About the Hodag

Here is information about the Hodag from Explore Rhinelander

What is the Hodag?

The Hodag is a mysterious woodland creature that makes its home in the Rhinelander Area. Why the Hodag is only found in the Rhinelander Area is not certain. However, many people believe that it is the clean lakes, dense forests and incredible natural beauty that ties the Hodag to the Rhinelander Area.

Hodag’s Appearance

What does the Hodag look like? Eyewitness accounts, along with rumor, legend and speculation, indicate that the Hodag is most definitely green. The first person to see the Hodag was Eugene Shepard, who in 1893 saw what he described as a lizard-like creature covered with white horns. More than a century of sightings and research seems to support this description.

To get an accurate idea of what the Hodag looks like, go to the Visitor Center at 450 West Kemp Street in Rhinelander.

Hodag’s Behavior

Hodag behavior is quite interesting. While the Hodag likes to stay out of sight, it also seems that the creature enjoys mischief:

  • It is estimated that in the Rhinelander Area, 90% of all lost golf balls can be attributed to the Hodag.
  • Every year, musky anglers fishing in the Rhinelander Area report that world-record size fish mysteriously fall off the ends of their lines—as if someone or something had reached up from the deep and unhooked the fish. Scientists believe that this is the work of the Hodag.

There are far too many examples to list. But, it is certain that when something is amiss in the Rhinelander Area, the Hodag is often the likely culprit. Equal part merry prankster and intriguing mystery, the Hodag is what makes the Rhinelander Area so special.

Be On the Look Out 

Next time you’re in the Rhinelander Area, keep an eye out for something unusual—a flash of green in the trees, something dashing across the trail, or maybe just an odd “kerplunk” in the distance while you’re fishing.

It might just be the Hodag.