Eagle Watching Season Along the River Road in Full Swing in January

Free Eagle Watching Guide Available

Cold winter days can be a great time for an unforgettable eagle watching adventure.  Every January, experts anticipate hundreds of American Bald Eagles will migrate to the region, many reclaiming their winter nests along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway from Alton to Grafton and Pere Marquette State Park.

With the help of the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 2014 Eagle Watcher’s Guide, visitors can plan their own eagle watching adventure and take part in numerous eagle watching events and tours happening throughout the region.

To receive your free Eagle Watcher’s Guide, and to get eagle watching updates, call 1-800-ALTON-IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.

Again this year, the Alton Eagle Watching App will guide visitors during their eagle watching adventure.

The free app, which will be available for iPhone and Android later this month, will lead visitors to the eagle watching hot spots, and provide information on upcoming events and festivals. It will allow visitors to share their eagle photos, offer deals from restaurants and shops, and provide a list of the shops, restaurants, attractions and lodging found along the byway.

Back again this year, visitors are invited to take part in “Eagle Caching” at the numerous Eagle Watching Hot Spots. Like geocaching, each cache has a set of coordinates that are plugged into a GPS navigator and used by the explorer to search for the treasure. All the information needed, including the clues, coordinates and GPS rentals, can be found at www.VisitAlton.com/EagleCaching, or by visiting the Alton Visitor’s Center at 200 Piasa St. in Downtown Alton.

There will also be an Alton Eagle Watcher contest. Visitors must visit five of the following six hot spots: Alton Visitor Center, Audubon Center at Riverlands, Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, Melvin Price Locks & Dam, Pere Marquette State Park and Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Center. At each spot, visitors should have their eagle watcher card initialed by a Visitor Center representative. After visiting five spots, they will receive a free eagle t-shirt.  For more information on this contest go to www.VisitAlton.com/EagleWatcher. Visitors can pick up cards at the Eagle Festival on Jan. 4.

Eagle watching events take place nearly every weekend and throughout the week, from January through March.

For visitors wishing to make eagle watching a winter getaway, there are numerous eagle packages and specials available at hotels and bed & breakfast inns in Alton, Grafton and Elsah.  Alton is the place to be for the best eagle events and the largest concentration of American Bald Eagles in the state of Illinois.



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