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 campground 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 white bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, carp, flathead catfish and walleye can be found in abundance. There is an on-site playground and plenty of open space for children to play in, as well as an amphitheater for educational programs. A multi-use biking and walking trail is located a short drive away at the dam.