Details for Joliet City Dock (free wall)

Joliet City Dock (free wall)

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 3.4 stars from 53 reviews

Address Joliet, IL


After hours contact

Facility type

Marina - NO
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - NO
Municipal - YES
Other - NO

VHF channel


Email contact

Owner, manager



Payments acceptedCredit cards - NO
Checks - NO

Payment info


Payment discounts

There is no charge.

Operation (seasonal or year-round)

Additional info:


Stretches below Jefferson St. Bridge on RDB. Above Jefferson St. is off limits due to barges turning. There are signs marking the mooring area.

Skipper Bobs directions are to moor between Cass and Jefferson. This is a non-mooring area now.





Tide & current additional info


Approach: 12
Transient dockage: 12
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

Dock typesWood - NO
Concrete - YES
Floating - NO
Fixed - YES
T/Alongside - YES
Other - NO

Additional info: Wall at the Bicentenial Park is not available now. Tie to cleats and railings. RDB just downstream of Jefferson St Bridge is the only available free city wall dockage. Use plenty of strong fenders.

Size restrictionsLOA max: Unknown
Beam max: Unknown

Other info: No restrictions - it's a very long wall capable of handling 20+ boats.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info:


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info:

AC power30 amp - YES
50 amp - NO
100 amp - NO

Additional info: Power is available in boxes along the wall - look for the green and white pattern with a handle. Double 30 amp outlets as well as two 4 bladed 30 style plugs.

Pricing info: Free

Cable TV (and pricing)

Phone hookup (and pricing)

Water (and pricing)

Yes - Would require at least a 150 foot of hose to reach the water. Get the key from the building.

Dinghy access

Yes - Same wall.

Liveaboard info


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info: None

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info: None


Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info:

Disability access


Launch service


Pump out



Yes - Available at local stores.


Yes - Small dumpster in parking lot.






Yes - Spilsh Splash Laundromat - 112 E. Jackson St., 815-722-5183 (.9 mi).


Yes - Nearby. Certified Warehouse Food, 118 E. Jackson St ., 815-722-4325 (1.7mi).
Martinez Grocery is only 0.8 miles on same side of river (W on Marion and N on Hunter). Small, and specializes in Mexican foods, but basics are available, plus deli counter.



Yes - Nearby. Chicago Street Bar and Grill - 75 N. Chicago St . Across Jefferson St bridge, up 3 blocks, left on N. Chicago St.



Hotels or motels

Yes - Nearby

Repair capabilities


Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities


Fishing supplies


Chartering capabilities

Internet access

Yes - Verizon cell access. ATT: Strong 3G signal.

The town of Joliet provides multiple free and open WiFi spots with good connectivity speed (1.5 mbps or better).

Boat ramp availability



Yes - Enterprise Rent a Car:
2625 W. Jefferson St 5-744-4900.
1250 W. Jefferson St 815-207-5999.

Other services

Walgreens - 358 E. Cass St., 815-727-4499 (1 mi).
Jewel Osco - 1401 W Jefferson St., 815-725-9880 (1.5 mi).
U.S.P.O. - 51 E. Clinton St. (.7 mi).


Casino, historical museums, ball park, auto race tracks.

Reviews for Joliet City Dock (free wall)
Joliet Free Wall, 2017-07-06
Captain: , Madison (11)

Stayed here last night, only boat on the wall. I'm in a 22' C-Dory, and the wall was about 3 feet higher than my gunnel. Concrete is cumbling, so be careful climbing up on it. Had several barges go by requireing nearby bridge to lift, each time with a siren going off, then listening the crashing sound of the bridge closing. However, barge wakes were minimal and after midnight did not hear/feel any traffic go by. Right next to a power box, and electrical power was good. No one bothered us. I did call police dispatch to check in with them, per the signboard instructions. (Phone number on signboard is wrong, by one number. Google for correct number). Stayed here as Lockport Locks are not allowing boats to stay on their wall for general overnight use. Would have no problem docking on Joliet wall again, as no other place available around here. Be sure to put chafe protection on dock lines, and use good and plenty fenders.

