Bluff Strokes Mississippi River Art Workshops Paint Dubuque

Lock and Dam 11

Barge traffic up and down the Mississippi must traverse Lock and Dam 11, operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Many barges are now too long for the lock, so have to go through in stages.  Also some interesting surrounding views.


Need to know: Great views from Eagle Point Park above as well as at public entrance.

Restrooms: Not available.

Food: Point Restaurant close, but otherwise a ways.

Space availability: Lots from Eagle Point; more limited below; check out the nice elevated area on the left just before the parking lot.

North End of Rivewalk

At the far north end of the riverwalk, you get a nice view of a truss railroad bridge which swings open for barge traffic, and you can view barges being loaded at Gavilon grain.  This also the location of Dubuque's Shot Tower, a civil war structure in which molten lead was dropped through sieves into water to create lead shot.


Need to know: you can drive under the bridge at Stone Cliff Winery, then pull your car up to the riverwall.

Restrooms: Brewery building

Food: Stone Cliff Winery in brewery building

Space Availability: Plenty



As a river town, Dubuque is a hub for rail and barge traffic.  At Lock and Dam No 11 you can see barges going through the locks, and in several other locations you will find barges stored or being loaded and unloaded.  As an older Mississippi industrial town, Dubuque also has many legacy manufacturing sites, including a civil war shot tower, where shot was manufactured.  If your painting interests range toward rail, river commerce, or industrial, this site will provide some suggestions.

Commercial Street near the Shot Tower


Need to know: Truck traffic in area; set up back from streets

Restrooms: Just under the railroad bridge at brewery

Food: Just under the railroad bridge at Stone Cliff, or head to nearby Millwork District

Space Availability: varies

South Ice Harbor to South Flood Wall

From the south ice harbor area to the south floodwall offers some interesting rail, industrial, and riverboat scenes.