5 Quad City Nature Spots in Which to Enjoy the Great Outdoors


Want to create a special memory with your energetic kiddos this summer? Adventure is just around the corner. Here are five of my family’s favorite Quad City nature spots.

1. Nahant Marsh

Nahant Marsh in southwest Davenport is a gorgeous place to hike and spot birds. You can even wade into the wetlands if you’re brave. One of the things that makes Nahant Marsh one of our top Quad City nature spots is a lovely visitors and science center. They offer unique programs for kids throughout the year, as well as summer camps.


2. Wildcat Den State Park

Wildcat Den State Park in Muscatine is another local treasure worth exploring.  We love the unique rock formations, hiking trails and caves. Our boys are especially fond of the excellent frog hunting and creek walking opportunities. As far as Quad City nature spots go, this one is one you definitely want to check out.


3. Maquoketa Caves State Park

Maquoketa Caves State Park in (you guessed it) Maquoketa is a magical place to take the little ones. There are intricate cave formations, which are accessible (and lit up), so families can enjoy them without special equipment. There are plenty of challenging caving adventures for older kids, too.

maquoketa caves Quad City nature spots

4. Smith’s Island Nature Trail

Smith’s Island Nature Trail in Pleasant Valley is a unique park off of the Mississippi River. It’s actually on the National Register for excellent bird watching, which we can vouch for because we saw 20-plus hummingbirds up close last time we went. Plus, the short hike is perfect for little legs.

 Quad City nature spots smiths island

5. Devonian Fossil Gorge

Devonian Fossil Gorge in Coralville is a dried riverbed, which features fossils that date back 200 million years before the dinosaurs. To say my boys love this place is an understatement … it’s like a treasure hunt; they get excited every time they find another fossil. Plus, Coralville lake is nearby for recreation.

devonian gorge Quad City nature spots

What are your favorite places to enjoy the great outdoors in the Quad City area?

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