The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday the opening of an accessible fishing pier along the bike trail that has been developed at Carlyle Lake.
The pier is on the west side of the Kaskaskia River, near the General Dean Suspension Bridge. The Corps has been developing a multi-use trail in that area, connecting to the 10.3-mile trail that runs along the southern portion of the lake, from the Dam West area to Boulder Road.
The Carlyle Lake Multi-Use Trail was recently designated a National Recreation Trail by Interior Secretary Kan Salazar. The trail network's features include a section that runs atop Carlyle Lake's main dam, offering an unmatched view of the 26,000-acre lake.
Also on Wednesday, the city of Carlyle announced the opening of a trail connecting the city's bike trails to the river area. That new trail is near the centerfield area of the ball diamond in the city park.
In the area of the General Dean Suspension Bridge and spillway, the trail features include spotting scopes for viewing wildlife.
Col. Christopher Hall, commander of the Corps' St. Louis region, was on hand Wednesday for the announcements. He said the connectivity of the city's trails and the Corps trails is symbolic of "a great synergy between our communities."
Jackie Taylor, the Corps' assistant project manager at the lake, said her office receives frequent inquiries from groups wanting to hold running and biking events.
"That was almost unheard-of five years ago," Taylor said.
She said the lake's visitor count for fiscal 2012 is on pace to increase to about 3.2 million.