Start your day with a pedal or walk along the Bike Trail. There is always a ton of wildlife along the way.


Hike for a week and you will not hit all the trails around Rend Lake and Shawnee National Forest.


You may prefer to hunt, but who doesn’t like to shoot trap at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex?


Ready to cool off? Take a dip at one of Rend Lake’s great beaches. Fun for the whole family!


We love cars and car racing and there is no shortage of races and car shows to check out.


Great options for horseback riding near Rend Lake and Shawnee National Forest.


Rend Lake is the home to many species of game including turkey, deer, ducks, and geese. 


If you don’t have a boat, rent one from the Rend Lake Marina and get out onto the water.


This is why you’re here. Rend Lake is host to a new fishing tournament almost every weekend.


Did you bring your clubs? How about 27 holes of golf at the beautiful Rend Lake Golf Resort?


Tasty home cooked food is not hard to find all around the lake in Sesser, Benton and Christomer.


Local wines, events and festivals at Pheasant Hollow or any of the other fantastic wineries.


Waterskiing, tubing, jet skiing  and other water sports have become increasing popular in recent years as families have discovered that Rend Lakes’ wide open layout allows for extended and safe runs in almost every direction. There is always something new to discover along the lakes 160 miles of beautiful shoreline, including dozens of sandy beaches and some of the best swimming holes in the Midwest. Rend Lake is shallow so it is quite warm in the summer and always just right for swimming. Visit the Army Corps website for more information about boating at Rend Lake and definitely stop into the visitor center when you come to the lake.




The lake has earned the reputation of being one of the best waterfowl hunting areas in the state for ducks and geese. The Rend Lake Hunting Preserve managed by the Rend Lake Conservancy district features dams located across the Big Muddy River and Casey Fork Creek. The upstream areas they impound, are planted to a variety of crops and flooded when mature for optimum waterfowl hunting. There are goose pits at Whistling Wings Access Area and staked locations throughout the Casey Fork Sub impoundment. There also are considerable acreages at high elevations that provide excellent habitat and opportunity for archery and firearm deer hunting. Another popular attraction is the annual controlled pheasant hunt held at Wayne Fitzgerald State Park. Check out the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website for helpful information about hunting at Rend Lake.


Rend Lake is a relatively shallow lake and is quite popular and productive for both sport and commercial fisherman alike. At 18,900 acres, it is one of Illinois largest and best lakes for fishing Crappie, Channel Catfish and Hybrid Striped Bass and Bluegill. This makes Rend Lake one of the most popular fishing destinations in the state. Fisherman have also started to talk about the opportunities for taking out large flathead catfish as well. Also, a commercial fishing program is conducted each winter which allows the public to buy fresh buffalo, carp and other commercial species. Check out the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website or the Army Corps website for more information about the lake. Numerous boat ramps and miles of shoreline ensure that whether your fishing from a boat or from the shore you’ll have plenty of room to fish without being crowded.