Get to Know: Carlisle

Carlisle is a family-friendly location that’s small-town living at its best. Visit Scotch Ridge Nature Park, where rare plant life on 47 acres has become a place for endangered animals to call home and a 3.3-mile nature trail makes it easy to experience the beauty of the area. Head out on the Summerset Trail, which extends 11 miles southwest to Indianola and offers wildlife viewing, hiking and picnicking locations to enjoy. The Carlisle business community continues to develop with retail and commercial space available to business owners looking to grow and thrive, while local businesses like Carlisle's Summertime Potato Farm support the local economy. 

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Carlisle at a Glance

  • Population: 4,201 (2021, US Census Bureau) 
  • Location within Greater Des Moines: East 
  • Distance from Des Moines: 12.5 miles
  • Type of Community: Suburb 
  • School District: Carlisle Community Schools 
  • County: Warren and Polk Counties 

Carlisle in one sentence: Carlisle is a growing, friendly community with one of the best schools districts in the region. 

The top five best things about Carlisle: Five things to love about Carlisle include its schools, the friendly and helpful people, the knowledgeable city leaders, the growing Carlisle Chamber and how Carlisle residents work together for the betterment of the community. 

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Hidden Gems and Unexpected Finds in Carlisle: Carlisle has a potato farm where potatoes are grown, produced and delivered across the county. Summertime Potato Farm offers the best potatoes you can buy. There are also a number of daycares available in the community and two coffee shops, both of which opened in 2022. 

Community Traditions and Annual Events: Favorite Carlisle events include the Carlisle Chamber Annual Dinner, the 4th of July Parade, PumpkinFest and Light Up Carlisle. 

Best Ways to Get Connected: Networking is easy through the Carlisle Chamber, Carlisle Hometown Pride, Carlisle Historical Society and various churches.  

Big Things on the Horizon for Carlisle: Plans for upgrading sidewalks to make them safe for school children and all residents are currently in the works as well as fundraising for a new library. 

If you’re coming to check out the community, be sure to spend your day ... trying some of the best yogurt at Fiss’ or see all the new updates in the works at River Oaks RV Park. Children’s playground equipment will also soon be added at North Park. Must-visit spots also include Sisters Place, Coco & Nini's Italian Restaurant and Fiss' Ice Cream.

Some of the ways Carlisle advances diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): Working with the schools and city to make sure that everyone is included as we grow is a priority in Carlisle in order to become the community that everyone wishes to live in.

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