A good stop after leaving Lake Michigan, 2016-10-19
Captain: , North East, MD (385)

Rough wall, but room for a number of boats, and free. Also free electricity outlets can be found inside the cupboards. Close to downtown. Before leaving, call the next lock to estimate wait time.

Can't beat the price and a secure place to tie up, 2016-09-14
Captain: , Grand Rivers, Ky (2206)

8-31-16 A good secure place to tie up while traveling with free electric. We did not venture out away from the dock, only a place to stay before continuing down the river.

Free w electricity, 2016-09-04
Captain: , Cape Coral (221)

René Gubler, Cape Coral
Great Place, but don't leave the boat alone! We stayed 2 Nights, had a lot of debris and didn't feel very safe. The bridge left us wait 2 hours, the lock was busy.

Not much here, but FREE electric is great, 2016-08-31
Captain: , Punta Gorda, FL (2870)

We arrived during a car club show for low-riders along with all the funky foods and music you might expect. It was fun in its own way. Grocery was 0.8 miles away. We felt safe here and loved the free electricity so the A/C would keep us from scorching. The free city Wi-Fi was not very reliable for us, but better than nothing. Most passing tows left little wake, but use strong fenders to prepare for the one or two that might rock you against the rough wall.

Good place to stop, 2016-08-20
Captain: , Austin, TX (877)

We stayed here with 3 other looper boats. Called lock at 5 a.m. And was told to hurry down for no wait. We locked through easily. Call lock before leaving Joliet. Joliet wall requires fenders out. Electricity worked. Police presence in town, so felt safe. We walked to downtown and ate at Chicago Pub. Typical bar food, wings and sandwiches.

Convenient stop, 2016-07-31
Captain: , Naples, FL (682)

This is an easy stop on the river with free power and close to downtown restaurants and casino. The town itself is very quaint,clean and well maintained - a pleasure to stroll across the bridge for dinner.
The top foot of the wall is crumbling in most places so fenders need to be low enough to avoid that. Power outlets are numerous so using two 30A outlets is no problem. There are hefty cleats at periodic intervals on the top of the wall but we also used the concrete fence posts to run additional berthing lines. Chafe protection is necessary if lines go over the lip of the wall.

5 stars for free electricity!, 2016-07-27
Captain: , Louisiana, Mo. (180)

That says it all, nice park abuts the wall. We used 21" ball fenders and chafe Protection on our lines. Thank you city of Joliet,Illinois!

Stayed 1 night, 2016-07-21
Captain: , Eagle (292)

I know it's free with free electrical and that's great but the tow traffic all night was terrible. The bridge blow a siren before it opened for each tow, the wakes were bad and it ruined 2 tie-up ropes, my bad because I didn't use chafing protection. A homeless women envited herself on board. We called a taxi for the groscery, $7.50 each way, not bad.
Here is the most important thing. We started from Chicago and it really is the only place to stop, someone needs to build a nice marina there. There is no stopping for dog walks for many miles.

Overall a good stop, especially when it's free!, 2015-10-10
Captain: , Beaver Island, MI (291)

We stayed two nights starting Oct.2,2015. As others have mentioned dock face is rough concrete but one can manage that with fenders of course. Free electric, we used a splitter on two 30's for our 50amp service with no problem. Free public wifi worked "ok". Very easy approach. Great area for walking your dog. Great restaurant/bar easy walk across the river, the "Joliet Italian Restaurant and Sports Bar. Very cool place with great food.

