Boulder Junction, WI

Get ready for a new adventure in the Northwoods of Wisconsin-Boulder Junction isn’t your typical getaway destination. Explore hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails or the area’s nearly 200 lakes, the perfect place for boating, paddling, fishing, and swimming. Visit mouth-watering restaurants to sample everything from hard-to-find craft beers to a classic Friday night fish fry. Find a great place to rest and relax at cabins, cottages, resorts, and hotels.

Don’t just take a vacation. Make your vacation BOULDER.


In 1903, Milwaukee Railroad tracks were laid in the area that became known as Boulder Junction. While the railroad was built to serve the booming logging industry, the new railroad access also attracted outdoors enthusiasts who came to fish and hunt the area’s beautiful forests and crystal clear lakes. Resorts were built to accommodate the growing number of tourists.

Electricity arrived in 1925 and the Town of Boulder Junction was incorporated in 1927. Phone service was added to the area in 1930. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps replanted the trees that had been harvested from the land during the logging boom of the previous decades. The majestic forests you see today are a result of the large-scale planting efforts of the 1930s.

A great place to learn about the history of Boulder Junction and the surrounding area is the Boulder Junction Historical Society Museum, located on Hwy M South, next to the Community Center. The museum’s exhibits include Pioneer Corner, items from the logging era and historic photos. The museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, and by chance throughout the rest of the year. Admission is free. For information on special showings, contact Josie Allen at 715-385-2617.

Boulder Junction came to be called the “Musky Capital of the World®.”


The Town of Boulder Junction is located in central Vilas County. The area encompasses the basin of the Trout and Manitowish Rivers, which flow eventually into the Flambeau River. Much of the town is covered by the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, whose headquarters can be found on the east shore of Trout Lake. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 100.4 square miles (260.0 km2), of which, 81.9 square miles (212.2 km2) of it is land and 18.5 square miles (47.8 km2) of it (18.40%) is water. Most of the water is smaller and medium-sized lakes, and most of the land is forested in tree typical of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest band. The census-designated place of Boulder Junction is located in the town.

  • Land Size: 82 square miles
  • Water Size: 18 square miles

Fifth largest town in Vilas County


The population in Boulder Junction is 971. There are 13 people per square mile aka population density. The median age in Boulder Junction is 60.4, the US median age is 37.4. The number of people per household in Boulder Junction is 2.0, the US average of people per household is 2.6.

Family in Boulder Junction

  • 65.9% are married
  • 8.7% are divorced
  • 13.4% are married with children
  • 5.6% have children, but are single

Race in Boulder Junction

  • 97.9% are white
  • 0.0% are black
  • 0.0% are asian
  • 1.1% are native american
  • 0.0% claim Other
  • 0.7% claim Hispanic Ethnicity
  • 0.3% Two or More Races
  • 0.0% Hawaiian, Pacific Islander


The typical American commute has been getting longer each year since 2010. The average one-way commute in Boulder Junction takes 19.5 minutes. That’s shorter than the US average of 26.4 minutes.

How people in Boulder Junction get to work:

  • 76.1% drive their own car alone
  • 8.3% carpool with others
  • 5.9% work from home
  • 0.0% take mass transit


The town of Boulder Junction maintains the Boulder Junction Airport (FAA identifier KBDJ), located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the unincorporated community of Boulder Junction. This local airport features two grass runways for the use of smaller private aircraft.


The Town of Boulder Junction is the fifth largest town in Vilas County, covering 82 square miles and home to 1,019 people. The area offers excellent schools, a high quality of life, outstanding outdoor recreation and extraordinary natural beauty.

Elementary – North Lakeland School

12686 Co Rd K, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545 / Phone: (715) 543-8417

Elementary school age students from Boulder Junction, along with students from the townships of Land O’ Lakes, Manitowish Waters, Presque Isle and Winchester attend North Lakeland School. The school is known for its excellent academic programs, low ratio of students to staff, unique outdoor education program, and innovative use of class configuration and technology.

High School – Lakeland Union High School

9573 WI-70, Minocqua, WI 54548 / Phone: (715) 356-5252

Students from Boulder Junction attend Lakeland Union High School, located in Minocqua. Lakeland Union High School offers a full range of academic and vocational programs to students.

Nicolet College

5364 College Drive, Rhinelander, WI 54501 / Phone: (800) 544-3039

The center of higher education in the Northwoods offers 70+ career programs, University Transfer and Liberal Arts, Continuing Education, Outdoor Adventure, Learning in Retirement, theatre events, community library and art gallery.

Vilas County UW-Extension

330 Court Street, Eagle River, WI 54521 / Phone: (715) 479-3653

Extends the resources and research of the University of Wisconsin System statewide. UW-Extension includes Cooperative Extension offices in 72 counties and three tribal nations, 12 Small Business Development Centers, Outreach and E-Learning programs delivered via the 26 UW System campuses and distance-learning channels


When you’re in Boulder Junction, you’re just a short drive away from quality medical services. Boulder Junction emergency healthcare is provided by our highly qualified Volunteer Fire Department and EMS by calling 911.

  • Achilles Foot and Ankle Clinic, S.C. – 723 Elm Street, PO Box 528, Woodruff, WI 54568 | Phone: (715) 358-9777 | Fax: (715) 358-9737
  • Aspirus Woodruff Clinic – 611 Veterans Parkway, PO Box 1910, Woodruff, WI 54568-1910 | Phone: (715) 358-8610
  • Howard Young Medical Center/Aspirus – 240 Maple Street, Woodruff, WI 54568 | Phone: (715) 356-8000
  • Marshfield Clinic – 9601 Townline Road, PO Box 1390, Minocqua, WI 54548 | Phone: (715) 358-1000
  • Calming Stone Massage, LLC – 5453 Ada Street, Boulder Junction, WI 54512 | Phone: (715) 614-4378
  • The Spa at Manitowish Waters – 5968 County Hwy W, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545 | Phone: (715) 543-2535

Outdoor Points of Intererst


Winter activities include hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. In summer, golf, camping, paddling, and attending events at the community park are available. Year-round activities include horseback riding, bird watching, and hiking.

