Upcoming attractions at Rend Lake - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Upcoming attractions at Rend Lake

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(WSIL) -- Rend lake officials announced upcoming projects that will open in the near future while holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Pollinator Trail on May 23. It's a half-mile nature trail lined with native plants that attract bees and butterflies.

"It's very important for pollination. It's very important for the environment," says Jackie Taylor, Operations Project Manager. 

The trail also loops around a fishing lake. Jay Williams, with Illinois Department of Natural Resources, helped to make the trail and pond handicap-accessible. 

"To be able to come out and fish in a pond that accessible that you can roll up to or walk to and sit down and fish," Williams explains. 

He believes the new feature will be used by visitors from near and far, "We have disabled veterans from all over southern Illinois, and non-residents that love to come to our state and fish." 

Rend Lake also announced two upcoming projects: a 40-acre archery complex and a 12-mile mountain bike trail. They will also replace the unused north Marcum campground that closed in the late 1970s. 

The archery range and its trail will also be handicap accessible. "You can pull up to the actual shooting stake and from there you can shoot your bow," Williams explains. 

The mountain bike trail is the only one its kind within 20 miles. The trail will be beginner friendly for bike riders of all different ability levels. 

Lee Messersmith, President of Rend Lake Bike Club, says it will also be scenic, "It will go in and out of the woods. It will also in and around the shoreline, so there's some places where you get lots of great views of the lake." 

Taylor adds the goal is to make Rend Lake friendly to all, "We want to make sure when folks come here that we provide equal opportunities for everybody to get out and enjoy the great facilities that we offer."

The  mountain bike trail could be finished as early as the end of the year. No word yet on when work on the archery complex and trail will begin.

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