Carlisle lake Park
Park & Entry Gate Closed Dusk until Dawn
Enjoy fishing? Come to Carlisle Lake--now open year round! You can use the boat ramp to take your own boat out, or fish right from the shore. You'll find all sorts of fish in the lake.
Just be sure to have your state fishing license! Click HERE for more info on fishing at Carlisle Lake.
Carlisle Lake is home to a staggering amount of wildlife. Thanks to Larry and Bev Gessele, resident birdwatchers and photographers, for sharing their photos. Click HERE to for more about them.
The Onalaska Alliance takes pride in developing and enhancing the habitat around the lake.
Much of our community enjoy walking or running the 0.9 mile trail around the lake. The beautiful scenery, well-maintained gravel trail surface, and exercise stations make for a very pleasant experience.
We host the annual Apple Harvest 5K Fun Run. Click HERE for more info!
Learn about natural habitat. We partner with Onalaska School District's STEM program by promoting educational activities and field trips. Observe fish being raised in the net pens at the lake!
A few students from the science club even wrote a book! Learn more about the Carlisle Lake field guid HERE.
The Smokestack was built in 1909 and is the last piece of Carlisle Lumber Company's mill standing today. In 1926, The Chehalis Bee-Nugget claimed the mill was, "the world's largest inland sawmill" and one of Washington's most successful. By its peak in 1929, the mid-sized mill's inventory counted over 20 million board feet of lumber!
According to a 1936 Lewis County Advocate report, the development and progress of Onalaska grew steadily with Carlisle Lumber Company from 1914-1928, when it began to taper off due to The Great Depression. There were an estimated 425 logging employees, directly furnishing a livelihood to over 1,500 people.
In 1931 with lumber at its worst, the mill stayed in operation while hundreds of sawmills nation-wide closed. However, after worker strikes and employment difficulties from 1935-1938, Carlisle Lumber Company closed permanently in 1942 when the family went broke.
After the mill shut down, many houses were hauled to nearby farms where they still stand. Carlisle Lumber Company's buildings and mill equipment were sold, and the mill burnt to the ground when a worker's cutting torch caught a building on fire. Today, the Carlisle Lumber Co. Smokestack is listed on the Washington Historic Register.
Onalaska was named for a phrase in Thomas Campbell's poem, "The Pleasures of Hope." There are also Onalaska towns in Arkansas, Texas, and Wisconsin, all sharing history through the lumber industry.
Did you know there's a book of gorgeous photographs of Carlisle Lake? Local author and photographer Larry Gessele of LG Nature Photos walks the Carlisle Lake trail daily, capturing beautiful moments with his camera.
Gessele filled Carlisle Lake (Through the Years) full of Carlisle Lake photos from every season; birds, flowers, wildlife scenery, and wildlife. it's a spectacular way to see all of the nature Carlisle Lake has to offer. To purchase, fill out the contact form on the Contact page.
Fill out the form below to request use of Carlisle Lake Park, OR print and complete the PDF to the right and mail it to: Onalaska Alliance P.O. Box 634 Onalaska, WA 98570
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