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New Automated Fee Stations Have Arrived at Rend Lake

BENTON, IL – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake is making paying day use fees easier! Visitors to Rend Lake will now see new automated fee stations at the Rend Lake beaches and developed boat ramps. The fee stations will be live and ready for use on August 4th of 2021!

This year, visitors will have a choice of payment methods to use the developed boat ramps or the two beaches. They will be able to pay with cash in the existing self-deposit vaults or by credit card in the newly installed automated fee stations. In addition to the daily fee, visitors can purchase a temporary annual pass from the automated fee stations. The temporary paper annual pass must be exchanged for a plastic annual pass at a campground fee booth, the Rend Lake Visitor Center, or with a Park Ranger within 14 days. These temporary annual passes can be exchanged at no additional cost. Visitors that have any of the America the Beautiful passes and/or current camping tags will still receive free boat launches and free admission to the North Marcum and South Sandusky beach. The pass or green camping hangtag must be displayed on the rearview mirror or dashboard to get credit for the day use fees.

The fee stations are located at the South Marcum Boat Ramp, South Sandusky Beach, North Marcum Beach, North Sandusky Boat Ramp, Dam West Boat Ramp, and Gun Creek Boat Ramp. Two additional fee stations will be installed in September at the South Sandusky Boat Ramp and North Marcum Boat Ramp. Visitors to these two ramps, that wish to pay by credit card before September, may stop by the nearby beach automated fee station and purchase a boat ramp pass prior to launching.

Looking ahead to 2022, the self-deposit vaults will be removed, and credit/debit cards will be the only acceptable method of paying day use fees. The change from cash only to credit card only is, in part due, to an effort to continue to reduce COVID-19 exposure to Corps staff, volunteers, and contractors. In addition, the Corps of Engineers recognizes that most visitors to Rend Lake prefer to use credit or debit cards to pay fees. These fee stations will make visiting Rend Lake more convenient for the visitors and create a safer environment for the people that work at Rend Lake.

For more information about Rend Lake’s automated fee stations or day use fee program, please contact the Rend Lake Project Office & Visitor Center at 618-724-2493, e-mail at, or “like” the Rend Lake Facebook page.