Know your Hodag: Meet Rhinelander’s most famous resident

Everyone knows that Rhinelander is the home of the Hodag, but how much do you know about the Hodag himself? For instance, did you know that he was once in an episode of Scooby-Doo? Or that he has his own brand-new fan club? Read on for more info about this fascinating Northwoods legend.

Get to know the Hodag

The Hodag’s story is closely tied with the lumber industry’s history in northern Wisconsin. First discovered by timber cruiser Gene Shepard in the 1890s, the Hodag had already been part of Northwoods lore among lumberjacks. In fact, the Hodag legend might even stretch back to Native American days. Discover the Hodag’s history here.

The Hodag in popular culture

Aside from being well-known throughout Wisconsin, the Hodag has appeared in some notable corners of pop culture, too. The Hodag—and Gene Shepard—showed up in an episode of Cartoon Network’s Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, tormenting Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the gang. The Hodag also has a Harry Potter connection—he was in the most recent edition of Potter author J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Go on a Hodag hunt

You’ll find the Hodag pretty much anywhere you look in Rhinelander. In fact, Hodag hunters can discover more than two dozen statues, murals and more throughout the city with the help of the handy Hodag Finder. Or, pick up a map at the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, 450 W. Kemp St. Be sure to bring back your completed map to the chamber to get some sweet Hodag swag!

Join the Hodag Fan Club

Want to show off your Hodag pride? Of course you do! Join the Hodag Fan Club today, and you’ll get an official membership card, a seasonal newsletter with Hodag updates and other cool stuff. Don’t forget to visit the Hodag Fan Club online to share your Hodag photos, find downloadable games and more!


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Visit the Hodag Fan Club