We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

94 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

94 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
Full view
Location
Contact
950 N 27th Rd Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Ottawa, IL 61350-9735
Get to know the area
Ottawa Obscura Bike Tour
Cultural Tours

Ottawa Obscura Bike Tour

5 reviews
This is our most comprehensive tour of Starved Rock Country’s history, its present and where we will be in the future. Plotting for the Illinois & Michigan Canal began with Ottawa & Chicago, Illinois in the 1830’s. Once completed the future of the yet formed State of Illinois was pinned on the I&M Canal with Ottawa at the center. Awesome Ottawa Tours aims to find the history that even Google doesn’t know. The corky, bizarre, tragic and heroic history of our area is shared over a fun and intriguing easy ride on our trails and side streets. Tours offered daily April-October.
$35.00 per adult
94Reviews4Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 52
  • 33
  • 6
  • 2
  • 1
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Mari M wrote a review Mar 2020
Chicago, Illinois241 contributions58 helpful votes
The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center was a stop on our Trolley Tour which I found lacking. As part of a guided excursion, I was expecting the attendant to explain the process without being goaded for information. I have no idea about barges, locks, how or why they benefit the people of Illinois, and thus didn't even know what questions to ask.
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
Helpful
Share
Response from RangerKevinCOE, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Mari: I regret that your visit was less than you expected. We try to give you the information you want. I will make sure that our staff touches base with each group better. I appreciate your letting us know this failure.
Read more
brokerer wrote a review Mar 2020
Portage, Wisconsin197 contributions78 helpful votes
We ran across this after Starved Rock, one of the wardens happen to be inside , when we arrived and spent alot of time explaining the waterway system to us. There is also a small exhibit inside the building that explains alot, along with a replica wheelhouse. Check it out !!!
Read more
Date of experience: July 2019
Helpful
Share
Response from RangerKevinCOE, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Thank you for the great review! We get a lot of 'just happened by" visitors and we appreciate them.
Read more
Diane L wrote a review Feb 2020
110 contributions9 helpful votes
+1
Great learning experience for kids and families. February 2020 delighted to see a bald eagle today! Across from waterway is the State Park with hiking travels and the lodge.
Read more
Date of experience: March 2019
Helpful
Share
Response from RangerKevinCOE, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Diane: Glad you got to see our national bird! Thank you for visiting and the review.
Read more
J Williams wrote a review Feb 2020
6 contributions
Not much here. A few displays providing the history of the Illinois Riverway, which are interesting if you are unfamiliar with the story behind it. Good view of the lock and dam.
Read more
Date of experience: April 2019
Helpful
Share
Pastor S wrote a review Sep 2019
80 contributions16 helpful votes
The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center features a small museum which talks about the history of the Illinois-Michigan Canal and the local wildlife. They also have a small theater, but it wasn't operating during our visit. However, if you are lucky, a set of barges and their towboat will be going through the Starved Rock Lock. You then have a front row seat on the lock operation. That's fantastic. It is a great learning experience. You also get a great view of the Illinois River.
Read more
Date of experience: September 2019
Helpful
Share
Response from RangerJM, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Responded Sep 27, 2019
Thank you for coming and reviewing. We are hoping the lock will be open for viewing towboats and barges on Oct. 6. It should remain open for viewing this fall, winter and spring before the lock is dewatered next summer (2020).
Read more
Previous