Recreation Areas around Janesville

Illinois Waterway

Ever want to see the operation of a lock and dam? The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center offers you that 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 cool displays in the visitor center. Displays cover the waterway from the Illinois and Michigan Canal to today?s modern lock and dam structures. The visitor center is open 7 days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Driving Directions

The Visitor Center is located at Starved Rock Lock and 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.

Pullman National Monument

In a growing Chicago neighborhood, diverse people and stories intertwine. All were seeking opportunity. Some succeeded. Others were limited�by race, gender, or economic status. Their stories came together in Pullman, a planned community famed for its urban design and architecture.

Historic Administration Building

Driving Directions

For detailed directions please visit the park's website.

Wisconsin River island in Portage

Wisconsin, with its 84,000 miles of rivers and 15,000 lakes, is full of places to paddle, float, fish, or just watch and listen. The BLM has a share in all this beauty, as we manage almost 500 islands in Wisconsin's rivers and lakes. Many islands in this region were omitted from the original land surveys conducted in the 1830s and 1840s, and we don t manage all of them. Many of the islands we do manage are close to other state-owned and privately owned islands, so it's critical that visitors determine whether an island is public land before using it.

The flowages between Stevens Point and Nekoosa are chock-full of more than 60 public islands, ranging from small, low patches of willows and alder, to large stands of mixed pines and hardwoods. Below Castle Rock Lake, the islands down to Prairie du Sac are mostly floodplain forests with broad sandbars that invite paddler-campers. A few of these islands have remnant prairie and savanna vegetation.

Many public islands are perfect fishing spots, lunch stops for your next float trip, or overnight campsites. Future management plans include the posting signs so recreationists may know which ones are available for public use and local restrictions, if any.

Would you like to volunteer as a BLM public island steward? Contact Derek Strohl, dstrohl@blm.gov.

Wisconsin River Portage

Driving Directions

From Interstate 39 take exit for Hwy 33 east toward Portage. Just before crossing the river, turn right into the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources carry-in boat launch.