OK for free, 2015-09-28
Captain: , Atlanta (770)

Stayed night of 9/20/15. Only boat on the wall. Cleats are far off the wall - be sure to have boat hook to help wrap around cleat if no one to help you. We did not explore the city, so can't comment on that. Free tie-up with power is hard to beat.

free-yeah!, 2015-09-10
Captain: , South Portland, Maine (847)

its not much, no water, no bathrooms but it is free. Its a 1 mile walk to a wine/liquor store and a mile beyond that to groceries. The visitor center is being remodeled and is closed. Rough wall, use heavy fenders as the barge tows occasionally thow up a wake. The 2 locks between here and Chicago were eaasy, no waits. Barge traffic and positining along the 10 mile stretch neart the carp barrier before the lock is a bit unnerving but communication with the tow captains makes the transit safe.

Fun location, 2015-08-30
Captain: , Fort Worth, TX (450)

Enjoyed the free wall and free electric. Although surface of wall is a bit crumbly we spied the pad with new concrete so we had no worries. Close to bridge so barge traffic is at a crawl, no rocking. Thursday night concerts right there at Bicentennial Park. We also enjoyed the Family Feista over the weekend there, steps away from dockage. Route 66 is a few blocks away over bridge. We enjoyed eating at Joliet Route 66 Diner. Don't miss the murals on the bluff along with historical info on the I & M Canal. Harrah's Casino just over bridge. Great area to bike.

Wall was easier to deal with than some reviews indicate; downtown more depressed, 2015-08-27
Captain: , Iuka, MS (1130)

Ideally placed in a stable pool between closely spaced locks. Good location for calling Brandon Road lock tender for departing South. Truth Restaurant up the hill on the West side of town was quite good with decent wine list.

A Welcome Respit, 2014-10-07
Captain: , Green Cove Springs FL (1394)

Stopped here for the night on 9-28-14 at 6:58 P.M. and met by AGLCA Harbor Host Dave and Brenda Karlson who took our lines and plugged in our Hubbell Smart Box. Great Harbor Hosts. After being underway 13 Hours 31 minutes from Hammond, IN of which 7 of those hours were waiting on Locks this Joliet City Dock was a relief. No Problem with wakes of any kind. Called ahead to Obrien Lock the next morning and could not get through until 12 Noon so Wall was a good place to be waiting. Bridge tender coordinated opening 4 bridges enroute to the lock for us and two other boats.
Capt Helen & Chief Engr Bob, Onboard ALLEZ!! MT50. AGLCA,

Free Tie up with Power, 2014-09-28
Captain: , Michigan (40)

Stayed here 09/19/14. Free spot to tie up and the fancy cement pilars when opened have free power. We walked across the bridge to the casino, which was only 5 minutes. We had no issues with waves from the tows. Call ahead to the lock before you leave to check the status. We had to wait until 11:30 to lock through. thats why we ended up at the casino :)

Good dog walk, 2014-09-20
Captain: , Galena, MD (1856)

Wall is rough so get the fenders out, but free electric and nice park setting is hard to beat. Barge traffic was heavy but wakes were small. We could not get thru the lock until almost noon due to heavy traffic.

Centenial Park, 2014-09-17
Captain: , Kelso, Wa. (884)

Great spot to wait for the Lock. The harbor hosts, Dale and Breda Karlson were there to greet us almost before we had the line tied. Nice quiet park setting with little traffic. The Police Station is accross the river and the police patrol the area. Felt very safe here.
Groceries are a long walk and the cement wall is aging. Would be 5 star otherwise.

Free wall & power, 2014-09-16
Captain: , Dunedin, FL (7374)

Stayed 9/6/2014. Free docking on town wall with power, really great stop. Wall is a little rough in places so come in slow and put out all your fenders. Wall is adjacent to nice park, did not observe any problems as noted in a few previous posts. If you want a quiet night, tie up as far down river as possible. The bridge siren operates whenever the bridge opens.

Pleasant Stopping Place, 2014-09-11
Captain: , Grand Haven, MI (674)

After the excitement of starting the river voyage from Chicago or Calumet the Joliet wall was a pleasant stop. Located across the river from the Police Dept. the security was good. I was awake in the night and saw police cars patrolling the parking area along the park next to the wall.
Had 30Amp electrical right next to the boat. Some parts of the wall proper are in disrepare however still in reasonably good shape. The price was right, that's for sure. I would not hesitate to stop again.

