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The Illinois section of the Great River Road includes a wide variety of landscapes and terrain as well as a diverse set of points of interest.  On the Northern end of this ride, there are high bluffs and deep valleys.  As riders travel further south, the hilly terrain gives way to plains and farmlands.


There are historic sites to see such as the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower and Historic sites and the Nauvoo Illinois Temple and an early Mormon settlement in Nauvoo.  Riders on this section of the Great River Road will also pass by the Driftless Road Adventures Home Base as they ride through Andalusia.


Riders can also view 2 great confluences along this route.  In Hartford, it is possible to view the joining of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.  In Cairo, riders can visit Fort Defiance State Park and watch the Ohio River flow into the Mississippi.  At Fort Defiance you can stand in Illinois and view both Kentucky and Missouri by looking across the different rivers.


The Illinois section of the Great River Road is divided into 2 parts; from Dubuque, Iowa to Quincy and from Quincy to Cairo.


Note:  We have created 2 sets of routes for each state.  1 is for riding North to South and the other is for riding South to North.  Each route is notated either N to S (for North to South) or S to N (for South to North).


Location:  Western Illinois

Approximate Mileage:  560 miles

Estimated Riding Time: 12 hours 

Surface:  Paved




  • Grafton - Grafton Ferry
  • Brussels - Brussels Ferry, Pere Marquette State Park
  • Cordova - Cordova Dragway
  • Nauvoo - Nauvoo Illinois Temple
  • Quincy - Villa Katherine
  • Savanna - Mississippi Palisades State Park, Poopy’s
  • Hartford - Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, Lewis & Clark State Historic Site
  • Gladstone - Henderson County Covered Bridge

Great River Road - Illinois

  • If you are riding with a group, we ask that every person using our route for navigation purchase their own copy.

    In order to encourage this, we are happy to offer a discount for group purchases. Please contact us after purchasing 1 item at full price, and we will set up a coupon code that will give everyone in your group 50% off of the same item.


  • Our digital routes are designed to operate in most GPS devices.  In addition to GPSs, our routes should work with several smartphone apps.  They will NOT work on Google Maps or Apple Maps.


    If you plan on using a smartphone app, we recommend the REVER app.  REVER will work with both Android and iOS and in addition to navigation it has many other great features.


    For best results in REVER, download the route to your computer first, then import into your smartphone.  Turn by turn may not work, so we recommend that you utilize the "Follow the Line" option. 


    You can get 20% off your first year’s subscription to REVER by following THIS LINK.

    AND using this coupon code at checkout:  Driftlessforless.


    By using this link and coupon code a portion of your subscription fee will go to support Driftless Roads USA.

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