US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

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*** The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center has been closed for the safety of our visitors and employees. ***



Currently CLOSED for the safety of our visitors and employees.

Normal operating hours: Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years)

Contact Information

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
(located at Starved Rock Lock and Dam)
950 N 27th Road
Ottawa, IL   61350
(815) 667-4054

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.


2020 Illinois Waterway Closure Viewing

The 2020 Illinois Waterway Consolidated Lock Closure is the largest lock closure project in the history of the Rock Island District. Starting July 1, locks at LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, Marseilles and Dresden Island closed to facilitate needed repairs and maintenance. The closures, which are being conducted simultaneously to limit impacts to navigation, are scheduled to last through late October.

As part of this project, Starved Rock Lock and Dam will experience daytime and full lock closures. During these closures, outdoor viewing of the construction and the dewatered lock will be available at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center.

Visitors should use the new Visitor Center entrance road and are reminded to be cautious as the area is an active construction site. Viewing areas are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Handicap accessibility is available on the ground level. Leashed pets, on leashes six feet or less, are welcome. Public areas may be closed at times due to safety concerns. Temporary barricades will be used to protect the public during times of closure.

While the outdoor areas are open, the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center along with public restrooms and drinking fountains are still closed at this time due to precautions in place regarding COVID-19.

The map below shows the areas that are open to the public during this time. Click the map to view a larger image.

Project Information

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