Hazelhurst, The Quiet Side of the Northwoods, is located in Oneida County, the heart of Wisconsin’s north country. Since the early days of logging and lumberjacks, Hazelhurst has been known for its beauty and family-style hospitality. Surrounded with beautiful lakes and forests, Hazelhurst today is your peaceful Northwoods getaway, known for its friendliness and small-town atmosphere.
Activities are plentiful. Summer brings enjoyment of boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking and birding. The colors and scent of fall is often beyond description and is the perfect introduction to Hazelhurst’s many winter activities, including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just observing the beauty of fresh-fallen snow.
Native Americans inhabited Oneida County when the first European explorers, missionaries and fur traders, traveled into the County. The first identifiable tribe of Wisconsin Indians that lived in Oneida County was the Santee Sioux.
They were well-established in northern Wisconsin and may have been descended from the Mound Builders whose artifacts and burial customs were similar. Gradually they were displaced by the Ojibway Chippewa Indians.
In 1836 Congress passed a bill, which created the Wisconsin Territory out of Michigan. The new territory embraced not only the present Badger State, but a large area of the trans-Mississippi country west to the Missouri River, including the forthcoming states of Minnesota, Iowa and much of the Dakotas. The area contained a total population of 22,218. In 1838 all of Wisconsin Territory west of the Mississippi was detached to form Iowa Territory. Portage County, including the future Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas counties, was organized in 1844.
White settlement began in earnest in Oneida County in 1882. According to the History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin (published in 1924) the community at Hazelhurst started as a company town with the building of the Yawkey-Lee Lumber Company, later known as the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company. The company started its logging operations in the winter of 1888 to 1889.
The Town of Hazelhurst was organized soon thereafter in 1890, making it the third town in the county to do so. The lumber plant included a sawmill, planning-mill, box factory and dry kilns, and there were 160 men engaged in shipping. In 1892, there were about 400 inhabitants in the area, according to a local article in a newspaper published in Rhinelander.
In 1900, the U.S. Census counted 1,052 people in the Town. By 1911, the timber supply was exhausted and the mill was closed and the machinery was shipped to other places. Yet the company left behind a store, post office, blacksmith’s shop, a boarding house, school and even had electric lights in the mill yards and the village installed. This same decade saw the start of the tourism industry in the Town, with Charles M. Rumery, the former supervisor of the logging yard work, running a resort with cottages on Lake Katherine.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.0 square miles (90.8 km2), of which, 31.2 square miles (80.8 km2) of it is land and 3.9 square miles (10.0 km2) of it (11.04%) is water.
Hazelhurst is located on US Route 51, south of State Highway 70. It is located on the west side of Lake Katherine.
The Town of Hazelhurst is bounded by the Town of Minocqua to the north and west, the Town of Lake Tomahawk to the west, the Town of Cassian to the South, and the Town of Little Rice to the southwest. Hazelhurst has a total land area of approximately 22,500 acres.
The population in Hazelhurst is 1,266. There are 41 people per square mile aka population density. The median age in Hazelhurst is 49.2, the US median age is 37.4. The number of people per household in Hazelhurst is 2.4, the US average of people per household is 2.6.
Family in Hazelhurst
- 68.2% are married
- 10.3% are divorced
- 30.1% are married with children
- 5.9% have children, but are single
Race in Hazelhurst
- 93.8% are white
- 0.0% are black
- 0.0% are asian
- 1.0% are native american
- 0.0% claim Other
- 4.5% claim Hispanic Ethnicity
- 0.7% Two or More Races
- 0.0% Hawaiian, Pacific Islander
The age distribution was 21.0% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 33.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% 65 or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.3 males.
The median household income was $45,461 and the median family income was $51,579. Males had a median income of $36,833 versus $24,167 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,732. About 2.2% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (KRHI) serves Hazelhurst, the county and surrounding communities with both scheduled commercial jet service and general aviation services.
The Town of Hazelhurst has the service of one principal arterial-U.S. Hwy 51. U.S. Hwy 51 provides large volumes of traffic a north-south route through the Town of Hazelhurst. This highway provides linkages in the larger regional area; specifically, the highway links the employment centers of central Wisconsin and the greater Madison area to the recreational destinations of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The major collectors of the Town which are designed to link arterials with the local roadways include two county trunk highways (CTH) and one local road. CTH D, CTH Y, and Lower Kaubashine Road provide access to and from U.S. Hwy. 51 generally in east-west directions.
