By Wade Ellett, Let’s Move QC Outdoors
Editor’s Note: This past summer, Let’s Move QC Outdoors Blogger, Wade Ellett, walked the entire Great River Trail, picking up trash and enjoying the sites along the way. He’s chosen a few of his favorite off-the-beaten-path attractions we’ll share with readers over a series of posts to celebrate great walking tours in the QC area.
The Great River Trail from Savanna to Rock Island is the crown jewel of walking paths in the Quad Cities area. I decided to get to know this path intimately and make it a tad more beautiful, picking up trash the whole way.
That’s 60 miles and 43 bags of trash!
I dripped with sweat in the heat, and labored under the weight of bags filled with litter, but it still reigns as one of the best experiences of my year.
As sad as it is to say, summer is waning, friends. Every day, the sun sets a little earlier, the temperature drops a little lower, and the leaves turn a little more golden.
The Great River Trail runs roughly 60 miles in Illinois, mostly following the Mississippi River, from Rock Island to Savanna, and is composed of paved rail-trail, sidewalks, bike lanes and paths.
That being said, maybe you haven’t taken the opportunity to see some of the great sights along the GRT. If not, over the next few weeks, I’m going to share a few that I highly recommend.
Here’s the first one:
The Giant Cyclist of Port Byron is a weird sight in downtown Port Byron.
Will B. Rolling is a 30-foot tall old-timer cyclist atop a giant Penny Farthing replica.
The giant $60,000 fiberglass statue was funded and donated by former mayor Lawrence Bay and his wife Carol. Its twin, Ben Bikin, lives in Sparta, Wisconsin!
The Bays envisioned creating an annual bike ride – much like Iowa’s RAGBRAI – between the 2 towns. The second annual Will to Ben Bike Tour will be held Oct. 8-14! It’s a challenging ride, but a beautiful one up through the area of rolling hills around northern Illinois and into Wisconsin.
If you head to Port Byron and enjoy the path, there are several great local places to eat and be merry. The mileage from Moline’s Ben Butterworth Parkway to Port Byron is around 10-14 miles depending on your departure location.
Adventure isn’t bound by the season, and it’s cool right now to get out and explore the Great River Trail. What’s your favorite stop along the way?
|Meet Wade Ellett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Outdoor Blogger. Wade is an outdoor adventurer who shares his passion for QC outdoor adventures here! Read his other posts by clicking here.|
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