The Mississippi River may be called the Father of Waters, but Mother Nature wields the paintbrush in the fall as the leaves turn to brilliant orange, golden yellow, and tawny red. Find the best places in the Quad Cities to see the changing colors.

Riverboat Cruises

A Quad Cities favorite, the Celebration Belle riverboat, offers a wide variety of Mississippi River cruises in the fall. Sit back and enjoy the marvelous Mississippi River for a four-hour cruise filled with beautiful fall scenery. Enjoy the amazing fall colors and wildlife that the river has to offer.

The three-decked Twilight riverboat is a replica of the lavish Victorian steamboats of a century ago. Her unique rounded stern and ornate architectural detailing is a reminder of those classic riverboats that Mark Twain called "Floating Palaces." The Twilight offers two-day overnight cruises from LeClaire to Dubuque, Iowa, until the end of October.
The Celebration Belle is the largest non-gaming riverboat on the upper Mississippi River. Take a scenic foliage cruise or a Captain's Dinner Cruise for a unique experience.

Hiking

Credit Island Park
This 3.2 mile walk around the tree-filled Credit Island in Davenport, Iowa, will also have you spotting different kinds of birds and waterfowl.

Pigeon Creek Park
This 1-mile walk on a mostly paved trail in Bettendorf, Iowa, has incredible views of the Mississippi River with a wetland area with a lot of wildlife.

Black Hawk State Historic Site
This 160-acre forest in Rock Island, Illinois, has remained in its undisturbed condition. There are six miles of hiking trails of moderate difficulty that wind through the ravines and ridges.

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve
There are over 14 miles of moderate level trails at this forest preserve in Illinois City, Illinois, through scenic forested areas along the river.
Fall foilage map

Great River Road Scenic Byway

This scenic byway travels on both the east and west sides of the Mississippi River. Follow Highways 61 and 67 for a trip along the Mississippi River in Iowa. As the river changes course to flow east to west through the Quad Cities, this scenic byway takes you through riverfront towns and along the bluffs. Along Illinois Route 92, the Great River Road sweeps along the river.

In 2009, National Geographic Traveler named the Great River Road from Minneapolis to Davenport as one of the 50 "Drives of a Lifetime." With the museums and attractions that have cropped up along the way, it is "not only one of the most scenic drives in the country, but also one of the culturally richest."
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