US Army Corps of Engineers
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If it's recreational fun you're looking for you've come to the perfect destination. Rend Lake offers an irresistible invitation to head outdoors and discover new experiences. Whether your calling is boating and fishing, hiking and biking or just plain kickin' back and relaxin', your recreational adventure starts the moment you arrive at beautiful Rend Lake!

With so many activities to choose from it might be hard to decide just what to do first. Take advantage of information below to get started. You can also call or visit the Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center for more information on activities around the lake. 


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There are approximately 112 active geocaches located all around Rend Lake, which are managed in partnership with dedicated volunteer geocachers. There are a variety of caches from beginner finds to advanced. Geocaching at Rend Lake is a great way to spend time outdoors, while exploring areas off the beaten path. To view all the caches managed by the Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake, check out the rend-ranger at 

Bike TrailsRend Lake offers over 21 miles of paved multi-use trails, perfect for hiking or biking. Various sections of the trails offer unique scenic views of Southern Illinois habitats including wetlands, forests, and grasslands. 

Blackberry Nature Trail: This short 3/4 mile trail highlights the oak-hickory forest habitat that dominate Southern Illinois. Throughout this short hike visitors can see common wildlife including white-tail deer and squirrels, spring wildflowers, and remnants of the farm that once occupied this land.

Catfish Cove Pond & Trail: New to Rend Lake, this short trail is located on the southern border of the Visitor Center grounds (just across the parking lot). Features include fives acres of native plants for pollinators, a nature trail, a pond, and a 1,200 foot-long accessible concrete path and 4 accessible fishing piers. The pond is stocked with bluegill, bass, and catfish. Stay tuned for more information and trail maps.

Wayne Fitzgerrell Trails: The state park offers 9 miles of equestrian trails encircling the wildlife/field trial area along with over 4 miles of fine gravel hiking/biking trails that meander through the campgrounds and natural areas. Both sets of trails are great for viewing wildlife! 

Rend Lake currently features 6 different water trails. Each section offers a unique experience, whether it be a sunset paddle, birding opportunities, or fishing opportunities near your campsite. There are sections perfect for beginners and others that offer more of a challenge for seasoned paddlers. Each section can be accessed by a boat ramp. Future plans include developing kayak launches, bouyed rest areas, maps, and trail signage. 

Kayak rentals are available through local vendors including Black Dog Storage & Kayak Rentals and Rend Lake Cabins in the Woods

Visitors can borrow life jackets of any size free of charge from the Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center. 

Rend Lake offers 2 public swimming areas South Sandusky Beach and North Marcum Beach that are open from sunrise to sunset. Day use fees are $5.00/vehicle.

Both beaches offer shower facilities, restrooms, reservable picnic shelters, volleyball nets, and picnic tables. 

No alcohol or glass is permitted at South Sandusky or North Marcum and no food is allowed in the sand. Dogs are welcome at North Marcum, but not permitted at South Sandusky Beach.

Visitors can borrow life jackets of any size for free from the Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center. 

Directions to South Sandusky Beach

Directions to North Marcum Beach