Submitted by Quad City Health Initiative & Bi-State Regional Commission
Moving more and maintaining good mental health have never been so important. A year+ of COVID-19 has certainly taught us that. The good news is we’ve got a FREE resource to help you do both right here in the Bi-State Region of Illinois and Iowa. Its name is straightforward and its concept is simple. It’s a website, called QCTrails.org. This site is an interactive, user-friendly web-based destination that details 500 miles (and counting!) of nonmotorized trails in the area.
Resources like QCTrails.org can be a great motivator to move more—for the benefit of both mind and body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity for adults (such as brisk walking on a trail!), and at least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles. Specifically, outdoor exercise can provide added benefits1. Outside, we tend to have cleaner air, more Vitamin D (through sunshine), and nature can both stimulate and reduce stressors to our ever-busy minds. Information on available trails makes our area trails accessible—a good prescription for each one of us.
As you can imagine, it takes a whole community to create and regularly update a resource like this. QCTrails.org is powered by a longstanding partnership between Bi-State Regional Commission, the Quad City Health Initiative, and its Be Healthy QC Coalition. In short, we all serve you – the Quad Cities’ community – and we see our region’s outdoor assets as a must share. Here’s a big reason why. According to the latest Community Health Assessment, approximately 1 of every 5 Quad Cities area adults reported no leisure time physical activity in the past month. And only (roughly) 1 of every 4 Quad Cities area adults regularly participates in adequate levels of both aerobic and strengthening activities2. We hope QCTrails.org can help move those stats in a better direction.
Keep in mind, our area trails are free and have options for all four seasons, all fitness levels, and QCTrails.org captures everything. Whether you walk, hike, bike, horseback ride, or paddle (yep, QCTrails.org features local waterways too!) there’s bound to be several trails that become your favorites.
So, how can you make QCTrails.org work for you and tap in to all these natural resources? Let us count the ways: First, simply visit the website QCTrails.org. Second, create a free QCTrails.org account (it’s easy, we promise). Simply click the “Create Account” icon in the top right portion of any site page. Third, search and discover trails you want to explore. Finally, lace up and hit our local trails for a hike, bike, run, or paddle!
GET STARTED ON QCTRAILS.ORG
- Visit the website QCTrails.org
- Create a free QCTrails account
- Search and discover trails to explore
- Go for a hike, bike, trail run, or paddle
- Save your trail experience using “My Trails”
QCTrails.org also has virtual “badges,” giving you the chance to showcase all your trail accomplishments. When you use your personal account to log completed treks, QCTrails.org will award you badges as you finish different trail challenges. You will also receive an email from QCTrails every time you earn a new badge. And don’t hesitate to brag a bit. Use QCTrails’ social media (more on that a little later) to tell your friends and family about your achievements (and perhaps encourage them to move more too!).
Let’s delve a little deeper. While QCTrails.org is straightforward and simple, it’s also substantive. Each site page is detailed with an interactive map showing the trail system and important points of interest (such as parking areas, natural attractions, and parks). You’re also given trailhead directions to the primary access points, a description of the trail system and experience, information and links to trail managers, as well as photos of that specific trail.
Many of those photos come from supporting partners– your cities and counties who often serve as trail managers to the 125+ trails/paths/trail systems featured on QCTrails.org.
SUPPORTING PARTNERS OF QCTRAILS.ORG
- City of Bettendorf
- City of Davenport
- City of East Moline
- City of Eldridge
- City of Long Grove
- City of Moline
- City of Muscatine
- City of Riverdale
- City of Rock Island
- City of Silvis
- Henry County
- Muscatine County
- Rock Island County Forest Preserve District
- Scott County Conservation Board
- Village of Cordova
- Village of Hampton
- Village of Milan
- Village of Port Byron
- Village of Rapids City
And we’re constantly adding NEW trails! For example, we’ve included 19 new trails, just since spring 2020. Even if you’re a nature enthusiast, we’re guessing there’s an outdoor gem or two (or three!) you had no idea was accessible from your backyard (or at least a short walk/pedal/paddle/drive away).
NEW TRAILS RECENTLY ADDED TO QCTRAILS.ORG
- Augustana College Paths
- Camden Park
- Cedar River Water Trail
- Cub Scout Trail
- Eastern Ave Sidepath
- Francis Park Trails
- Galva Park Trails
- Loud Thunder
- Mad Creek Greenbelt Trail
- Martin Conservation Area
- Muscatine YMCA Trails
- Northeast Park Fitness Trail
- Prairie Heights Trail
- Prairie View Park
- Shady Creek Recreation
- Spruce Hills Drive Sidepath
- Taylor Park Trail
- Veteran’s Park Trails
- Windmont Park Trails
We can’t say it enough. QCTrails.org has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a weekend hike, an afternoon stroll, a new trail to run, a great place for a family bicycle ride, or simply want to experience a new adventure (paddling anyone?!), our website has the most comprehensive collection of trails in the Greater Quad Cities area.
We’ve got a couple of easy ways you can stay on top of our latest developments: 1) Are you on Facebook? So are we! Make sure you’re following the QCTrails.org and Quad City Health Initiative pages (simply type the names in Facebook’s search bar). And 2) Get a sneak peek at our Trail of the Month (always highlighted in QCHI’s monthly E-Newsletter). Go to qchealthinitiative.org and join our Email list.
We think your health and quality of life are important. We also are convinced getting motivated or keeping your fitness momentum doesn’t have to be hard. We invite you to check out QCTrails.org today. Get connected. Go explore. Move more!
2. An excerpt of Quad Cities Area results from the 2018 Community Health Assessment. For more information, visit quadcities.healthforecast.net
The Bi-State Regional Commission is a local, voluntary organization established in 1966, serving local governments in five counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois (Muscatine and Scott Counties, Iowa and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island Counties, Illinois). The Commission serves as a forum for intergovernmental cooperation and delivery of regional programs and assists member local governments in planning and project development.
The Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI) is a community partnership seeking to create a healthy community. A cross-sector Board, established in 1999, oversees the organization. QCHI strives to be our community’s recognized leader for creating collaborative action on health and abides by the core values of commitment, collaboration, and creativity.
Be Healthy QC is a cross-sector community coalition, operating under the QCHI. Its vision is to see all sectors of our bi-state community align and work together on program, policy, systems, and environmental changes in order to create a “culture of wellness” that supports healthy eating and active living.