Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, off SR 178 at 950 N. 27th Rd. (Dee Bennett Rd.), affords a view of the locking-through process at Starved Rock Lock and Dam. Towboats push heavy loads through the lock, one of eight along the 327-mile Illinois Waterway, which forms a navigable link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The visitor center has a towboat pilot house and displays devoted to the heritage of the region. An observation balcony is on site.