$125 / night

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Established Camping

Dam East - Mcnair Campground

3 Reviews


US Army Corps of Engineers

Carlyle Lake


Dam East-McNair Campground is 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.


The area provides fun both on the water and on shore. Boat ramps and courtesy docks are located nearby, and the vast lake allows for plenty of water sports. Fishing is a popular pastime, and the lake offers year-round varieties of fish such as bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, carp and walleye. There are multiple playgrounds on-site, as well as a swimming beach. A multi-use biking and walking trail is located a short distance away at the dam.


Dam East-McNair Campground has one reservable group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 80 people, as well as 47 individual campsites (1-32 located within the North and South loops of the campground, 33-47 located within the East Spillway loop below the main dam) that are available to reserve from the current day up to six months in advance. The facility also provides a swimming beach, bathhouses and laundry facilities. McNair has a nature trail and a multi-use trail, and is connected to the Dam East facilities.

Natural Features

Created in 1967, the 26,000-acre lake is recognized as one of the nation's 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.

Nearby Attractions

The Carlyle Lake Visitor Center, located in the Dam West Recreation Area, has information available and nature exhibits on display, including a 215-gallon aquarium with native fish.


For facility specific information, please call (618) 594-2484.

Charges & Cancellations

Camping No Show - Camping no-show customers who do not arrive at the campground or group facility by check-out time the day after arrival or does not cancel the reservation by check out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date will be assessed a $20.00 service fee and forfeit their reservation. If the no-show service fee is greater than the reservation amount, the customer will not be charged any additional service fees. Cancellations - A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee.

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  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group


For Campers

  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Phone Service
  • WiFi
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Water Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

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out of 5

3 Reviews

Reviewed Sep. 20, 2022

Nice Quiet site on the spillway side of the Dam

There were about 6 spots on this cul-de-sac. The sites were clean and most had plenty of grassy space in between sites. They had electric and will have water soon as they were running water lines. This caused the spigots that were available to not be working but we were able to get water at the main campground. The sites had concrete pads and a large concrete area for the picnic table. I loved that the fire “pits”were raised on concrete slabs and had large rings that you could bring down to contain the fire which also had an adjustable cooking grate on it. This made it easy to move coals under the cooking area as needed while making campfire nachos in my cast iron skillet! Bathroom close by and very clean. Shower house only available at the main campground, which was a distance away and not reasonable to walk with a little one. We did not fish but there was lots of people catching lots of fish in the river just after the spillway. The fish cleaning stations seemed to be occupied every-time we passed them. Overall I was very happy with the campground and facilities.

Sitesite 43 spillway loop
Month of VisitOctober
T K.
Reviewed Jul. 21, 2022

Way to many bugs

Pulled up to the campsite ( which was nice not too crowded) and was absolutely swarmed by bugs.

Month of VisitAugust
Dave N.
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2020

Nice campground on the lake.

Nice clean, quiet campground. Lots of fisherman. Spaces are decently spaced. No trash. Sites have electric. $18night


Dam East - Mcnair Campground is located in Illinois

Detail location of campground


From I-57, take Old U.S. Highway 50 west for 22 miles to the Dam East Entrance road. Turn north and continue through the four-way intersection to the McNair Group Area.


Carlyle, IL 62231


38.6083333 N
89.325 W

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