Coles Creek Day Use

Carlyle Lake



Coles Creek Day Use Area is situated on the eastern 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.


Coles Creek Day Use Area 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 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 is an on-site playground and plenty of open space for children to play, as well as a designated swimming beach. A multi-use biking and walking trail is located a short drive away at the dam.


Coles Creek Day Use Area provides modern amenities such as flush toilets, showers and drinking water. Boaters have the convenience of a boat ramp and fish cleaning station. Families can enjoy the dog-friendly swimming beach and playground. The area also provides one reservable group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 75 people. It is adjacent to the Coles Creek Recreation Area and Lotus Group Area, which offer reservable campsites.

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.


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

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.

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Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Carlyle Lake.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
Coles Creek Campground
Carlyle Lake
Lotus Group Area
Carlyle Lake
Boulder Campground
Carlyle Lake
Boulder Day Use
Carlyle Lake
Dam East Rec. Area (Day Use)
Carlyle Lake
Dam East - Mcnair Campground
Carlyle Lake
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