Dam West Spillway has a reservable group picnic shelter situated on the southern shore of Carlyle Lake, a prime getaway for city-dwellers and families. Located 50 miles east of St. Louis, the area offers the peaceful retreat of a small town combined with the grandeur of Illinois largest man-made lake. Natural Features: Created in 1967, the 26,000-acre lake is recognized as one of the nations top ten inland sailing lakes and hosts several annual races and regattas. Carlyle Lake is home to an array of wildlife that can be seen throughout the year. Its waters and shores are a resting spot for migratory waterfowl and other birds. There are six established Watchable Wildlife Sites with viewing towers open to the public around the lake. Recreation: The campground provides fun both on the water and on shore. Boat ramps and courtesy docks are provided, and the vast lake allows for plenty of water sports. Fishing is a popular pastime, and white bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, carp, flathead catfish and walleye can be found in abundance. There is an on-site playground and plenty of open space for children to play in, as well as an amphitheater for educational programs. A multi-use biking and walking trail is located a short drive away at the dam. Facilities: This facility has one reservable group picnic shelter that can host up to 75 people, as well as an accessible fishing pier and several amenities. It is within walking distance of a marina and boat storage facility and connected to the Dam West Day Use Area and Recreation Area, which offers a campground. The Carlyle Municipal Pool is a short drive away. Nearby Attractions: Carlyle Lake Visitor Center, located in the Dam West Recreation Area, has information, a gift shop and nature exhibits, including a 215-gallon aquarium with native fish and a display featuring a live massasauga rattlesnake.
This campsite is very clean and safe for young children. The camp spots are spacious wIth some paved spots or gravel. All spots have electrIc hookups wIth a few full service. They have outdoor informational presentations about plants and animals geared toward children. Paved bike paths with views of the lake. Be advised to make reservations for weekends. $20-25 a night.