Rend Lake, Illinois, USA
Rend Lake, located in southern Illinois, is a fantastic place to enjoy all sorts of outdoor recreational activities. This reservoir, the second largest artificial lake in the state, covers an area of nearly 19,000 acres and is a perfect place for fishing, boating, and other outdoor sports. Rend Lake was created in the 1970’s, when the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers dammed the Big Muddy River, creating…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Rend Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Rend Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Rend Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Rend Lake Gifts
Looking for Rend Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Rend Lake, IL
Rend Lake, located in southern Illinois, is a fantastic place to enjoy all sorts of outdoor recreational activities. This reservoir, the second largest artificial lake in the state, covers an area of nearly 19,000 acres and is a perfect place for fishing, boating, and other outdoor sports.
Rend Lake was created in the 1970’s, when the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers dammed the Big Muddy River, creating a reservoir three miles wide and thirteen miles long. The lake was completed in 1973, providing flood control, water to nearby communities, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation.
Rend Lake has much to offer visitors. It is a popular lake for fishing, and has a large population of crappies, channel catfish, bass, and bluegill. Don’t like fishing? There’s still tons to do. You can go jet skiing or water skiing, or simply cruise around the lake on a boat. With a marina and a couple dozen boat ramps, the lake is well set up for all those who want to enjoy its splendors. And, if you’re hankering for a swim, there are several beaches where you can enjoy taking a dip in the cool waves. Lake accommodations include five public campgrounds with close to 800 sites, RV parks, lakefront cabin rentals, and a resort and conference center.
One of the best places to enjoy Rend Lake is the 3,000-acre Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area. There’s nothing better than enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors with friends and family, and the park is well able to accommodate you with over 150 picnicking sites. In addition, the Recreation Area is a haven for wildlife of all types, and nature lovers will enjoy spotting herons, eagles, deer, raccoons, and opossums. There are also several trails on which to walk, bike, or ride horseback. And hunters will enjoy the many hunting opportunities at the Recreation Area and at other locations near Rend Lake.
As if all the lakeside activities weren’t enough, nearby towns contain yet more attractions. Benton has a wide variety of entertainment – movie theaters, an opera house, bowling, and more. The town of Sesser has a family fun park with mini-golf, batting cages, and go-carts. And for the avid golfer, a highly rated 27-hold golf course is nearby.
One thing’s for sure: whether you’re busy with a game of golf, hiking along a nature trail, cruising through Rend Lake’s waters, or fishing for the “big one,” there’s always plenty to do at Rend Lake!
Things to Do at Rend Lake
These are some activities in the Rend Lake, IL area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Jet Skiing
- Water Skiing
- Cabin Rentals
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- Movie Theater
What Kind of Fish Are in Rend Lake?
Rend Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Channel Catfish
Find Places to Stay at Rend Lake
If you’re considering a Rend Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Rend Lake Vacation
Our interactive Rend Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Rend Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 18,900 acres
Shoreline Length: 162 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 405 feet
Average Depth: 10 feet
Maximum Depth: 35 feet
Water Volume: 184,675 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1973
Drainage Area: 488 sq. miles
Trophic State: Eutrophic
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