Good safe stop , 2014-09-06
Captain: , Palm Beach Gardens, FL (1997)

After a semi long day on the river this stop provides free power, good police presence at all hours and close to downtown for a nice meal.
The wall is a little run down but was fine, would definitely not hesitate on stopping there again.

Free wall with power, 2014-09-06
Captain: , Massapequa,NY (1176)

The wall is a little rough, but no problem with proper fenders. The wall is a little high so slight difficulty getting on/off boat. Plenty of 30 amp electric. Locals come around, and all friendly. Large Police station across the canal and they keep an eye on the docks. Friendly AGLCA Harbor Hosts close by. Harrah's casino right across the canal

Free wall with power, 2014-09-04
Captain: , Venice, Fl. (949)

Right downtown in a beautiful park. no problems with tows passing at night. Plenty of space with electricity.

Free wall with power off beautiful Bicentenial Park, 2014-07-24
Captain: , Moyock, NC (1054)

The area is beautiful, well maintained, and good lighting. You are in town with sidewalk access although services are blocks away. Historical painted wall mural of 175 years of Joliet's history is along W Jefferson St (westward) and a historical mansion is 2 blocks away at S Center Street and W Marion Street.

Watch your boat but price is right, 2014-07-10
Captain: , Gulf Breeze, Fl (6909)

Free is good and it is in a strategic location. Saw interesting folks hanging out in the shadows. Street lights were out on most of the wall so you only see shadows. Gives me an uncomfortable feeling.
Back 07-09-14 street light all work. Saw no odd characters much better feeling about site and made 240 30amps with smart Y. All
good stuff raises this to 4 stars.

Free with Power!, 2013-12-16
Captain: , Green Cove Springs, FL (165)

Lots of "sketchy" people hanging around and it didn't seem to be a very good area. It was one of those places were were sure someone was going to steal something off our deck or untie us in the middle of the night and send us floating down the river.

But, there was free power.

The only place in town, 2013-10-16
Captain: , Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH (400)

Good place to tie up, stayed 2 days to catch up, nd returned the third day to wait out a 3 1/2 hour lock delay.

A fine town wall..., 2013-09-19
Captain: , MV Red Head (61778)

There's plenty of depth even on low water seasons - expect 12 feet or more. There is a fair amount of current possible. The cleats are not very easy to reach from most boats. It's a wonderful gesture that they provide free 30 amp power. You gotta love a town that does that.

Plenty of reasonalbly fast free WiFi is available from the town too. All in all, it's a nice place to stop. We read the warnings about people poking around so we were a little more cautious than normal. But all the people walking around were all quite nice and friendly to us.

A Quick Overnight with No Problems, 2013-09-12
Captain: , Chattanooga, TN (554)

We spent last night tied up to the free wall -- and might not have if we'd read the reviews first. From 3:30 until 5, a total of 5 Looper boats arrived, one by one. Maybe the mass of boaters kept problems at bay. We aren't sure the reason, but were glad to have power for the AC and the nearby park for the dog. The walls are crumbling, and late river traffic made the evening a little bouncy. Chafe protectors will help your lines.

Nice stop but use caution, 2013-08-24
Captain: , Athens, AL (641)

When we arrived we had a couple of folks really interested in the boat - "Do you have a TV on board" and questions like that. They just kept hanging around as much as we tried to ignore them. Rhonda walked to town later (while I stayed to watch the boat) and had someone ask her for money to watch our boat that night. We were awakened at 1:30 AM when someone did board the boat and was on the aft deck immediately above the aft cabin. Rhonda yelled "get off my boat" and they did. We called 911 as a precaution and they arrived quickly. They pursued someone who looked suspicious. No followup since nothing was stolen or damaged. Saw another little scuffle between a man and woman right outside the door - pushing and shoving, yelling, etc. Others were very nice. Maybe we just caught it on a bad night. It's a shame but that's the world we live in.

