Carlyle Lake – Illinois

Carlyle Lake is located about an hour east of St. Louis. The lake was created in the late 1960’s when the US Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Kaskaskia River. The lake is the largest man-made lake in Illinois. There are 2 state operated sites on the lake (Eldon Hazlet State Park and South Shore State Park). For this trip, we decided to check out the dog beach at Coles Creek Recreation Area.

Carlyle Lake (16)

The Coles Creek Recreation Area is located through the town of Carlyle, Illinois on the east side of the lake. The area contains a campground, beach and a boat ramp. They turned half of the “people” beach into a dog beach. I saw this on Facebook and knew we had to check it out.

Carlyle Lake (18)

To find the beach, enter the Coles Creek Recreation Area and drive straight. The road will curve to the left and enter a large parking lot. Park here and the beach is up the small hill by the shower house. There is a pay station in front of the beach where you pay $5.

Dogs are allowed on the left side of the beach. Since it was pretty much empty when we arrived, we set our spot up in the grassy area under the tree.

With Ellie in her life jacket, we took a swim in the lake.

Carlyle Lake (6)

We laid on the beach and I read a book while Ellie relaxed. We stayed for about two hours and it was really enjoyable. I am happy to see that they are now allowing dogs at the beach.

Carlyle Lake (30)

Carlyle Lake (13)

On our way back home, we stopped at the General Dean Suspension Bridge. Prior to the bridge being built 1859, travelers would have had to cross the Kaskaskia River by either ferry or mud bridge. There were a lot of informational plaques at this site detailing the area’s rich history.

I love exploring with my pup and anytime you find a dog friendly place, it is a good day! Be sure to check Coles Creek Recreation Area out!


Categories: Carlyle LakeTags: , , ,


  1. Love the photo of Ellie wither a sandy nose!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oops! With a sandy nose!


  3. Beautiful lake, pictures and I too love the sandy nose as well as the life jacket on Ellie!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: