Location and Hours

The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is OPEN to the public.

The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is located at Starved Rock Lock and Dam at 950 N 27th Road, Ottawa, IL 61350

The facility is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day)

For more information call: 815-667-4054

New Jr. Ranger Program!

Jr. Ranger Program

Click the image above to learn about our new virtual options for becoming a Jr. Ranger.

Master Plan Process

Farm Creek Reservoir is in the process of creating a Master Plan. Click the link below for more information.

Welcome to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Welcome to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. You are invited to watch the operation of the lock and dam and to learn more about the Illinois Waterway's use as a part of our National water highway system. In the winter months you can enjoy viewing bald eagles from our wildlife viewing area. History detectives can discover displays about early users of the Illinois River, the Illinois and Michigan Canal and how water transportation transformed the United States.

If you are interested in tours or educational programs by park rangers please contact the Visitor Center to make reservations.


BOAT SAFETY CLASSES WILL BE OFFERED IN MAY, JUNE & AUGUST 2022 
Click HERE for more information. 

Latest News

Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors to practice water safety
4/29/2022
As millions of Americans plan visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and...
Temporary lock closures to begin May 9 at Brandon Road Lock on the Illinois Waterway
4/19/2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, will begin daytime closures of the Brandon Road Lock located in Joliet, Illinois, beginning May 9 to facilitate installation of bulkhead...