In northwest Wisconsin, days bring hiking in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and paddling the Namekagon River; nights bring campfires, cozy cabins and starry skies. Check out our picks for what to do, where to eat and where to stay in the Hayward area.


Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest About an hour northeast of Hayward, more than 1.5 million acres of water and woods draw visitors for days filled with boating, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting and mountain biking.

Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame Snap a selfie in the gaping jaws of the half-city-block-long leaping musky. Anglers will appreciate cases of flies and tackle, boat motors and more than 300 mounted record catches.

Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame
Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame

Golf Dubbed the Golf Capital of Wisconsin, the Hayward region has nine courses within 30 miles. Big Fish Golf Club was designed by Pete Dye to mix easygoing and challenging holes.

Scheer's Lumberjack Village  Scheer's Lumberjack Show-an hour of comedy and lumberjack sports-is only part of the fun. Come for log cabin rentals, mini golf, ice cream and The River Deck Restaurant.

Lumberjack competiton
Lumberjack competition

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Splash your way from Hayward to Trego on the Namekagon River section of the riverway, a low-hazard whitewater canoe trip through one of the Midwest's least-developed areas. Great blue herons, bald eagles, trumpeter swans and osprey make frequent appearances.


Coop's Pizza The North Woods-style eatery is popular for its pizzas. But the menu caters to many palates with subs, burgers and chicken.

Farmstead Creamery and Cafe The barn-shape building houses a bakery, market and creamery, selling foods such as homemade gelato  and from-scratch lunches. Special events include pizza nights and a music series. Farmstead Creamery and Cafe on Facebook

Firehouse Bakery and Deli Make a lunch of old-world breads, Wisconsin cheese, salads and sweets. Firehouse Bakery and Deli Facebook page

Lost Land Lake Lodge Dine at the Friday night fish fry and all-you-can-eat meals in a wood-paneled lodge overlooking Lost Land Lake.

Moccasin Bar A "Wildlife Museum" of taxidermy astonishes and amuses at this classic Hayward dive bar, which also sports a jukebox and pool table. Moccassin Bar on Facebook

The Ranch Supper Club  Looking to eat with the locals? You'll find them at this 88-year-old Hayward supper club, a legendary hangout for Chicago gangsters in the 1930s. Sure bets: the relish tray and the Old-Fashioned.

Rookery Pub Fine Dining Local ingredients get creative twists at this upscale diner in Cable.

West's Hayward Dairy and Ice Cream Cafe Cones disappear under scoops of flavors, such as Church Basement Lemon Bar or Licorice Chip.

West's Hayward Dairy and Ice Cream Cafe
West's Hayward Dairy


Deerfoot Lodge & Resort A motel and nine cabins, including one on a peninsula, overlook the Chippewa Flowage. Guests enjoy a beach, playground, boat rentals and fishing.

Hayward KOA Amenities such as a heated pool and mini golf course draw families to this RV-centric campground outside downtown. Inner tube and kayak rentals get travelers onto the Namekagon River.

Hayward KOA
Hayward KOA

Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast Built in the 1920s, this getaway feels like a century-old Adirondack camp. The seven guest rooms cater to grown-ups (kids must be at least 12).

Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Treeland Resorts and Timber Cove Many families make it an annual tradition to vacation in one of five resorts on the Chippewa Flowage. All offer heated pools, tennis courts, boat rentals, fishing and more. ​

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