US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District Website

Weekend Activities at Carlyle Lake

Published Aug. 7, 2017

Whether you enjoy fishing, camping, boating, bike riding or other outdoor activities, Carlyle Lake offers an abundance of recreation opportunities.  While participating in water related recreation activities, always wear your life jacket.  Over two-thirds of people who drown never had any intention of being in the water.


   Dam West, Coles Creek and Boulder Campgrounds are open with sites available on a first-come-first-serve basis and also through reservation by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or online at   McNair and Dam East Campgrounds are open on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Eldon Hazlet State Park is also open and has sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis or online at 


   The Carlyle Lake Multi-Use Trail is accessible for hiking, walking and biking offering a 17 mile roundtrip loop extending from the Dam West Day Use Area to Saddle Dam III.  Also, the Willow Pond Fitness Trail located south of the Carlyle Lake Visitor Center offers a unique outdoor fitness opportunity for visitors.  The fitness trail is a 1/5 mile paved trail that encompasses an old farm pond and is home to many different species of wildlife.  The serenity of this area adds to the enjoyment of getting fit.


   The Annual Crusin’ the Dam Car Show & Cruz-In at Carlyle Lake will be held at the Mariner’s Village Resort on Friday, August 11, 2017.  The cruise starts at Carl’s 4-Wheel Drive in Bartelso, IL at 4:30 p.m. as participants drive to Carlyle Lake for an early cruise across the Carlyle Lake Main Dam before heading to Mariners Village Resort. The event will conclude at 9:30 p.m. with a final cruise across the Main Dam.


   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers educational programs in the campgrounds and at the beaches every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the recreation season.  Presentations are free and open to the public.  There will be no programs in the campgrounds on Friday, August 11th due to the Crusin’ the Dam Car Show.


       Saturday, August 12th:

                    2:30 p.m. Keyesport Beach – Water Safety Games

                    2:30 p.m. Coles Creek Beach - Water Safety Games

                    3:30 p.m. Dam West Beach – Water Safety Games

                    3:30 p.m. McNair Beach – Water Safety Game

                    8:00 p.m. West Bay Amphitheater, Dam West Campground – Tree ID

                    8:00 p.m. Cattail Cove Amphitheater, Coles Creek Campground – Creatures of the Night

                    8:00 p.m. Brewster Creek Amphitheater, Boulder Campground – What’s that Sound?



          Sunday, August 13th:

                    2:30 p.m. Keyesport – Water Safety Games

                    2:30 p.m. Coles Creek Beach – Water Safety Games

                    3:30 p.m. Dam West Beach – Water Safety Games

                    3:30 p.m. McNair Beach – Water Safety Games



   The Carlyle Lake Visitor Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The Visitor Center has exhibits and brochures to help plan your stay at Carlyle Lake.


   Life jackets are available at the Carlyle Lake Visitor Center through the “Life Jacket Loan Program”.  For a $5.00 deposit, a life jacket can be borrowed for the day.  When the life jacket is returned in good condition, the deposit will be refunded.  Please remember to always wear your life jacket when in, on, or around the water. Life jacket loaner stations are also available at Keyesport, Dam West, McNair, and Coles Creek beaches and boat ramps.


   For more information contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618) 594-2484 or e-mail at


Doug Wasmuth
Kim Hammel

Release no. 17-061