Go Outside: QC Outdoor Attractions

Three and a half years ago I moved to the Quad Cities from my hometown in Central Illinois. Though I’m not a native, I have come to love it here; Whitey’s Ice Cream, local craft beers, and the Figge Art Museum have all found a place in my heart. Here are a few local outdoor attractions that I recommend. From hiking and camping to biking and boating, there’s something for everybody so get out there and have a great time at one (or all) of these local spots.

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Go take a hike (this Mother’s Day)

SPRING HAS ARRIVED! I’m sorry for the all-caps, but can I get an “amen?”

It’s always a relief when spring arrives in the Quad Cities. And it’s the perfect time to find some new, outdoor adventures. Luckily for us, our area has so much to do outside for families – from festivals and fairs to parks and forest preserves.

As the temperatures warmed up, my family spent the morning hiking at Illiniwek Forest Preserve. It was the perfect spot to get active, get outside and spend time together. (And the hike is totally beginner and child-friendly.)

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The Black Hawk State Historic Site: A Hardwood Forest in the Middle of An Urbanscape

Walking path to Lodge and Museums
Walking path to Lodge and Museums

When my friend, Mary Kay, came to visit last weekend from Minnesota, I thought the best place to enjoy the beautiful fall weather was in Rock Island at the Black Hawk State Historic Site, a hardwood forest in the middle of an urbanscape.  As a teenager, I had spent many hours in those woods exploring with my friend, Mary, who lived in Watch Hill. We knew the trails like the back of our hand.

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Pedal, Paddle, Trail

It was warm September morning and I was midway through an intense mountain biking workout at Scott County Park. Just as I rounded return that would lead me into a grove of trees, a deer ran across the path just 3 feet in front of me. My initial reaction was to jerk my handlebars in the opposite direction of the deer, resulting in what could only be described as an amateur version of aerial acrobatics that unfortunately was not captured on camera. I stood up and dusted myself off, hopped on my bike, and finished my work out with a huge grin on my face.

I was recalling a day just two months prior when I was biking with my son, Alex, at Scott County Park. He was insistent that we ride Area 51 (the Double Black Diamond route…or REALLY TOUGH for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term).

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