Carlyle Lake, Carlyle IL

Sunset on Lake Carlyle (new header photo also Lake Carlyle)

Boulder Rec area Carlyle Lake
After leaving the St. Louis area we drove a short hour plus to Carlyle Lake and Reservoir near Carlyle IL. Campgrounds here were beginning to close, several had their last day as we were driving in, so I first chose the Boulder Rec. Area on the east side of the lake. It was a little further from town than I expected but we were ready for some time away from the hustle and bustle. We enjoyed all our visits with friends and family but I was missing just easy laid back time for just the two of us. That is exactly what we got here. The weather was beautiful and we took walks and rode our bikes around the campground. I did some cooking which I also longed for, we had been eating out entirely too much. It was pretty much a perfect week to recover from a busy summer and get ready for our stint at Amazon.

Nice sites along the lake
The Boulder Rec. area is one of 5 COE campgrounds on the lake and it is only open until October 13th. There is one loop of FHU, which of course were booked, and many sites with just electric (though they are 50 amp). There are both reservable and non reservable sites and again of course the great sites along the lake were booked but we found a site that was actually reservable but open for the next week. It did have a view out towards the lake and the channel that led to the marina. Great spot for a week. Our only trip out this week was once to town to fill up the truck, get firewood and ride the Carlyle bike trail.  

Does he look like a General!
The bike trail is in town by the lake is a paved trail and street bike route. The paved part runs from the east side at the General Dean Suspension Bridge all the way to the west side of town by the Walmart. The really great part is where it runs along the top of the spillway. While riding this trail we discovered two more of the COE campgrounds, East Spillway and Dam West. The East Spillway is a small area right on the spillway with sites with paved pads and patios, electric only. I loved this little area but John was hesitant because the dump station is about a mile down the road at one of the other COE campgrounds. The second, Dam West Campground, is also accessible from the trail and much like the Boulder one but more trees and it seems a little larger. The big advantage here is its proximity to town and the bike trail.  We stopped for a brew at the Wheelhouse which is just off the trail by the Dam West campground.
Bike trail along the top of the spillway

On the suspension bridge

Bike/Pedestrian bridge on the trail

Previously I was looking at us moving to the Rend Lake COE park south of here but after checking everything out we made the decision to stay at Carlyle Lake another week but move to the Dam West campground. We found a very long non reservable site.  The trees prohibit us from getting a satellite signal (we do get good antenna signal from St. Louis) but other than that it’s a great site. We have had rain on and off this week and these last few days are suppose to be very rainy so a little more indoor time.
Site at Dam West

Another Dam West site along the lake
On Tuesday of this week we did make a trip to Springfield IL to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library. This was high on my list for things I wanted to do this fall and though it was almost a two hour drive we felt it was worth it. It definitely was. I am going to write a separate post about that visit because it would make this post way too long.

Sunday we will be moving to a park just SE of Louisville KY, Taylorsville State Park. It is on a lake and gets pretty good reviews online. I actually made a reservation for this one.  That stop will be close to the Bourbon Trail, which is high on John’s must do list and puts us near Louisville to stock up at Costco and do a few things like that before heading down the road to Campbellsville and a couple months of work.
Mums let us know fall is here.

Hope all is well out there in the bloggesphere.
Happy Trails......................


  1. We're enjoying IL too, visiting family and friends, getting ready to move to Lake Shelbyville on Sunday or Monday.

  2. I certainly don't envy you having to work at Amazon. I couldn't do it. Enjoy your rest until then.

  3. Nothing better than quiet time in a nice park:)

  4. Beautiful park and pictures. I know what you mean about down time. I don't think I could go back to the hectic life we used to live.

  5. We stayed at Dam West our first year out. Our first COE experience, and just fell in love with it. See you in Campbellsville!

  6. Thanks for the tour and wonderful photos - sure looks like a nice spot.

  7. I'm learning a lot about the state I grew up in. This looks like a lovely park and great place to explore and exercise. Best to both of you at Amazon.


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