The Mississippi River is a defining characteristic of the Greater Quad Cities Region and has been a source of food, commerce, and recreation for hundreds of years.  Native Americans and European settlers saw the value and beauty in the more the 4,000-mile-long river that connects the interior of the North American continent to the Gulf of Mexico. 

In the Greater Quad Cities Region, the Mississippi River traverses more than 80 miles, providing transportation and recreation opportunities for businesses, residents, and tourists.  Currently there are more than 45 Mississippi River barge terminals in the Greater Quad Cities Region, many with access to rail.  Recreational transportation opportunities on and along the Mississippi River include the Channel Cat Water Taxi, which provides pedestrians and cyclist the option to cross the river via public transit aboard an open-sided ferry.   Walking /bicycling trails along or connecting to the Mississippi River Include the Mississippi River Trail, Grand Illinois Trail, and American Discovery Trail.

The Region also boasts a multitude of tributary rivers, streams, and lakes that are navigable for recreation.  Residents and visitors enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and countless scenic vistas offered by the numerous waterways in the Region.