Where is the Illinois River Road?
Traversing both east and west sides of the Illinois River from Ottawa, 150 miles south to Havana, the Illinois River Road has spurs to the communities of Princeton and Canton. The Illinois River Road corridor has over 100 natural and historic sites and numerous unique communities located throughout its 10-county region.
The Scenic Byway is conveniently located between Chicago and St. Louis, but just far enough to get away from it all. So get off the beaten path and see what the Illinois River Road has in store for you!
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