The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest is located near Boulder Junction. It consists of 25,000 acres of forest and lakes, with 54,000 acres of surface water in 930 lakes and 250 miles of rivers and streams. Within the preserve is 15,000 square miles of northern Wisconsin woodland. Because of the large number of lakes and rivers in the area, Boulder Junction has been proclaimed the “Musky capital of the world”.

Boulder Junction was formerly home to the Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base, a national base of the Boy Scouts of America.

White deer

Boulder Junction claims to have the largest herd of white (albino) deer in Wisconsin. The city uses white deer on its advertising and some tourists come to the city just to see the deer.


Boulder Junction is located in the heart of some of the best hiking in the Northwoods. Our trails will take you through ancient stands of trees, along glacial lakes and through woodland openings filled with wildflowers. Here’s an overview of some of our most popular hiking spots around Boulder Junction.

Escanaba and Pallette Lake Trails. This trail south of Boulder Junction offers a nice mix of rolling woodland scenery and loops as long as 8 miles. The trails in the system are a bit hilly but they offer impressive forest and lake vistas.

Fallison Lake Nature Trail. This scenic trail skirts picturesque Fallison Lake and is a nice place for a shorter woodland stroll. There’s a picnic area on the trail so you may want to pack some food for your outing.

Lumberjack Trail. This expansive trail has a trailhead just outside Boulder Junction. Trails in the system run though tall pine forests and wetlands. The trail connects to the Escanaba-Pallette Lake Trail.

North Trout Lake Nature Trail. This mile-long interpretive loop offers gorgeous views of North Trout Lake. It’s conveniently-located just off Highway M, about four miles south of Boulder Junction.

Star Lake Nature Trail. This trail is not the longest you’ll find around Boulder Junction but it’s one of the area’s most beautiful. It traces a peninsula on Star Lake and is a popular spot for outdoor photographers.

Tom Roberts Nature Trail. This handicapped-accessible paved nature trail offers beautiful views of Muskellunge Lake. The trail is located near a swimming beach and it connects to the Heart of Vilas County paved bike trail system.

WinMan Trails. Located on a 1,300-acre tract of public and private land, this trail system is open for hiking and mountain biking.

Great Lakes or Chains

Lakes define the landscape of Boulder Junction. Spread out across the forests of Boulder Junction, you’ll find 194 beautiful lakes, perfect for swimming and boating. The unique nature of the geology and ecology of the Boulder Junction area supports some of the cleanest lakes in the Midwest. Many of Boulder Junction’s crystal-clear lakes are completely undeveloped. Boat launches are plentiful and a number of lakes feature sandy beaches.

Boaters in Boulder Junction have a lot of beautiful options, including larger lakes suitable for a family cruise in a pontoon boat and smaller lakes better for canoers and kayakers. Here are three accessible Boulder Junction lakes that provide a classic Northwoods boating experience:

Boulder Lake. A good bet for boating is located on the northwest side of downtown Boulder Junction. This 516-acre lake has lots of small bays and inlets to explore. There’s a boat landing on the north side of the lake near the airport and a second landing on the west side.

White Sand Lake. This 746-acre lake is worth visiting for the drive there—it’s located just off County Hwy K, a beautiful Wisconsin Rustic Road. The lake’s water is incredibly clear, and the lake is surrounded by forest. You’ll find lake access just off of County Hwy K on the lake’s south side.

Lost Canoe Lake. Another lake with access off County Hwy K is Lost Canoe Lake, a 279-acre gem southeast of Boulder Junction. You’ll see a lot of wildlife on this beautiful lake. Keep your eyes open for that lost canoe!

Other Lakes in Boulder Junction

Big Crooked Lake. Big Crooked Lake is a 665 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 34 feet. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Trout and Walleye.

Wolf Lake. Wolf Lake is a 403 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 28 feet. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.

Island Lake. Island Lake is a 865 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 35 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake’s water is moderately clear.

Whitney Lake. Whitney Lake is a 226 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 8 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass and Northern Pike.

Jag Lake. Jag Lake is a 162 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 27 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing, a public beach. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.

ARt Centers, Community Centers, and ETC

Boulder Junction Community Center. Built in 2013, the Boulder Junction Community Center is home to the library, town offices, and versatile meeting and banquet spaces. The facility can accommodate meetings and gatherings ranging from 18 to 285. Full warming kitchen available.

Boulder Junction Public Library. The Boulder Junction Public Library serves as the gathering place for our community, connecting residents and visitors to information, technology, education and culture in a welcoming environment. You can borrow adult and children’s books, large print books, e-books, books on CD, DVDs, reference materials, magazines and databases. The library also provides access to more than 500,000 additional books and other materials through the automated MERLIN system. There are seven public-access computers with Microsoft Office Suite and Internet access. The library offers free wireless Internet service during regular hours and 24/7 outside the building – no password required. Adult and children’s programs are held year-round and are free to the public.

Average Home Price Sold

2018 Ave Price Sold: $244,107.61

2021 Ave Price Sold: $541,165.36

2023 Ave Price Sold: $340,440.28

To find out more about Vilas county and all the wonderful things that the Northwoods has to offer click here.