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Illinois State Parks

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Rend Lake State Fish Wildlife Area
Cardinal ©
Small Boy Fishing ©
Gone fishin.
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10885 E. Jefferson Rd.
Bonnie, Illinois   62816

Phone: 618-279-3110
Email: park email button icon
Outdoor sportsmen will find a haven of recreational activities at Rend Lake. With 18,900 acres of water and over 20,000 acres of land in Jefferson and Franklin counties, Rend Lake provides ample opportunities for hunting and fishing. Rend Lake is located between Mt. Vernon and Benton, just off interstate 57.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has management responsibility for the Big Muddy and Casey Fork subimpoundments plus the Rend Lake Refuge, while the remainder of the wildlife area is managed by personnel from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Portions of Rend Lake are managed intensively for waterfowl, providing both habitat and hunter opportunity for ducks and geese. Around the perimeter of the fish and wildlife area and scattered throughout are areas well-suited for deer, squirrel, rabbit and quail hunting. Additional recreation facilities, such as camping, golfing, tennis are located nearby at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, Corps of Engineers and the Rend Lake Conservancy District.
History of the Area
Rend Lake was built as a joint project by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Rend Lake Conservancy District, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This 18,900 acre reservoir was built to provide a dependable domestic water supply to a two-county area beginning in 1965. Construction of the $60 million project took five years to complete with the final filling of the lake in the early 1970s. Since that time, many improvements have been made resulting in the current quality facilities that are currently available. The Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area was developed to provide public hunting and other recreational opportunities.
Overnight visitors can stay at the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park which has primitive and developed camp sites, or at the Corps of Engineers campgrounds on Rend Lake. For those who prefer not to camp, the Rend Lake Resort, which has waterside rooms and marina facilities, is located within Wayne Fitzgerrell.
Boating enthusiasts will find easy access to Rend Lake. Within the Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, eight of the 19 public access areas provide launching ramps. There are also five additional ramps within the subimpoundment used seasonally for waterfowl hunting. Rend Lake is a relatively shallow reservoir averaging less than ten feet in depth with many submerged and exposed stumps, therefore, boaters must be alert while operating in these areas.

Rend Lake State Fish Wildlife Area is located near Benton, Mount Vernon

Area Attractions
Rend Lake Conservancy District manages a championship 18-hole golf course for those who want a break from fishing and hunting. Another choice would be a game of tennis at either the Conservancy District or at the Rend Lake Resort. Numerous dog field trials are held at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, during the fall and winter months which are enjoyed by participants and spectators alike. A viewing tower is available within the Rend Lake Refuge for those who would like to observe waterfowl and other wildlife.

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Area Campgrounds
Archway RV Park
4810 Broadway Street
Mount Vernon, IL
Whittington Woods Campground
14297 State Highway 37
Whittington, IL
Benton KOA
1500 N DuQuoin Street
Benton, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Cottages and Cabins
Enjoy a getaway to nearby Southern Illinois with Shawnee National Forest Cabins. Rustic log cabin rentals with modern comforts such as hot tubs, Wifi and satellite TV located near Garden of the God in the Shawnee National Forest.
51.6 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

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Illinois State Parks