Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Contact Info

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
US Army Corps of Engineers
Route 1; 950 North 27th Road
Ottawa, Illinois 61350

Ever want to see the operation of a lock and dam? The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center offers you that as well as impressive towboats of mammoth proportions navigating through the Starved Rock Lock, which is one of eight on the Illinois Waterway.

While there you can see all sorts of cool displays in the visitor center. Displays cover the waterway from the Illinois and Michigan Canal to today’s modern lock and dam structures. The visitor center is open 7 days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.


The Visitor Center is located at Starved Rock Lock & Dam on the Illinois River between Ottawa and Utica. From I-80 take exit 81 and follow the signs south through Utica. Turn left immediately prior to the bridge. Follow the road until you see the lock and dam complex on the right.