Primary Schools: The Town of Hazelhurst is served by the Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk (MHLT) School District for kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is located at 7450 Titus Drive in Minocqua and consists of 105,000 square feet.
Secondary School: Hazelhurst students attend high school at Lakeland Union High School (LUHS). LUHS is located north of Hazelhurst off of U.S. Hwy 51 on Old Highway 70 West.
Private Schools: There are four private schools serving Oneida County, for PK-8. This includes The Nativity of Our Lord School, Rhinelander Christian School, and Zion Lutheran School, located in Rhinelander. The Trinity Lutheran School is located in Minocqua. About 9 percent of Hazelhurst students were enrolled in private schools.
Nicolet Area Technical College (Nicolet College): Nicolet College is located just outside of the City of Rhinelander. Nicolet College is a public community college serving Northern Wisconsin from its Lake Julia campus south of Rhinelander, from the Lakeland campus in Minocqua, and from other instruction centers located within the Nicolet District.
The Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center is the closest medical facility to the Town. It offers primary care, specialty care and urgent care. It is staffed by more than 70 physicians and has a variety of specialties including medical oncology and hematology services. The clinic was recently expanded by more than 100,000 square feet to increase care capacity. The facility also includes a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center. The Minocqua Center is located a short distance from Howard Young Medical Center, a 99-bed facility with ICU and CCU units as well as a renal dialysis unit, emergency department and helicopter service.
Outdoor Points of Interest
Outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers know that Hazelhurst is the “Quiet Side of the Northwoods.” Hazelhurst is known for its friendliness and small-town atmosphere. The community is surrounded by lakes and woods and lies along the 18-mile Bearskin State Trail.
The Bearskin State Trail takes its name from Bearskin Creek and runs through the heart of Hazelhurst. The trail surface is composed of crushed red granite and follows a scenic route through pines and hardwoods.
The nearby Willow Flowage is one of Wisconsin’s most pristine natural areas and provides a true wilderness experience to anglers, paddlers and boaters. Primitive campsites, accessible only by boat, are located throughout the flowage. Hazelhurst is a great jumping-off-point for exploring this natural treasure.
The Tomahawk River is an excellent canoeing and kayaking destination for paddlers seeking a relaxing river trip. The slow-moving current and undeveloped shores make it ideal for wildlife viewing and birdwatching.
Hazelhurst is home to two restaurants and boasts some unique shops, selling everything from snowmobiles to gourmet cheese. Lodging includes resorts, lodges, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and a motel. Nearby Timber Ridge Golf Club provides visitors with great golfing.
Fishing and boating opportunities abound in Hazelhurst. At 590 acres, Lake Katherine is a popular destination for boaters and anglers.
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking is available on the Schlect Ski Trails, located just one mile north of Hazelhurst. During the winter, the trail offers 10km of groomed trails, including 3km of lighted trails.
Zones for all your recreational needs remain. Our many pristine lakes, the Willow Flowage, and the Tomahawk River beckon the avid angler. A quiet canoe trip on one of the many creeks and rivers
allows you to observe our abundance of wildlife. For the golfer, courses are just minutes away.
Every lodging need is available for all lifestyles. Select from family-run resorts, a bed & breakfast, private homes, a motel and campgrounds. Many offer sandy beaches, swim rafts, paddle boats and playgrounds. With any choice, your comfort is your host’s priority.
Listen to the melodic call of the loon. Bird watching and wildlife viewing are favorite activities in Hazelhurst. Observe nesting ospreys in the towering pines, eagles soaring across the azure Northwoods sky or great blue herons patiently waiting along the shoreline for a meal. See otter and beaver along the shores of our many rivers and streams.
Hunting the vast wilderness of county, state and federal lands, or private areas designated for public use, is both exciting and satisfying for rifle and bow enthusiasts. The Hazelhurst area is known for its abundance of bear, deer and small game. Hunters often claim the real reward is just being out there with nature.
