Visitors Guide to the
Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary
301 Riverlands Way

West Alton, Missouri
636-899-2600 or 1-888-899-2602

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Hiking Trails Accessible Bike Trail Accessible Wildlife Viewing Fishing Boat Ramp Accessible Restrooms Bald Eagle Viewing


Recognizing the need for and social relevance of restoring environmentally and historically significant remnants of land, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with partners and supporters, developed a plan to restore and protect 3,700 acres of wetlands adjacent to the Melvin Price Lock & Dam. The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary represents this commitment.

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary illustrates a balanced management approach between sustaining the Mississippi river as a national transportation corridor and recognizing the environmental attributes of the area. The project utilizes the river's continuing influence to create bottomland wet prairie and marsh akin to that which existed prior to the introduction of European settlers in the area.

Sites within the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary include Ellis Bay, the Teal Pond, the Native Prairie Restoration Project, and a 300-acre prairie-marsh complex. Public facilities and trails throughout the Environmental Demonstration Area have been built by Eagle Scouts from the St. Louis Council, Boy Scouts of America. More projects to help the public get a better view of wildlife and plant life within the EDA are planned. The EDA offers open space, fresh air, and spectacular views of nature for families, school classes, and groups. Here they can learn about and see firsthand the importance of balancing mans' disturbances by protecting and restoring natural habitat. The area offers visitors the opportunity to view large numbers of resident and migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as other wildlife that live in the wetlands. The Audubon Center is located in the Sanctuary and provides exhibits, spotting scopes, picnic tables and other facilities.

Bird Watching
The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is listed on the National Audubon Society's Great River Birding Trail. They report that snipe, yellowlegs and American Golden-plovers can be seen on the marsh mudflats, white gulls and waterfowl swim and feed along the river and in Ellis Bay. Thousands of American White Pelicans, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup migrate through here, along with sea ducks such as Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye. Also watch for Northern Harriers and Short-Eared Owls. During the coldest part of the winter when the river freezes over, American Bald Eagles line the banks just below the dam, taking advantage of the open water and upwelling currents. Rare Glaucous, Thayer's, Iceland, or Lesser-backed Gulls may also be present.

Map of the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary Area

Visiting the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary
     Visiting Hours
          Open Daily: 8 am - 4 pm
          The Audubon Center at Riverlands is open 8 am - 4 pm 7 days a week
          The Audubon Center at Riverlands is closed on major holidays
There is no charge to visit the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Directions: Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary
is located near West Alton, Missouri. From US-67 turn onto Riverlands Way (at the FISCA station) near the Clark Bridge.

GPS Coordinates
8 52.121'
90 11.050'

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is across the river from Alton, Illinois in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area.

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