Bicycle Trails on the Great River Road
The Mississippi River Trail takes cyclists on a 3,000-mile journey from northern Minnesota to southern Louisiana. If this seems challenging, Great River Road states have plenty of other trails to warm you up.
(Trail End Points: Red Wing, MN & Cannon Falls, MN ) – 19.7 miles
Travel along the former Chicago Great Western Railway line! There is a small fee between April 1 through November 1, but these funds go directly towards trail maintenance.
Dakota County (Trail End Points: St. Paul, MN & Hastings, MN) – 27 miles
Ride with scenic Mississippi River views of railroad and barge commerce! The trail also leads into bluff country at Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area.
Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin
(Trail End Points: Marshland, WI & La Crosse, WI) – 24 miles
Cyclists have a chance to see Wisconsin’s wetlands and prairie lands. The trail is also in the Coulee Region, which is part of the Driftless Area untouched by Ice Age glaciers.
(Trail End Points: La Crosse, WI & Sparta, WI) – 21.5 miles
Some of the nature points along the trail include farmland, prairie remnants, hardwood forests, trout streams, and wetlands. The trail also connects to two others, Elroy-Sparta State Trail on the east and Great River State Trail on the west.
(Trail End Points: Burlington, IA & Sperry, IA) – 7 miles (planned 18 miles)
The trail is linked to popular sites such as the Zion Schoolhouse, Thye Woods Habitat Preserve, and Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve.
(Trail End Points: Dubuque, IA & Dyersville, IA) – 26 miles
This all-season trail takes cyclists through old mining and mill towns, 450-foot deep valley, beautiful woodlands. Entry to the trail has a small fee.
(Trail End Points: Quincy, IL) – 1 mile
The trail is named after the founder during the 1940s. Today, cyclists can tour 53 acres of restored prairie.
(Trail End Points: Savanna, IL & Rock Island, IL) – 62.3 miles
The Great River Trail in Illinois is a multi-use experience! While travelers bike, they have a chance to visit trail towns along the Mississippi.
(Trail End Points: Cape Girardeau, MO) – 4.4 miles
A “Fit Zone” is located near the trail’s Arena Park area. The trail is open for visitors from dawn to dusk.
(Trail End Points: Kirkwood, MO & Lemay, MO) – 8.3 miles
The trail is named after Ulysses S. Grant. Travelers should keep an eye out for wildflowers along the trail!
(Trail End Points: Paducah, KY) – 5 miles
A lot of residential spots are connected to the trail, including Perkins Creek Nature Preserve, three city parks, and the riverfront. The City of Paducah received nearly $1.8 million in grants for construction of the trail.
(Trail End Points: Hickman, KY & South Shore, KY) – approx. 500 miles
Great River Road travelers can cycle the majority of eastern Kentucky! Keep an eye out for museums, nature centers, and great barbecue stops.
Photo Credit: Wolf River Conservancy / Nick Wiggins
(Trail End Points: Memphis, TN) – 36 miles
This greenway hosts hardwood forests and wetlands! Along the way, take a break at the cute shops and cafes along the Memphis trail points.
(Trail End Points: Memphis, TN) – 7 miles
The green line is a former railroad line. The trail is flat and mostly shaded—which is great for bikers!
(Trail End Points: Helena, AR) – 21 miles
The Delta Heritage Trail was obtained by Arkansas State Parks in 1993 as another rail-to-trail project. Great River Road Travelers can explore the scenic and remote portions of Arkansas.
(Trail End Points: Barton, AR) – 3 miles
For more guidance, the Lick Creek Bike tour offers interpreters! Cyclists can learn the trail’s connection to the Civil War in an easy three-mile ride.
Photo Credit: Natchez Trace Travel
(Trail End Points: Natchez, MS & Nashville, TN) – 444 miles
Follow a trail that has a rich history! While riding, cyclists can pass by historic Victorian homes and Civil War battlefields.
(Trail End Points: Vicksburg, MS) – 18 miles
The park provides small loops for cyclists looking to view Civil War sites along their travels. Vickburg, in general, provides great weather for outdoor enthusiasts.
(Trail End Points: New Orleans ) – 1.4 miles
Built after Hurricane Katrina, the trail provides great scenery and grounds for visitors. The trail begins in the French Quarter and continues east.
(Trail End Points: Baton Rouge) – 4.8 miles
In a less remote environment, the path links cyclists to multiple downtown attractions in Baton Rouge. Some of these attractions include the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and the Old State Capitol building.