Dam East Spillway (Day Use)

Carlyle Lake

Dam East Spillway 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.

Dam East Spillway is connected to the Dam East Recreation Area. It has one reservable group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 75 people, as well as 15 individual campsites that are open year-round. A courtesy dock and two boat ramps are available, including one of the best high water boat ramps on the lake. There is a beach located nearby at the McNair Group Area.

Need to Know

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.


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 and Kaskaskia River offer 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. A multi-use biking and walking trail is located a short walk away.

Contact Information


801 LAKE ROAD CARLYLE IL 62231-9703

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 618-594-5253

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From I-57, take Old U.S. Route 50 west for 37 miles to the Dam East entrance road and turn north. Turn west at the next intersection and proceed west for 1.2 miles to the Dam East Spillway.

Available Campsites

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