing, cross country skiing, or just enjoying the outdoors. For more information, visit www.ricfpd.org
Be sure to visit Downtown LeClaire, Iowa, on Saturday, October 13 for Apple Fest on the River. Apple Fest offers fun, family events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring all things apple! Apple cider and many homemade apple food items including pie, strudel, and scones as well as a variety of other baked goods, cotton candy and kettle corn will be available. Vendors will also be selling jams and jellies, pumpkins, copper jewelry, handmade canoes, glass garden art and more! The Quad City Antique Car Club will be showing off their cars, and there will be a “Kids Only” area for a small fee that includes face painting, apple beanbag toss, cookie decorating, and jump house. Pie baking & pie eating contests, dunk tank, and apple sliders available at downtown businesses along with shopping and dining. For more information, visit www.visitleclaire.com
Contact Visit Quad Cities at 800-747-7800 or visit their website at www.visitquadcities.com. The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.