Quad-Citians in search of waterfront staycation destinations should look no farther than the outskirts of west Davenport. 

The Scott County Conservation Board unveiled a pair of furnished cabins Wednesday at West Lake Park, which spans 620 acres just west of Interstate 280.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Roger Kean, executive director of the board, said the "luxury-style" Summit Cabins resemble vacation rentals in the touristy town of Galena, Illinois. 

The 1,176-square-foot buildings, which overlook the 24-acre Railroad Lake and nearby Summit Campground, officially open to the public on Monday, Aug. 21.

Beginning Thursday, guests can make reservations online or in person. Rentals cost $130 per night and $780 per week.

Visitors may stay a minimum of two nights and a maximum of two weeks. The cabins join 135 campsites at West Lake Park.

Complete with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, bathroom and living room with a fireplace, each cabin comfortably sleeps eight, county officials said. However, guests must bring their own bedding.

"We don't do laundry," Kean said as he addressed a crowd that toured the facilities early. 

Each unit also has Wi-Fi access, a shaded deck, fire ring, picnic table and gas grill. 

Design Homes Inc., Eldridge, built and delivered the cabins in November for $120,000 each. The entire project cost about $450,000, Kean said.

The prep work began this past summer when a county conservation crew cleared invasive species from the site and laid the foundation for the structures.

Over the past seven months, they furnished the lodging quarters, hooked up utilities and paved a parking lot and wheelchair-accessible walkway for guests.

In hopes of restoring the surrounding prairie, the county also seeded pollinator-friendly plants on 15 acres of land around the dwellings.

County Supervisor Tony Knobbe spoke highly of the new fixtures. 

"Not everyone wants to sleep on the ground, and not everyone can afford a $200,000 mobile home," said Knobbe, who was elected in November. "This is a very nice alternative to get people outside and in our parks."

Sitting in a rocking chair on one of the cabin's south-facing decks, Katherine Sabin and her 1-month-old son, Levi, took in the view of the water.

"They're a lot nicer than I thought they were going to be," said Sabin, whose husband, Josh, is a ranger at West Lake Park. "We have a couple of hard-core campers in our family, but most of us prefer a cabin; it's much nicer than a tent."

Guests with canoes or kayaks can haul their gear down to Railroad Lake from the cabins, but Kean recommends that they use the boat ramp at Gate 2.

Before the summer season ends, guests can make the short hike to West Lake Park Beach, which closes Sept. 4. Kayak and other boat rentals are available there until Sept. 24.

County officials said they expect the rental schedule to fill quickly. 

"It will probably knock the website out," said Roger Larson, who manages West Lake Park. 

Next year, the conservation board has plans to place two additional cabins near Bald Eagle Campground at Scott County Park in Eldridge. 


Jack Cullen is a reporter uncovering different sides of life in the Quad-City area.