Everything You Need to Know About Visiting River Bend Forest Preserve in Mahomet – chambanamoms.com

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Oftentimes, when we post pictures or video from River Bend Forest Preserve, our readers quickly comment, “where IS this located?” Thus, River Bend Forest Preserve gets the honorable distinction of “hidden gem” in Champaign County. Less than 15 minutes from Champaign after a short drive on I-72, you stumble upon a picturesque backdrop and everything it has to offer, far away from the sounds of highways or traffic.
Riverbend Forest Preserve in Mahomet
River Bend Forest Preserve, owned and operated by the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, is well-known to area kayakers — and that may be about the only group that knows River Bend well. Truth is, no matter what you enjoy doing outside, River Bend is a great option. One of the key features here is the “Possibility Pier,” a universally accessible fishing pier, for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Possibility Pier Riverbend
To break it down, some of the activities people enjoy at River Bend Forest Preserve are:
Kayaking at Riverbend

Yes, we think so. We would encourage parents with toddlers to bring a backpack for the trails (since they’re rocky) or stick to the Possibility Pier instead of the spots with no sides. Possibility Pier offers a tremendous opportunity for families with young children to get right “out” on the water while still sort of staying on dry land. It does get a little icky with bird poop and fish guts so just watch out if you have crawlers or kids who still like to put everything in their mouths.
Seating at Possibility Pier
River Bend Forest Preserve offers many amenities, including:
The bathrooms are pretty basic but they give room for you to maneuver in and out. Remember: There’s only one bathroom at River Bend.
Yes. You’ll find picnic tables in a few different locations. Grills are located near the pavilion and are the standard “bring your own charcoal” setup you find at many parks. You can also rent the pavilion ahead of time.

Yes. The trails are quite shady. Around the water, you will be more challenged to find shade. If you hang out under the covering of the Possibility Pier, you will feel a bit shaded, but as we mentioned above, you are still likely to get a lot of sun there.
We have caught bluegill and bass. You’re likely to catch smaller fish on Possibility Pier and larger fish if you walk down the multi-use trail and find an access point to the lake. There are some large fish in this lake and you may just be lucky enough to catch one!

River Bend is open at 7 a.m. year-round and closing times vary from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. seasonally. Click here for the full list of hours.
Parking is located along the pavilion or next to Possibility Pier. We suggest parking as close to the path to Possibility Pier if you are looking for the most accessible experience and to minimize time on the harder-to-maneuver gravel lot.

The easiest route from Champaign-Urbana is to take I-72 west to the Mahomet exit. River Bend is a short drive north of the highway. You can also take I-74 but will have to meander through town to get to the forest preserve. River Bend is an old sand and gravel mine and you will feel like you’re driving to the middle of nowhere!

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