Description - Illinois Waterway is 336 mi (541 km) long, linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River, an important part of the waterway connecting the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico. The Calumet channels branch southeast from the waterway and link it with the Calumet industrial region along the Ill.-Ind. border. Principal cargoes, carried chiefly by barges, are coal, petroleum, and grain products. Recreational areas have been developed along the waterway.
The Calumet channels branch southeast from the waterway and link with the Calumet industrial region along the Illinois/Indiana border. Principal cargoes, carried chiefly by barges, are coal, petroleum, and grain products. Recreational areas have been developed along the waterway.
- Illinois Waterway Visitor Center-
Offers a view into the complex opperations of a lock and dam system, 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 educational displays in the visitor center. Displays cover the waterway from the Illinois and Michigan Canal to today's modern lock and dam structures.
Recreation - The Illinois Waterway has opportunities for fishing, wildlife viewing, and even a museum/visitor center.
Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.
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.