We’re rockin’ and rollin’ here at Rend Lake in Benton, Illinois. Just like George Harrison did when he visited the area in 1963. George visited this area only once, but this is our third trip to the South Marcum Campground at Rend Lake.
We love it here. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. It’s only two hours from home which makes it perfect for our shake down trip to open our 2021 camping season.
Rend Lake is close to the town of Benton, and it offers several options for day trips. In the past, we’ve visited Giant City State Park, Cave-in-Rock State Park, and Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. This time we took a day trip to Garden of the Gods Recreation Area. There we spent the day hiking two trails.
The first trail was Indian Point trail, and it was 1.6 miles long. This took us about one hour and 40 minutes. The second trail was called the Observation Trail. This trail is only 1/4 of a mile. It is paved with flagstones the whole way. While it is short, it will likely take at least 45 minutes to hike it depending on how much time is spent observing the beautiful scenery – and for those brave enough, climbing on all the rocks.
Here’s a few pictures from our hikes.
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area is not a state park, but maybe it should be. The beauty of this place is extraordinary and, in my book, easily rises to the level of state park beauty and beyond. In addition, if Garden of the Gods was a state park perhaps the restrooms, the parking and the trail signage could be improved. Maybe they could also add some picnic tables, as we couldn’t find even one to enjoy our snack between hikes. Despite these “opportunities”; however, the place is very popular and was swarming with people the day we were there.
On our way “home”, we ate dinner at Logan’s in Marion, Illinois. We were thrilled to be able to get the “early bird” special which is every day from 3 pm to 6 pm. It was delish! And that evening, we dove into the stash of DVDs we got from the library and enjoyed one of our favorite Hallmark shows, “When Calls the Heart.” We live a wild life!
We do have one more day trip that we’d like to take when we visit Rend Lake the next time. We don’t know when that’ll be, but it probably won’t be too long. This place is one of our favorites. Where will we go on our next day trip? Do you think I’m gonna tell you now? Ha ha. I don’t think so! You’ll just have to keep reading this blog to find out!