Holmboe Conifer Forest State Natural Area

With over 50 years of protection, this property contains forest with some of the greatest examples of old-growth characteristics in the northwoods.


Just under 1 mile of a looping natural surface hiking trail that lead to the Pelican River, with a small boardwalk and puncheons along the way to help cross the wetlands.

Natural Features

The land is recognized for its old-growth hemlock and pine forest characteristics and has been dedicated as a State Natural Area by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Holmboe has also been inducted into the Old-growth Forest Network which recognizes publicly accessable old-growth forests throughout the country. The property includes about one-third of a mile of undeveloped natural shoreline on the Pelican River.


In July of 2007, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) transferred ownership of the property to NWLT. Prior to that, it was donated by Frithjof and Thoralf Holmboe to TNC in 1965. In 1969, it was designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area.

Town of Pelican, Oneida County

32 Acres

Ownership: Northwoods Land Trust

Getting There

The parking area is located in the City of Rhinelander behind the Riverview Hall facility at 903 Boyce Dr. You can type ‘Holmboe Conifer Forest Trailhead’ into Google Maps. Please respect the private property prior to walking into Holmboe and stay on the trail. 


45.627285, -89.426279

Holmboe parking area on Google Maps.


Dogs are not allowed.

Hunting and Trapping allowed by permission only. Please see the NWLT Guidelines for more information.


The land is managed to encourage old-growth forest characteristics and provide public access for recreation.


Natural plant and animal habitat; water quality; public access; carbon storage and other nature-based services that lessen the impacts of climate change; protection of old-growth forest

Funding Support

This project was supported by grants from the The Nature Conservancy, Arthur L. & Elaine V. Johnson Foundation, James D & Jane P Watermolen Foundation and several private individuals and families.

Image Gallery

Select an image to enlarge.

More to Explore

Tower Nibiiwan Conservation Area

Oneida County

Pinkerton Thunder Lake Cosnervation Area

Oneida County

Thunder Lake Wildlife Conservation Area

Oneida County

Dugan Squash Lake Nature Preserve

Oneida County


Major Initiatives

Explore the three initiatives that NWLT is advancing to benefit current and future generations.

Old Growth Forest Initiative

Less than 1% of old-growth forest remains in northern Wisconsin todayand they deserve protection.

Shoreland Initiative
Shoreline Protection Initiative

Our region includes one of the highest densities of inland freshwater lakes in the world and headwaters to major river systems. 

Conservation Priority & Climate Resilient Areas

Nature-based solutions offer real hope for lessening climate impacts at home and capturing and storing carbon.


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