The Hayward Lakes Area's central location to Wisconsin's Northwoods makes it an ideal base camp for exploring this part of the State's many attractions and natural wonders. 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.
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 gentle rolling, and steep hills can be found north, east and northwest corner 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 located 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 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 to St. Peter's Dome is fairly rugged with quite a bit of exposed rocks in the trail tread and steep climbs. These trails are popular for snowshoeing.
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.
Lake Superior & Apostle Islands
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
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 illuminated 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 -early September. The heart and soul of Big Top Chautauqua is our growing repertoire of original, historical musicals celebrating the history of the people and places of Wisconsin and Upper Great Lakes region.
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, and swim or discover fascinating relics of the Island's past in the historical museum.
Duluth & Superior
The Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI are about a 90-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, the last whaleback ship left in the world and is now permanently berthed on Barker's Island in Superior, WI.
Northern Wisconsin State Parks
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 features the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains. Big Manitou Falls is 165 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 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.