A family fishes for panfish on the banks of Lake Onalaska


Part of the many recreational opportunities in Onalaska stem from its location on the banks of the Black River and Lake Onalaska. The 200,000 acre Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge is located directly to the west of the city and provides opportunities for waterfowl hunting, fishing, canoeing, boating, sailing and camping on the many sand bars.

The spring and fall offers numerous opportunities for birdwatching with over 284 species sighted on the refuge. Bald eagles, tundra swans and pelicans are regular residents of the refuge.

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources:

Onalaska is located on the Great River State Trail, which offers connections to over 105 miles of continuous bike trails. The trail offers the opportunity to see a wide variety of plants, and animals as well as Native American mounds from an observation deck.

The OmniCenter ( is a focal point of community activity with a winter ice arena hosting hockey and skating. The facility offers a host of activities ranging from trade shows, community festivals such as Sunfish Days, picnics and weddings.

Onalaska offers many beautiful parks that feature a variety of year-round recreational opportunities for its' residents and visitors to the community. Park facilities include tennis courts, playgrounds, volleyball courts, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, shelters, athletic fields, picnic sites, walking paths, skating rinks, a sledding hill, and an outdoor pool.

For a complete listing of city sponsored recreational activities, please see the Parks and Recreation page within this site.