Day Trips

The Hayward Lakes Area's central location makes it an ideal base camp for exploring the many attractions and natural wonders of the Northwoods. Take a road trip, explore the beautiful Chequamegon National Forest, or explore the seasonal splendors of Northwest Wisconsin.

Fall Color Tours

Click to Choose from Six Self-Guided Fall Color Tours

in the Hayward Lakes Area.

Chequamegon National Forest

The Chequamegon National Forest is Hayward's backyard and offers a variety of hiking, canoeing, fishing, fall color tours, skiing, and sightseeing trips.  This website is a great place to start exploring!

Porcupine Lake Wilderness

This 4,446-acre wilderness is located 4 miles southeast of Drummond, Wis. in Bayfield County. Some of the wilderness contains rolling hills covered with oak, maple, hemlock, and white pine. The remainder of the area is fairly flat. Many streams contain trout. Porcupine Lake and Eighteen Mile Spring Pond have good fishing for trout, bass, panfish, and northern pike. Watchable wildlife includes deer, bear, fox, coyote, loons and many species of songbirds. The North Country National Scenic Trail runs the length of the area. Branded posts mark the trail location at some intersections.

Rainbow Lake Wilderness

The Rainbow Lake Wilderness encompasses 6,583 acres, located 4 miles north of Drummond, Wis. in Bayfield County. Among the unique features of this wilderness are the numerous narrow gauge railroad grades that were used for log hauling in the early 1900's. The North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs the length of the wilderness, follows parts of these old grades. The trail is marked at difficult intersections. The terrain in the area is flat to gently rolling, and steep hills can be found in the northern and eastern parts of the wilderness. Fishing opportunities can be found at Wishbone, Clay, Reynard, and Beaver Lakes. Wildlife is abundant, so bring your binoculars and cameras!

Morgan Falls & St. Peter's Dome

These popular trails are located in a non-motorized area, about an hour's drive from Hayward. Highlights of the trail are the 70-foot-high Morgan Falls and the overlook at the top of St. Peter's Dome, which has an excellent view of the surrounding wooded hills and of the Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Trail Length: Morgan Falls - 0.6 miles (1.2 miles round trip); St. Peter's Dome - 1.8 miles (3.6 miles round trip). The trail to Morgan Falls was reconstructed in 2002 to make it accessible for people with disabilities. The trail is graveled and the slopes are fairly flat. The trail from the falls to St. Peter's Dome is fairly rugged, with quite a bit of exposed rocks in the trail bed and steep climbs. These trails are popular for snowshoeing.  More information, including directions to the site, can be found here.

The North Country Trail

The North Country National Scenic Trail is managed primarily as a long distance hiking trail. A long term goal for this trail is to have a continuous hiking trail from New York State to North Dakota. Many people enjoy hiking short sections of this trail.

Cross country skiing is possible on the trail; however, the tread is not exceptionally smooth. Skiing is best late in winter, when a crust has formed on the snow. Dog sled use is also allowed, except where the trail follows the Penokee Mountain ski trail.

Tube, Raft or Canoe the Namekagon River

From its beginning near Cable, Wisconsin to its confluence with the Saint Croix River, the Namekagon runs for about 98 clean, clear miles, a tributary of and included in the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. Access is available at towns (Cable, Seeley, Hayward, and Trego) and road crossings.

Three short portages around dams are necessary to complete the entire Namekagon River, but numerous put-ins below the dams allow avoidance of portages. The abundance of put-ins gives you the chance to tailor your trip to your time.

This river will prove spicy for novices. You'll find several Class I rapids and a few narrow chutes. But with a depth averaging two to three feet and a width seldom extending beyond 50 feet, the Namekagon offers excellent family paddling if you've logged some experience in easy rapids.  Maps and more information about the waterway can be found here.

Lake Superior & Apostle Islands (70 miles)

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, containing more water than all the other great lakes combined. Duluth/Superior, Bayfield, Ashland, and most of the southwestern shores of Lake Superior are an easy drive from Hayward.

Lake Superior provides world class sailing, sea kayaking, and fishing. Charter fishing and sailing rentals are available from many of the marinas along the lakeshore. Sea kayaking is a popular way to explore the Apostle Islands and its many wonders.

On the tip of Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula lie a group of 22 island jewels known as the Apostle Islands. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore includes 21 islands, 12 miles of pristine shoreline, and more lighthouses than any other coastline in the U.S.

Although Apostle Islands National Lakeshore features several points of interest located on the mainland, most people consider the islands themselves to be the most rewarding destination.

