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Camping at Coles Creek Campground

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Location and Contact Information

Coles Creek Campground is located within the Carlyle Lake State Recreation Area in Carlyle, Illinois. Carlyle Lake is Illinois' largest man-made lake, covering 26,000 acres.

Contact information for more specific details:

  • The resource manager's office for Carlyle Lake can offer information about Coles Creek Campground.
  • Address: Carlyle Lake Project Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 801 Lake Road, Carlyle, IL 62231
  • Phone: Typically, they have a contact number such as (618) 594-2484 for the project office. You may also find numbers specifically for the campground.
  • Website: You can often find additional details on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website or on recreation.gov, where reservations can be made.

Camping and Facilities

Coles Creek Campground offers a range of facilities suited to different types of camping, such as:

  • Campsites: There are sites with electric hookups, as well as basic sites for tents. Many sites are located with views of Carlyle Lake.
  • Amenities: Campground amenities typically include flushing toilets, showers, playgrounds, picnic areas, and possibly a swim beach.
  • Accessibility: Some sites are ADA accessible.


Coles Creek Campground provides various recreational activities such as:

  • Boating: Carlyle Lake is a popular spot for sailing, motor boating, and fishing.
  • Fishing: The lake is known for crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish.
  • Hiking and Biking: There are trails around the lake for walking and cycling.
  • Bird Watching: The area is a haven for birdwatchers, especially during migration seasons.

Reservations and Fees

  • Reservations: You can reserve a campsite at Coles Creek Campground through the recreation.gov website. Some sites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Fees: There will be a fee for camping which varies depending on the facilities at the site you select (e.g., electric hookups).

Rules and Regulations

  • Check-In/Check-Out Times: There are specific check-in and check-out times to follow.
  • Pets: Pets are often allowed but must be leashed.
  • Quiet Hours: Respect quiet hours; typically these are from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
  • Fires: Only have fires in designated fire rings or grills, and follow any local fire warnings or restrictions.
  • Alcohol: There may be regulations regarding alcohol consumption; check the specific rules for Carlyle Lake.

Weather and Seasonal Considerations

  • Weather: The weather can vary seasonally, with hot summers and cold winters. Be prepared for the possibility of severe weather, especially thunderstorms in the spring and summer.
  • Seasonal Access: The campground might have different opening and closing dates each year, often corresponding with the warmer months.

Local Attractions

Beyond camping, Carlyle Lake and the surrounding region offer attractions such as:

  • Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area: Another nearby spot for camping and outdoor activities.
  • West Access Marina: Offers boat rentals, a bait shop, and other boating needs.
  • Local Festivals: Carlyle often hosts seasonal festivals and events.

Safety Tips

  • Wildlife: Store food properly to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Water Safety: Wear life jackets when engaging in water sports.
  • First Aid: Bring a first-aid kit and be prepared for any minor injuries.
  • Emergency Services: Know how to contact emergency services and the location of the nearest hospital.


Coles Creek Campground at Carlyle Lake offers an array of natural beauty and outdoor activities. It is advisable to plan ahead, especially during peak seasons, and make reservations early. Always adhere to campground rules and respect the natural habitat to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for everyone.

Location of Coles Creek Campground
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