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Illinois River - Heritage Harbor/Ottawa IL review

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Heritage Harbor is a community along the Illinois River, located in Ottawa, Illinois. If you have not been here, map it out. It's not a suburb by any stretch, but also not far from Chicago.

I've launched here quite a few times, rented a cottage and also rented a boat slip. They have pretty much everything you need here, even a restaurant/bar. If you would like to learn more, here is their web site: FYI this isn't a paid advertisement and I have no personal no affiliations etc... I've just been really happy with this place, so I thought I would share.

There are a TON of boat launches in the Ottawa area, but so far this is the only one I have used. The boat launch at Heritage Harbor is open to the public, with a $20 launch fee. They have gas (I was told ethanol content is 5% or less) and even dockside ice delivery.

Slightly upstream from the harbor is a lock at Marseilles. Downstream, you can run all the way to the lock at Starved Rock, which is an absolutely stunning state park for those of you who are into hiking and/or camping. I believe the pool is about 13-14 miles in between locks, so there is plenty of boatable water for those who like to cruise.

The river does have barge traffic, and the channel is well marked. There are plenty of party coves for sure.

Photos to follow below. Feel free to ask me any questions, I'll do my best to answer.

Here are some photos of Heritage Harbor - day and night.

The boat launch is pretty nice. I've never had any hassles getting my boat in or out - its a nice sheltered launch.

Parking does fill up on nice days, so don't get there late.

Pics at sunrise for your viewing pleasure. Check out the grain bins.

Downtown in Ottawa is a very cool rail bridge. I do not know if it is still operable.

And a few evening photos for you.

We have seen plenty of eagles and wading birds along the river. The first photo is at the other end of the pool, down by Starved Rock state park. The river gets very wide down there.

Hope you enjoyed the photos  :)


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