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 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.

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.


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.

Contact Information



Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 618-226-3211

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From I-57, take Old U.S. Highway 50 west for 19 miles, through Salem, Odin and Sandoval. Turn north on Boulder Road/2400E and continue for 4 miles, then turn east on 1700N and continue until the road connects with 2400E. Continue south to the Coles Creek entrance. Address: 16225 Coles Creek RD, Carlyle, IL 62231

Available Campsites

Photo Gallery