One of the treasures hidden not too far from where I live is the Melvin Price Locks & Dam in Alton, Illinois. The tours are open to the public, free and are daily at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Once you sign up for the tour at the front desk, you can browse the National Great Rivers Museum. The Mississippi River is the backbone to this area and the museum showcases this through many informational exhibits.
There are 29 sets of locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River that start in Minneapolis, Minnesota and end in Granite City, Illinois as shown in the picture below. The Melvin Price locks and dam are number 26 and are the second to the last. These allow boats and barges to navigate the river easily and drop the river level over 1,000 feet!
The locks are named after Illinois Congressman Charles Melvin Price. He advocated for replacing the deteroriating lock & dam that was built in the 1930’s. Unfortaunely, he passed away in 1988 before seeing the new locks and dam completed.
There was so much interesting information shared on the tour! We got to go all the way to the walkway at the top of the dam. We even were able to see a barge coming through the locks!
I highly recommend taking this tour on a nice, sunny day. This is such a hidden gem if you are in the St. Louis area!
Looking for even more fun? Head up the beautiful river road to Pere Marquette State Park for some exceptional hiking!
Special thanks to Michelle & Andy for going with us!