Free with power, 2013-08-20
Captain: , Trenton ON (668)

The power is "hidden" in the large blue boxes every 30'. The walls are deteriorating so use plenty of fenders. Everyone we met were very friendly all though the local police did stop by to warn us about walking around after dark and to avoid the "projects". Use your own discretion but we were fine for both the nights we were there. Be sure to visit the Jolie museum for Route 66 and Blues brothers exhibit. If you are the on a Wednesday check out the all you can eat buffet at the Culinary arts school next to the museum.

ignore previuos comment, 2013-07-11
Captain: , Cleveland, OH (344)

There is electric. It's just well hidden.

Can't beat free with power, 2012-10-29
Captain: , Detroit (767)

We were here earlier this month and saw none of the issues mentioned in the previous ratings. It was cool and late in the season and there were alot of police patrols that went through the park. The 30 amp power is wired correctly to allow you to combine it and have 50 amp service. Have to cross over the bridges to find any business establishments.

Use caution, 2012-09-18
Captain: , Spring Lake, MI (379)

If you want free, this is it but use caution. We passed it up when we passed at 3 PM and there were questionable people yelling and waving and mooning us from the sea wall. This is probably unusual so make your own determination.

Hey, its free, 2012-09-13
Captain: , St. Louis, MO (1850)

Came in with a half a dozen other boats at around 3pm. We pretty much filled up the wall. Note that we all left our Chicagoland slips about 8:00am, so your departure later than 8 and your arrival here after 3pm could mean limited wall space for you.
Watch out for exposed rebar on the wall itself.

Free wall with electricity, 2012-09-04
Captain: , LeClaire, Iowa (449)

The wall is a little rough, but anyone traversing locks will have the fenders you need to keep your boat safe. There were some rough types hanging out on the benches, drinking and swearing. Found empty beer cans and a broken bottle by the benches the next morning. The bridge below has a 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. curfew so plan your departure accordingly.

free overnight dock, 2012-08-23
Captain: , Houston, Texas (24)

Location is convient and with free elect. No water found. Most of the lights were out which made it dark. Took a short walk after dark. Went by two vagrants sleeping on benches and something going on in parking lot. Left first thing in morning.

A Bit Uneasy, 2012-08-10
Captain: , punta gorda, fl (1448)

Stayed here two nights because the lock just south of Joliet was closed for repairs on the day we wanted to head south. The wall is a bit crumbly but perfectly safe. Free electricity. Good cleats. But, the dock is next to a park and felt a bit unsafe. The area surrounding the park was not attractive. There were people in the park at night including at 4:30 a.m. as we were preparing to depart. Still, we did not have any trouble.

Safe Location for Overnight, 2012-07-24
Captain: , Guntersville, AL (451)

Docked RDB just past Jefferson Street Bridge. Wall is very rough so use good fenders. Wall is adjacent to small park and security seemed good.
Some noise when Jefferson Street Bridge opens, otherwise quite and well out of path of barges.

Free Wall, Good Stop, 2011-11-11
Captain: , Marco Island, Florida (303)

The free wall south of the Jefferson Street Bridge is a good stop. There is electricity in the boxes. We've never had any problems with security here. Put out plenty of bumpers. You are within walking distance of restaurants, bars, Licqour store, and Harrah's Casino. Check out the historic Rialto Theater to see if there are any shows.

Nice, Cheap and seemed friendly, 2011-10-13
Captain: , Heritage Harbor (89)

Tied to the wall, use good fenders. Get there early we stoped at 1500 hrs no one else untill about 1630 then six boats came in had 7 or 8 all night. Give lock a call in AM they can possibly advise waiting time or suggestions to avoid it. Nice people.

