DAM WEST DAY USE, IL

Photo: DAM WEST DAY USE Photo: DAM WEST DAY USE
Dam West Day Use Area 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.Created in 1967...

Find a Campsite

Overview

Dam West Day Use Area 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.

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.

Recreation:

The 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 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:

The day use area has two reservable picnic shelters that can accommodate up to 75 people each, as well as a boat ramp and fish cleaning stations. The facility has access to a marina and boat storage facility. Camping is available at the adjacent Dam West Spillway Day Use Area and Recreation Area.

Visitors can walk or bike across the dam to the Dam East facilities and McNair Group Area.

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.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bait Shop
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Programs
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Fuel Available
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Jet Skiing
  • Lake Access
  • Marina
  • Nature Trails
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Restaurant
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Tent Pads
  • Trash Collection
  • Visitor Center
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • General Store
  • Hospital
Know Before You Go
  • Shelter hours are 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily
  • Firewood from areas outside of this facility is not permitted due to invasive insects; click here for more info
  • First-come, first-served sites available
  • Click here for a virtual tour of Carlyle Lake

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

DAM WEST DAY USE
801 LAKE ROAD
CARLYLE  IL  62231

Phone Number:

Information:  (618)594-5253