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.
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Spider Lake Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin
Spider Lake Lodge
| Credit: Nate Luke

Do

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 Hayward Wisconsin
Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame
| Credit: Nate Luke

Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame

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

Golf

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

Lumberjack competiton Hayward Wisconsin
Scheer's Lumberjack Show
| Credit: John Noltner

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.

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. 

Eat and Drink

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. 

Firehouse Bakery and Deli

Make a lunch of old-world breads, Wisconsin cheese, salads and sweets. 

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. 

The Ranch Supper Club 

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

West's Hayward Dairy and Ice Cream Cafe Wisconsin
West's Hayward Dairy
| Credit: Nate Luke

West's Hayward Dairy and Ice Cream Cafe

Cones disappear under scoops of flavors, such as Church Basement Lemon Bar or Licorice Chip, at West's, crafting premium ice cream in Hayward since 1951. 

Stay

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
Hayward KOA
| Credit: Nate Luke

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. 

Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast
| Credit: Nate Luke

Spider Lake Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Built in the 1920s and renovated by new owners starting in 2018, this getaway feels like a century-old Adirondack camp. The 8 lodge guest rooms and suites cater to grown-ups (kids must be at least 12) but two cabins are also available for families.

Treeland Resorts and Timber Kove

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. 

For more information: haywardlakes.com