McNair Group 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.
McNair Group Area has one reservable group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 80 people, as well as 32 first-come, first-served individual campsites within the North and South loops of the campground, as well as 15 reservable sites (during the non-peak season) located within the East Spillway Loop below the main dam. 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.
Dam East Spillway is now its own loop within McNair (Sites 33-47).
During the Non-Peak Season, the spillway loop will be available for same day reservations.
DO NOT set up on a site without a reservation during the Non-Peak Season.
Campsites are single capacity; no double capacity or buddy sites are available
No personal checks or cash are accepted at this time. Credit/Debit card only.
Check-out time is 4 p.m. / Check-in time is 5 p.m.
Length of stay extensions must be made by 12 p.m. on the check-out date.
Firewood brought into this facility must be purchased, or collected locally due to invasive insects.
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.
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 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.
801 LAKE ROAD CARLYLE IL 62231
For campground inquiries, please call: 618-594-5253
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.