Embark on an easy and picturesque drive through the back roads of Onalaska to reach the historic Carlisle Lake Park in Lewis County. With its well-maintained trail around the lake, this park is a haven for families seeking a delightful day hike. The easy terrain and manageable distance make it perfect for a stroll with little ones, and the unique setting of the lake adds to the charm of the hike.

Onalaska Carlisle Lake
Exercise at the 12 workout stations located along the one-mile hiking loop. Photo credit: Natosha Burnett

Exercise Your Body and Your Brain at Carlisle Lake

Along the one-mile path at Carlisle Park, visitors can find 12 workout stations, offering a more rigorous activity option for those looking to combine their nature walk with some exercise. These stations are strategically placed along the trail, providing opportunities for various strength and endurance exercises. This setup allows visitors to enjoy the park’s natural beauty while engaging in a full-body workout, making it an ideal destination for fitness enthusiasts seeking a more active outdoor experience.

Upon arrival, you might first notice the smokestacks towering above. Carlisle Lake, previously known as Onalaska Mill Pond, holds a significant historical legacy. The site was originally home to an active wood mill, established by the Carlisle family in 1914, serving as a vital source of employment for the local community. However, the once-thriving mill fell into disuse as the years passed, and the area became an abandoned, overgrown site.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that a remarkable transformation took place. The pond was meticulously dredged and revitalized, stocked with vibrant rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and coho salmon to fish. Today, the park is owned and managed by Onalaska Alliance. A lot is going on at Carlisle Lake, so make sure to stay up to date on future projects by checking out their Facebook page.

Onalaska Carlisle Lake
The spacious trails at Carlisle Lake Park make it an ideal spot for a family outing with your dog. Photo credit: Natosha Burnett

Discovering the Charm of Carlisle Lake: On Foot or by Boat

The one-mile hiking trail at Carlisle Lake offers a diverse and beautiful landscape. The relatively flat and wide path provides occasional views of the serene lake, while informative boards offer insight into the area’s rich flora and fauna. It’s an easy and delightful walk that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

Carlisle Lake is an ideal spot for novice kayakers looking for a short drive and peaceful waters. The lake’s calm surface makes it perfect for those new to kayaking, providing a serene setting to practice and take in the beautiful surroundings. Whether by boat or on foot, you can easily explore all areas of Carlisle Lake, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Onalaska Carlisle Lake
Carlisle Lake Park is the perfect spot to cast a line with your kids. Photo credit: Natosha Burnett

Create Lasting Memories With a Fishing Trip to Carlisle Lake

Carlisle Lake is a fantastic spot for a family fishing adventure! It’s the perfect place to bond with your kids while enjoying the peacefulness of nature. With easy water access from the docks and shore, it’s an ideal spot for introducing your children to the joys of fishing. The lake’s abundance of fish and serene surroundings make it an excellent place for kids to learn and experience the excitement of reeling in their first catch. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, Carlisle Lake provides an excellent setting for creating unforgettable memories with your kids.

Onalaska Carlisle Lake
Leashed dogs are welcome at Carlisle Lake Park in Onalaska. Photo credit: Natosha Burnett

Dog-Friendly Destination at Carlisle Lake

At Carlisle Lake, your furry friend is welcome to join the fun. Whether walking, hiking or simply relaxing by the lake, your four-legged companion will surely appreciate the natural surroundings and ample space to roam. It’s a wonderful opportunity for quality bonding time and for your dog to explore and enjoy the great outdoors alongside you. Hiking offers a chance for your dog to release energy, experience new scents, and engage in physical activity, all of which contribute to their overall well-being. Having your dog with you can add a layer of joy and companionship to the hiking experience, making it even more memorable for the whole family.

Onalaska Carlisle Lake
Enjoy the smooth, peaceful waters of Carlisle Lake in Lewis County. Photo credit: Natosha Burnett

What to Know Before You Go to Carlisle Park

Carlisle Park is open from dawn to dusk daily and is free to park. In addition to its natural attractions, Carlisle Lake offers convenient amenities for visitors. The area features a large parking lot with ample parking and clean and accessible bathrooms, making it a comfortable destination for families and individuals.

Additionally, if your little explorer needs to release extra energy before or after your hike, they can have a blast at the awesome playground at Carlisle Lake! This fantastic play area offers the perfect opportunity for kids to let loose, have fun, and make the most of their outdoor adventures.

Carlisle Lake in Lewis County’s Onalaska is a versatile destination due to its wide range of outdoor activities. The lake offers a tranquil fishing spot for those who enjoy angling, scenic hiking trails for nature enthusiasts, and a peaceful kayaking experience for water sports lovers. Its dog-friendly environment makes it an ideal place for pet owners, and the family-friendly amenities ensure visitors of all ages can enjoy their time. The natural beauty of Carlisle Lake makes it a hidden gem that is perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors easily.

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