Things to do at the Audubon Center at Riverlands

Trumpeter Swans Photo: Kent Burgess


  • Welcoming friendly and knowledgeable Audubon staff and volunteers
  • Engaging exhibits on birds, rivers, and the Mississippi flyway, other wildlife and river ecology
  • A panoramic view of Ellis Bay, the Mississippi River and historic downtown Alton
  • Premium spotting scopes for amazing close-up views of eagles, swans, herons, egrets and more!
  • A warm welcoming setting for viewing wintering Bald Eagles and Trumpeter Swans
  • Movies including the 12-minute “Spectacle of Birds”
  • Special exhibits, events and presentations, and activities throughout the year including Eagle Fest and Birds of Winter
  • Clean public restrooms


  • 8.5 miles of trails* winding through the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary for viewing birds and other wildlife, hiking, photography, walking your dog, and enjoying the outdoors!
  • Ellis Island trail on the Mississippi River with parking access and trail
  • Ellis Bay for kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and fishing
  • Picnic areas
  • An Avian Observatory designed by Washington University School of Architecture specifically for intimate views of water birds and other wildlife on Heron Pond
  • A scenic overlook on Ellis Bay
  • Stunning views of the Mississippi River from our wrap-around deck set with rocking chairs made from recycled materials
  • Native plant garden
  • COMING SOON: Riverlands Greenhouse, Accessibility Kayak Launch, Accessible Bird Viewing Structure at Heron Pond

* Some trails are closed from October 15 - April 15 for bird refuge

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