Visitor Centers

Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park

Open

Open All Year 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone
815/740-2216

Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

Open
Open All Year 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone
815/942-2899

Location
5010 N. Jugtown Road, Morris, Illinois

Closures
The Visitor Center is closed on weekends from December through February. The park itself is open year-round.

Special Programs
The site staff develops a series of seasonal special events dealing with the natural history of the Illinois prairie and with pioneer life on the priaire.

Exhibits
The Visitor Center contains several exhibits on the natural history of the Illinois prairie and how animals and humans have interacted with this unique environment. There is also a hands-on display for all visitors.

Available Facilities
Public restrooms. Self-guiding trails lead from the Visitor Center out into the prairie. Picnic areas and shelters are close by in another section of the park. There is an Observation Deck at the Visitor Center for visitors to look out over the prairie.

I&M Canal State Trail - Gebhard Woods Access

Open
Open All Year 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone
815/942-0796

Location
402 Ottawa Street, Morris, Illinois

Closures
The Visitor Center might be closed on holidays from autumn to spring. The park itself remains open year-round.

Special Programs
The park staff develops special programs on a seasonal basis dealing with the Illinois & Michigan Canal and with the natural history of the area.

Exhibits
There is a small display on the building of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. There also is a large rack which holds brochures of all the Illinois state parks.

Available Facilities
Public restrooms. Picnic tables and a few picnic shelters are located just a few steps outside the Visitor Center. Two stocked ponds and the Illinois & Michigan Canal are available for fishing.

Illinois & Michigan Canal Visitor Center

Open
Open All Year 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone
815/838-4830

Location
200 W. 8th Street, Lockport, Illinois

Closures
The Visitor Center, along with the other organizations in the building (Gaylord Building Historic Site), is closed on Mondays and state holidays.

Special Programs
In the Hands-On History gallery on the second floor, students, families, and researchers can explore connections between the Illinois & Michigan Canal and local, regional and national history. The Visitor Center staff will design trail walks, workshops, and living history programs to meet classroom curricula and organizational needs.

Exhibits
The "Illinois Passage" gallery on the ground floor introduces the story of the Illinois & Michigan Canal corridor to the public. The exhibits are a partnership between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which manages the Visitor Center, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns the building.

Available Facilities
Public restrooms; small bookstore.

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Open
Open All Year 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone
815/667-4054

Location
On Dee Bennett Road, about 3 miles east of Utica, Illinois, and directly across the Illinois River from Starved Rock State Park.

Closures
None

Special Programs
The staff schedules tours of the Starved Rock Lock and Dam on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The staff also offers Water Safety Weekend in late May just before the recreational boating season. From January to March, the staff participate in an area-wide "Flock to the Rock," in which visitors are encouraged to watch the bald eagles which come to spend the winter and to feed in the open water below the dam.

Exhibits
The exhibits focus on the construction and operation of the Illinois Waterway, which opened in 1933 as the modern successor to the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

Available Facilities
Public restrooms. Sales facility operated by Eastern National Park & Monument Association. There is an Observation Deck for visitors from which to view boats and barges "locking through".

Last updated: April 10, 2015