“Unbelievable beyond my wildest expectations!”
“Our home away from home! Highly recommended!”
“Great place and great value. Gorgeous views of the river”
The Mississippi River at Alton is the winter home of the migratory bald eagle, America’s national symbol of freedom.
From late December through mid February, the majestic birds can be seen in soaring numbers. Some of the best vantage points from which to watch are the following.
1. The Great River Road
2. Melvin Price Locks and Dam
3. Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary (The Audubon Center at Riverlands)
4. The town of Grafton, north of Alton on the Great River Road
For more information on the Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival, eagle parties, eagle meet and greets, and to download the free eagle watching guide and Eagle Watchers App, visit
GET YOUR FEET WET
ON THE FLYWAY
The Audubon Center at Riverlands is a bird & wildlife sanctuary that is home to 325 bird species, 27 reptile and amphibian species, and 300 plant species. The mission of the center is “to connect people to the beauty and significance of the Mississippi River and the Great Rivers confluence, to inspire conservation of the river’s rich diversity in birds, wildlife, and other natural resources, and to support healthy, vibrant communities.” (Audubon Center)
At the sanctuary, it is possible to view bald eagles, trumpeter swans, egrets, herons, waterfowl, and countless songbirds. The center is located within a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) in the midst of one of the most significant flyways for migratory birds in the world.
There are multiple exhibits on display inside the center, and miles of trails around the park that include viewing platforms and bird blinds. Visitors can hike on their own or with a naturalist guide. A variety of educational programming is also offered.
Whether you’re an avid birder, or just getting your feet wet, the Audubon Center at Riverlands is a great way to experience nature on the flyway.
For more information, please visit www.riverlands.audubon.org
While there are endless miles of breathtaking bike trails to ride through the Alton area, perhaps the most popular is The Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail, which follows the Great River Road for 20 miles from Alton to Pere Marquette State Park. Cyclists can parallel the river for as many or few of those miles as they wish.
Looking for something short and scenic? The West Alton Bike Trail stretches a manageable 2 miles, but takes in the William Clark Bridge, Melvin Price Locks and Dam, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area. It also links Missouri’s KATY Trail with Illinois Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area trails.
For more information, more trails, and maps, visit these sites: