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Come visit Illinois Waterway Visitors Center
in Ottawa, IL

Illinois Waterway Visitors Center

Place Category: Ecology, History & Culture Tour, Nature & Outdoor Recreation, and Nature Sites

  • Profile

    Located at the Starved Rock Lock & Dam, the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center is owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps maintains the lock and dam system along the entire Illinois Waterway from Lake Michigan to Grafton, IL where the Illinois River empties into the Mississippi River. The water system conducts river traffic along 333 miles of waterway which drops nearly 160 feet in elevation between Chicago and Grafton. The visitors center interprets the building and maintenance of this system, as well as the history of water transportation in Illinois, beginning with the Native American canoe and ending with modern transportation. The center also provides up-close views of river barges and other watercraft as they

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