Onalaska offers quality lodging, restaurants and entertainment for the whole family. The western side of Onalaska overlooks beautiful Lake Onalaska, a 7,700 acre body of water which was created in 1937 when the Mississippi and Black Rivers were dammed. Fishing on the lake is a favorite pastime which is why Onalaska has been coined the “Sunfish Capital”. Scenic overlooks off Hwy. 35 afford magnificent views of the lake. Hikers and cross country skiers can choose from the Great River State Trail or the La Crosse River Trail. Walkers can enjoy the new Marsh View Trail, located just behind Stoney Creek Inn. Visit Onalaska to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available.

Onalaska, WI

Photo by Rich Conniff

As early as 8000 BC, Native Americans lived in small mobile groups in this area. Later, the Oneota were a Native American culture that fished, farmed, andhunted here.

Onalaska was founded by Thomas G. Rowe, who came here from New York in 1851. Rowe took the city’s name from a line in the poem, “Pleasures of Hope”, published in 1799 and written by Thomas Campbell. Because it reminded him of the area, he liked the line “The wolf’s long howl from Onalaska’s Shore”, and shortened the name to be Onalaska.

Estimated population: 16,500
Square miles: 12.5
Elevation: 700 Ft. above sea level