Top 5 Attractions in Wood River
Wood River is a small city of 11,000 residents in Madison County, Illinois, and part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Even though our city may be small, locals and visitors can have a lot of fun here. Of course, being so close to St. Louis helps!
The rich history of Wood River dates back to the early 19th century. Originally established as a farming community, its growth accelerated in the early 20th century with the discovery of oil in the region, and the oil industry played a large role in shaping the development of Wood River, and its economy.
This vibrant community offers a ton of activities and attractions. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, let’s explore the best activities and attractions in Wood River.
- Wood River Aquatic Center
The Wood River Aquatic Center is a popular local recreational facility which offers activities for people of all ages. Here, you'll get to enjoy a large outdoor swimming pool, designed with sections for people of all levels of swimming skills. These include shallow sections for young children and deeper areas for older kids and adults.
Of course, who can resist a water slide? The Wood River Aquatic Center has them, and they provide thrills for visitors who love the adrenaline rush of sliding into the pool. The center has a lazy river for those who just want to float along the gentle current, and interactive water play structures, such as water sprayers and fountains.
- Rock Springs Park
Do you feel like enjoying the outdoors at a sunny park? Then we recommend visiting Rock Springs Park. The park features scenic natural beauty, with lush greenery, tall trees, and well-maintained landscaping.
If you love hiking, you'll enjoy the park's miles of many trails that wind through the wooded areas. In fact, they're not just for hiking. Joggers and cyclists can follow the trails as well, and explore the park's ecosystem, observe wildlife, and appreciate the natural surroundings.
If you like leisurely days fishing by a lakeside, then going home to cook up your catches, bring your fishing gear to the beautiful lake at Rock Springs Park. The lake is fully stocked, and you can catch bass, catfish, bluegill, and more. Keep in mind, you will need a fishing permit. The park also offers a range of recreational amenities to keep visitors entertained. There are picnic areas with tables and grills, playgrounds, and many open spaces.
- Wood River Museum and Visitor Center
If you want to learn about local history, the Wood River Museum and Visitor Center is a must-visit spot. Inside, you'll find artifacts, exhibits, and information that provides visitors with a deeper understanding of our community.
The exhibits chronicle the development of Wood River from the early 19th century to today through photographs, documents, memorabilia, and interactive displays.
The historical artifacts include tools, household items, clothing, and more from different time periods. You'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived in Wood River throughout history.
The visitor center provides information about local attractions, events, and points of interest, and the knowledgeable staff members will answer questions, offer recommendations, and provide assistance to ensure a memorable visit to Wood River.
- Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower
The Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower stands at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the very spot where the Lewis and Clark Expedition embarked on its historic journey. The "tower" is actually two soaring towers connected by an elevated walkway. From there, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding rivers, floodplains, and scenic landscapes. providing a unique vantage point to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
The Confluence Tower serves as a tribute to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which played a crucial role in mapping the western territories of the United States and opening up new frontiers. It features exhibits and displays that showcase the history, achievements, and challenges the expedition faced. You'll find lots of interactive exhibits here, which showcase the natural environment, wildlife, and indigenous cultures that Lewis and Clark encountered along their journey. And, the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower serves as an educational center with guided tours, interpretive programs, and workshops for visitors of all ages.
- Wood River Heritage Council House
Another excellent place to learn about local history is the Wood River Heritage Council House, operated by the Wood River Heritage Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the local history. This site features exhibits, displays, and artifacts related to the history of Wood River and the surrounding area. You'll learn about the community's past, including its industrial heritage, local businesses, and notable residents.
The site also hosts lectures, workshops, and special events about local history. Since the Heritage Council actively works to collect and preserve historical documents, photographs, and artifacts related to Wood River, they have a large collection. One of their goals is to ensure that future generations can continue to learn about local heritage.
The beautifully restored Wood River Heritage building reflects the architectural style of the early 20th century, and the knowledgeable staff make it a welcoming destination for anyone interested in local history.
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