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Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

950 N 27th Rd, Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Ottawa, IL 61350-9735
+1 815-667-4054
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Review Highlights
Quiet and Interesting

A 1/2 hour stop at most, unless a barge is going through the locks and you have kids...Then it may... read more

Reviewed 24 May 2017
bill n
,
Downers Grove, Illinois
Watching barge go thru lock.

Saw a tug boat with barge go thru the lock.very cool! It took about 30 mins from start to finish No... read more

Reviewed 25 March 2017
gsquaredUrbana_IL
,
Urbana, Illinois
via mobile
Read all 60 reviews
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Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good28%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“bald eagles” (11 reviews)
“lock and dam” (4 reviews)
“quick stop” (4 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
LOCATION
950 N 27th Rd, Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Ottawa, IL 61350-9735
CONTACT
Website
+1 815-667-4054
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Reviews (60)
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1 - 10 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 24 May 2017

A 1/2 hour stop at most, unless a barge is going through the locks and you have kids...Then it may take a bit longer. Very informative people at the location to answer questions.

Thank bill n
Reviewed 25 March 2017 via mobile

Saw a tug boat with barge go thru the lock.very cool! It took about 30 mins from start to finish No Eagles when we were there.

Thank gsquaredUrbana_IL
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2017

Thanks for the pictures. We always enjoy seeing the photos of what people find interesting. See you next winter for eagles!

Reviewed 3 March 2017

Nice visitors center with small museum and hands-on activities. We were lucky to see a barge moving through the locks - might not been so exciting without. Bonus-you can also get a cancellation stamp here for you National Park Passport!

Thank matteson18
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2017

Glad you were able to see the lock in action! Thank you for visiting and sharing your experience.

Reviewed 12 February 2017

We stopped in hoping to see the eagles fly - nah - too windy. However we did watch the lock system at work when a barge came through. The vantage point is very good, there is plenty of posted information on how everything works and...More

Thank tal5418
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Thank you for visiting us and the great rating. We do have a great spot to see either bald eagles or barges, depending on the day. I appreciate your kind words about the staff and will pass them on.

Reviewed 29 January 2017

A small place packing a lot to see and do. This special weekend had speakers, exhibitors and presentations in coordination with Starved Rock visitor center and lodge. Here, we listened to an Audobon enactor with a rep from Illinois Raptor Center who introduced us to...More

Thank Merrill M
Kevin E, Supervisory Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2017

Merrill: Thank you for the review, I am glad you were able to visit us during the Bald Eagle Watch Weekend. Maybe next year the weather will be more cooperative and freeze the river for us. I am passing your comment about difficulty maneuvering on...More

Reviewed 17 October 2016

Just good for a quick stop. Nice little museum of the locks and nature. Staff was very knowledgable about the river, traffic, and the history of the canal.

1  Thank JohntheLast
Reviewed 17 October 2016

A fun place to visit. During the season bald eagles are seen in nearby trees. Pelicans also abound near the dam. At various times you can witness a barge going through the locks. Good place for a family to spend a little time.

1  Thank Robert A
Reviewed 17 October 2016

The view from the observation deck is incredible. The Corps of Engineers guy was really well versed, as he should be, on everything I asked about the Illinois waterway system. This is well worth a detour for an hour of education and entertainment.

Thank nicholask610
Reviewed 5 October 2016 via mobile

A visit to the Illinois Waterway is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours. We were fortunate to have a barge come in during the visit, and I spent the entire time talking with a gentleman who was working on the barge. He...More

Thank Barbara H
Reviewed 27 September 2016

Stopped here while staying at Starved Rock Lodge. Great place to watch Bald Eagles in winter. If you go during Audubon season (Jan/Feb), there will be folks set up with high power binoculars & telescopes. Great eagle viewing.

1  Thank handyman4chicago
Kevin E, Park Ranger at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2016

Glad you were able to stop by and looking forward to seeing you this winter. We are currently keeping a watch on those American White Pelicans too!

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Cedric W
28 April 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Bobber-IL |
Although fishing throughout the Illinois River is very popular, fishing or boating near any dam can be very dangerous. For everyone's safety, there are large signs displayed on the dam showing safe distances away from the... More
0
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