Unique family entertainment awaits you at our acclaimed local repertory theater. Friendly professional actors come from across the country to present the latest in Broadway musicals, comedies and children’s theater productions. This theater experience should be a part of your vacation plans.
Restaurants for all occasions are here. Whether you desire elegant dining, a cozy pub lunch or a quick deli sandwich, we offer friendly service and cuisine for every taste. Treat yourself to the gourmet food of an award winning restaurant or come in from the snowmobile trail to the warmth and relaxed atmosphere of a bar and grill.
Seasons of year-round fun exist. For each season of the year, Hazelhurst provides the opportunity, environment and services to assure our visitors have a memorable experience.
Trails to explore are nearby for hiking, biking, birding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Walk, bike or snowmobile the scenic 18-mile Bearskin State Trail, which extends through the heart of Hazelhurst.
As you can see, HAZELHURST spells four-season vacation pleasure. As your hosts – the people and businesses of Hazelhurst – we strive to provide you the finest lodging, dining and services.
Great Lakes or Chains
You can find many different ways to enjoy Hazelhurst’s abundance of lakes, flowages, rivers and streams. From canoeing or kayaking the Tomahawk River to pontoon boat rides or water skiing on Lake Katharine, you can’t go wrong.
Whether you are a well-seasoned angler or a novice parent taking the kids out for their first fishing adventure, Hazelhurst is home to an abundance of lakes, rivers and streams. You will be sure to fill your stringers (or at least bag enough for a family fish fry) with northern, walleye, musky, bass and pan fish.
Key bodies of water that provide habitats for various fish species which lie partially or entirely within the Town include: Katherine Lake, Lower Kaubashine Lake, Upper Kaubashine Lake, Tomahawk Lake, Seventeen Lake, Garth Lake, and Bearskin Lake. The largest of these lakes is Tomahawk Lake, which partially lies in the Town in the North-East corner, and is an Outstanding Resource Water. Katherine Lake is the largest lake entirely within the Town, with a surface of 590 acres. Upper Kaubashine Lake is the deepest lake wholly within the Town, with a maximum depth of 56 feet. A number of fish species exist within these lakes include muskellunge, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish, and northern pike.
Katherine Lake. Katherine Lake is a 524 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 30 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.
Lower Kaubashine Lake. Lower Kaubashine Lake is a 198 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 36 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.
Upper Kaubashine Lake. Upper Kaubashine Lake is a 181 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 56 feet. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake’s water clarity is very clear.
Lake Seventeen. Lake Seventeen is a 176 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 37 feet. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.
Garth Lake. Garth Lake is a 116 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 22 feet. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.
Bearskin Lake. Bearskin Lake is a 403 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 26 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 clarity is low.
Art Centers, Community Centers, and ETC
Tommy O’s Northern Stars Playhouse
Experience a bit of culture in the Northwoods as you enjoy Broadway musicals, comedies and children’s theatre in a charming, totally enclosed theatre structure, nestled amidst the towering pines
Featuring professional actors from across the country, Northern Lights Playhouse offers relaxation, fun and laughter for the entire family. After each performance, the friendly actors meet their audience.
The Quiet Side of the Northwoods is home to two public parks that offer plenty of amenities for family fun.
Hazelhurst Town Park, located on Yawkey Street next to the former Town Hall, offers a paved tennis court, a ball diamond, a playground and a picnic area.
Lake Katherine Beach Park, located on Oneida Street, offers a playground, a swimming area with an on-duty lifeguard from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a public boat landing, picnic areas and a covered pavilion.
Town Hall: A new Town Hall was jointly established in 2016 with the new fire barn in two separate buildings that were the former Ryden Marine property at 7020 Hwy 51. The former Town Hall is almost 100 years old, and is located at 9805 Yawkey Street
Fire: The fire protection service for the Town of Hazelhurst is provided by the Hazelhurst Volunteer Fire Department. A new fire barn was jointly established in 2016 with the new Town Hall in two separate buildings that were the former Ryden Marine property at 7020 Hwy 51.
Average Home Price Sold
2018 Ave Price Sold: $251,740.83
2021 Ave Price Sold: $423,596.46
2023 Ave Price Sold: $396,588.00