Excursion boat trips leave from Bayfield daily from late May to mid-October. The Apostle Island Cruise Service offers a variety of excursion trips and a camper and hiker shuttle to several islands. Cruises provide views of most of the islands, as well as close looks at dramatic sandstone cliffs and historic lighthouses. The Cruise Service also operates a water taxi service between Bayfield and any island, for up to six passengers per trip.

Area marinas offer rental sailboats and will arrange full- and half-day trolling trips for trout and salmon. Local outfitters also rent sea kayaks.

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (61 miles)

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (LSBTC) is a year-round, nonprofit performing arts organization that operates an intimate 900-seat-capacity, all-professional tent theater, producing and presenting a seventy-plus night summer season of concerts, plays, lectures, and original multi-media productions of illuminating historical musicals. The all-canvas tent theater is nestled at the base of Mt. Ashwabay Ski Hill, 3 miles south of Bayfield, Wisconsin. The summer schedule includes performances by renowned national, regional, and touring musicians and runs from mid-June to early September. The heart and soul of Big Top Chautauqua is their growing repertoire of original, historical musicals celebrating the history of the people and places of Wisconsin and the Upper Great Lakes region.

Madeline Island (70 miles)

Madeline Island is the largest of the Apostle Islands located off the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula, a short ferry ride from Bayfield.

Located just 2 1/2 miles off the mainland, Madeline Island is accessible via the Madeline Island Ferry Line from Bayfield, private boat, or airplane. Though Madeline is small in size, its charm and abundant natural beauty make it the perfect spot for the vacationer who wants to get away from it all. Walk along beautiful wooded trails and focus your camera lens on breathtaking views. Bask in the relaxing beauty of the clean, sandy beaches, browse through gift shops, picnic, bike, swim, or discover fascinating relics of the Island's past in the historical museum.

Duluth & Superior (71 miles)

The Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI are about a 75-minute drive from Hayward. Visit Canal Park and watch the giant ships come and go from the Great Lakes' busiest international harbor, tour the Great Lakes Aquarium, take a harbor cruise, or visit the S.S. Meteor—this last whaleback ship left in the world is now permanently berthed on Barker's Island in Superior.

Forts Folle Avoine (69 miles)

Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park is located near Danbury, Wisconsin on 80 wooded acres along the Yellow River. The park is a living history site with fur trade posts reconstructed at the actual site known to be active from 1802 to 1805.  The park, a National Register of Historic Places site, is operated by the Burnett County Historical Society with support from its membership and Burnett County.

Northern Wisconsin State Parks

Copper Falls (57 miles)

Ancient lava flows, deep gorges, and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin's most scenic parks. Log buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s add to the park's charm.

There are many things to do: hiking, picnicking, fishing, and swimming. The park is one of the highlights of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin.

Pattison State Park (67 miles)

Pattison State Park features the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains. Big Manitou Falls is 165 feet high, and Little Manitou Falls is 31 feet high.

The 1,436-acre park also has a lake with a beach, nature programs and guided hikes, a nature center, camping, 9 miles of hiking trails, and abundant wildlife.

Amnicon Falls State Park (60 miles)

Amnicon Falls State Park features a series of delightful waterfalls and rapids along the Amnicon River. You can view them from a covered foot bridge or trails along the river, or--if you're sure-footed--from the rocky shore of the river.

The park is a place to picnic, camp, walk in the woods, and learn about the Douglas Fault, the geological formation that created the falls. There are many things to do and see in the area, too.

Brule River State Forest

The Bois Brule is one of the best known rivers east of the Mississippi. For over a hundred years, it has been known as an exceptional trout stream. The Brule River contains resident brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Lake brown and rainbow (steelhead) trout along with Coho and Chinook salmon migrate up the Brule annually from Lake Superior.

Flambeau River State Forest

The North and South Forks of the Flambeau River combine within the forest to provide over 75 miles of nearly uninterrupted natural beauty and white water excitement. The river is a major life force of the forest, and along its tree-lined shores one can see deer, wolves, raccoon, black bear, otter, bald eagles, and ospreys.

Canoeing is the most popular activity in the forest. Different portions of the river offer varying degrees of difficulty. The North Fork is ideal for the novice, while South Fork is for the advanced canoeist. Musky, sturgeon, trout, walleye, bass, and panfish can be caught from the river as well as the lakes in the forest. The forest is open to public hunting for bear, waterfowl, deer, and grouse, just to name a few.

To Find a State Park, CLICK HERE

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