Free Dock safe secure, 2011-10-03
Captain: , Key Largo (5457)

We felt secure there, park setting. Not close groceries or supplies.
priced right. free
Taxi ride to laudry and shopping.
Ask Visitor center for key to water faucets on side of their building.Trash available.
You will probably need chaffing protection for lines on concrete wall.

Outstanding Value, 2011-09-14
Captain: , St. Augustine, FL (4257)

Secure docking with electricity, all free -- how can it get any better. No visitors or vagrants during our visit -- just 6 Loopers enjoying conversation at an improptu gathering on the walk in the shade of the trees. Multiple electrical plugs in each power box. It is a bit noisy with trains on the other shore, heavy vehicle traffic over the bridge, the bridge siren announcing impending opening, bells while it is open -- all night long. Still worth the visit.

July 01 2011, 2011-07-13
Captain: , Litte Rock (253)

We found it similar to others, a good spot to spot. During the late afternoon and early evening a few park visitors stopped to ask questions about where we were from, they were friendly and at no time threatening.

Jolitte Free Wall, 2010-09-17
Captain: , Whitehall, Mi (1754)

Update 9/15/10: Similar to previous stop (2008) it is nice stop after 40+ miles out of chicago. The sign on the wall indicates you are supposed to call in to the city to let them know you are staying. The vagrants are still about. Nothing threatening, but don't leave loose items around and one guy was "helping" with docklines and asking for a tip.

We enjoyed our stop. Casino across the bridge. Coordinate with other boaters as there were a fair number of vagrants wandering about. Water is available, but required 4 hoses to get to the boat.

Free wall with plenty of power, 2010-09-16
Captain: , baltimore md (644)

Power is located behind the decorative panels at the base of the post lights. It appeared the local bunch congregates a little further south along the wall in a shaded cricular area. Stay a little further North of that, closer to the bridge. Be ready for some conversation with a possible "donation request". We felt safe here but did not explore the surrounding area. This designated safe mooring area is just south of the Jefferson st. bridge, RDB.

Free docks with power, 2010-09-04
Captain: , Collierville TN (977)

Felt a little uncomfortable with some of the characters walking by. Crossed briidge and left two blocks to casino for good buffet.

Friendly stop, 2010-08-18
Captain: , Foley, AL (985)

We stayed here in 07 and it hasn't changed much. The wall top edge is crumbly in spots. Not much foot traffic on a Tuesday. About midnight we rocked a bit from a barge going by. Other than that nice night. We located a Super Wal-mart that is 2.6 miles W on Jefferson. I counted 9 power stations along the RDB wall South of the Jefferson bridge.

Good Enough, 2010-07-01
Captain: , Grove, OK (337)

Tie up to wall, south of Jackson now. Power outlets in boxes along wall. They have 30 amp. We used our Y to use two 30's to get 210v. Able to run our AC's. All free. Lots of people walking by...a few scary looking characters, but nobody bothered us. We just spent the night, it looks like a bit of a walk to town.

Free safe tie up, 2009-10-21
Captain: , Melbourne Florida (4616)

not a bad place, seems to be wanders, but most seemed to be enjoying the park. Police seem to hang out in parking lot, which was nice.

Tie up for free, 2009-10-21
Captain: , Houston, Texas (10)

Nice free City Wall type tie up place. With 30 amp electical hook ups. Tug pass within 20 feet though.

A welcome stop, 2009-09-03
Captain: , fairland (2653)

After the bouncing of chicago harbor and the piracy of the new fish barrier, this was a welcome stop. Some road noise, a couple trains and a barge or two, but pretty nice. The folks in the park may be vagrants, but I found them to be locals enjoying the park. North of Jackson is now off limts. Maybe too many baoters lost their boats to Harrahs (just across the river). I would certainly stop again.

Letitia - Joliet City Dock, 2007-02-12
Captain: , Austin, Tx (1257)

Stopped twice. Easy to get to. Free. Water and power. Would not leave boat unattended for extended period of time unless other boats around and occupied altho havn't heard of significant problems.
Almost a must-stop considering where it is.

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