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Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Open Now: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Very Interesting place to go.

It's great to watch the visitor center from the outside balcony. If you are lucky you may be able... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
wingnut22
,
Mendota, Illinois
NOT TO MISS

The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is NOT TO BE Missed if you are in the area summer or winter... read more

Reviewed November 10, 2018
CaptainFred
,
LaGrange Park Illinois
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good37%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“lock and dam”(8 reviews)
“bald eagles”(12 reviews)
“quick stop”(6 reviews)
About
Visitor Center at operating lock and dam. Viewing site for towboats and barges going through the lock. Best views of Starved Rock State Park. Bird watching site popular for bald eagles in the winter, white pelicans, great blue herons and many others...more
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
Contact
950 N 27th Rd, Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Ottawa, IL 61350-9735
Website
+1 815-667-4054
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Reviews (80)
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All reviews lock and dam bald eagles quick stop worth a stop the river starved rock local birds open water great place to watch observation deck minute stop from chicago nothing happening two story national bird eagle watch locks
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1 - 10 of 80 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

It's great to watch the visitor center from the outside balcony. If you are lucky you may be able to see the Eagles flying over the river and diving for fish. A lot depends on the weather but the winter months are usually a good...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank wingnut22
Reviewed November 10, 2018

The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is NOT TO BE Missed if you are in the area summer or winter both have their own attractions. Boats and people in the summer and Eagles and boats in the winter.! Those who reported "nothing happening" could not have...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank CaptainFred
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2018

Thanks for the review, CaptainFred! Look forward to your next time through.

Reviewed November 8, 2018

As there are only 5 to 10 tugboats going through the lock on a given day, it would be ideal if the visitor center can post the schedule on it's website. So the visitors could time the visit to have seeing-is-believing visual experience. Otherwise, watching...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank JoeBlackOld
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2018

JoeBlackOld: Wish there was some way to predict when towboats would arrive and share that info. There are so many variables involved to get a towboat and barges here there is not any accurate way to predict. You can call the Visitor Center desk 815-667-4054...More

Reviewed September 17, 2018

During the winter months step outside to view the eagles on the island. It's interesting to see the tugs pull through. Nice displays on the waterway.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Becky M
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2018

Thank you Becky. Glad you enjoyed the visit. We appreciate the rating!

Reviewed August 2, 2018 via mobile

There was nothing there to see nothing going on there u have to call to be able to find out what time they will be open to see if there anything going thereMore

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank O7252NSjeremyg
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2018

Jeremy: Sorry there was no boat traffic when you visited. While we do average five towboats and barges a day, there are those other times. The commercial traffic does not follow a schedule so we really cannot predict when they will show up. I hope...More

Reviewed July 5, 2018

My girlfriend and I stopped here on the way to Starved Rock park because we had some time. We were glad we did. Watching a tug and several barges go through the lock was very interesting, both fun and educational. We chatted with one of...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank johnbU5149WS
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2018

John: We appreciate your stopping in. Glad you enjoyed the visit and we look forward to seeing you again.

Reviewed June 13, 2018 via mobile

Very nice place here. Learn about stuff that I never know about. Enjoy this place very much. The staff is very helpful and very friendly

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank scottd272
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2018

Scott: I am very glad you enjoyed your visit. We try to make every visitor important, looks like we succeeded with you. Hope you can come back again.

Reviewed May 9, 2018

The IWVC was an interesting visit. We got to see about 15 barges, with various cargo enter the locks. If we had several hours, we could have watched them pass to the lower river. The barge exhibit inside the center was very informative, and it...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank net_mavin
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2018

Thank you for the review! We like to remind people that life on the River is slower, so take some time and enjoy it. Hope to see you again soon.

Reviewed January 21, 2018

The visitors center overlooks and through various exhibits, explains the workings of an Illinois River lock. Great place to watch barge traffic and boaters in the summer. In the winter it is the best place to Eagle watch. The open water below the dam attracts...More

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank Tomlpf
Kevin E, other at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2018

Thank you for the concise write-up and review. Glad you enjoyed the Visitor Center.

Reviewed January 21, 2018 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center as part of a eagle sighting tour from the Starved Rock Lodge. The ranger showing the movie was very good as were the multiple locations upstairs inside and outside to view the lock & dam and...More

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank kattriprevus
Kevin E, other at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2018

I am very glad you enjoyed your visit and appreciate the great review. Hope you come again!

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Questions & Answers
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LoveBeaches1017
July 5, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Kevin E | Property representative |
No fee!
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913katiey
August 4, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bill n | Reviewed this property |
No charges.
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