The Mississippi River Visitor Center is located on the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois at Locks & Dam 15 overlooking the Upper Mississippi River. The visitor center is part of the US Army Corps of Engineers' Rock Island District. Since the early 1800s the Corps of Engineers has been instrumental in making the river navigable for both commercial and recreational vessels.
From January to March each year visitors come from all around to see the many Bald Eagles that flock to the locks and dams on the Mississippi during the winter months to feed. In early spring the river opens to commercial navigation. From April through mid-December visitors from around the world come to watch boats pass through the locks.
The visitor center welcomes over 30,000 people annually and is handicap accessible. In addition to providing lock and dam tours during the summer months, rangers also offer a wide range of programs to the local community.