Skip to main content

Up North in Hayward, Wisconsin: You'll Want To Go There

Marcy is a school counselor at an alternative school in Illinois and a part-time bartender who loves writing in her spare time.

The Chippewa Flowage at Deerfoot Lodge

The Chippewa Flowage at Deerfoot Lodge

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.

— Jules Renard

The Beautiful Chippewa Flowage

Growing up, my family traveled Up North every summer. We would spend 2 - 3 weeks fishing, shopping, relaxing, and preparing for the upcoming school year and growing season. I come from a family of farmers and teachers, and going Up North was something we never missed.

Anyone who has been to Northern Wisconsin knows it is a special kind of place. If you seek an exciting nightlife and entertainment every minute of your vacation, the North Woods is not your style. This little piece of heaven on Earth touts a leisurely pace perfect for camping, fishing, boating, antiquing, souvenir shopping, and just plain relaxing

Way up in the nooks and crannies of the North Woods, lie some of the most pristine waters imaginable, a prime location for fishing. Hayward, Wisconsin, population 2,500, is a hidden little gem that sits near the Chippewa Flowage. The Chippewa Flowage is a 15,000-acre dammed overflow created in the 1920s by Wisconsin-Michigan Light and Power. The purpose of this endeavor was two-fold: to alleviate flooding issues and to create a power source. The result is a remarkable display of connected lakes with breathtaking views of nature at its finest.

Hayward's Unusual Attractions

Although Hayward is modest in size, it has some interesting sites: The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, for one. No traveler can miss spotting this attraction since the entire museum is inside a gigantic musky fish or at least a building that looks like one. In addition to the museum, the streets of Hayward are a treasure trove for tourists. Stores have a variety of goods for browsing and buying: souvenir t-shirts, Native American jewelry, charming antiques, local art, and more.

A tourist destination would not be complete without some quality spots to sit back and enjoy a drink and some delicious grub. Hayward has a charming wine shop downtown with some delightful wines to taste and buy. Also downtown, one can find the Angry Minnow Brewery, a local favorite with a pub-grub menu. Another local bar of particular interest to tourists is the Moccasin Bar. This Hayward icon houses a mesmerizing display of taxidermy, including the world’s largest musky. Adults and children of all ages find themselves entertained by this enormous collection of woodland and freshwater creatures. Finally, if you are looking for something to do on one of those rainy days, the SevenwInds Casio and Lodge just outside of town is the spot to go. Complete with a buffet restaurant and full bar, the casino has everything you need for a day of fun.

Hayward is also the home of some pretty cool seasonal festivals such as Musky Fest and Cranberry Fest. It even hosts the Lumberjack World Championships every year. The Lumberjack World Championships is a multi-day event with six categories of skills. This unique venue has called Hayward home since 1960, and a considerable following of people attend every year.

The Moccasin Bar Hayward, Wisconsin

The Moccasin Bar Hayward, Wisconsin

The unique view inside the Moccasin Bar, Hayward, WI

The unique view inside the Moccasin Bar, Hayward, WI

Deerfoot Lodge: The Peaceful Vacation You've Been Needing

Finding a place to stay near Hayward can sometimes be a challenge, but there are several resorts and lodges if you are up for doing a little research. One such lodge with impeccable charm and hospitality is Deerfoot Lodge, located right on the Chippewa Flowage, about 15 miles outside of Hayward. Deerfoot Lodge is more like a compound of 10 beautiful cabins, a 9-room hotel, and a bar/restaurant. The cabins are all fully or partially remodeled for comfort on the lake. The largest can accommodate up to 10 guests. The hotel rooms are perfect for couples not needing the space of a cabin; however, a few of the rooms are adjoining if required. The onsite bar/restaurant is a lifesaver for those who fish all day and come back, just wanting a quick bite to eat before heading out for night fishing. It is also particularly handy for those who like to live it up a little at the bar. No matter where you stay on the property, your room is just a short walk away. The food at the restaurant is cooked on a tiny flat grill right behind the bar. The menu sports several original items such as the Peanut Butter Burger, which is, quite frankly, delicious.

Other amenities Deerfoot can boast would be a beachy swim area, playground, campfire area, lakeside fuel, fish cleaning station, bait sales, a boat ramp, boat and pontoon rentals, fishing guides, and more.

Scroll to Continue

Deerfoot Lodge and Resort

Deerfoot Lodge cabins and sandy swimming beach.

Deerfoot Lodge cabins and sandy swimming beach.

One of the large cabins at Deerfoot Lodge.

One of the large cabins at Deerfoot Lodge.

Destination Northern Wisconsin

Several years ago, I felt the urge to revisit my childhood territory. The cabins where we stayed so long ago were now homes, not rentals. I decided we would stay in Hayward, remembering it as a favorite place to shop and sightsee. I found Deerfoot Lodge on the internet, and that was it. Now we make it a tradition to go back Up North every other year, and we always stay at Deerfoot Lodge. Our reservations for this year are pending due to the current national health crisis. I am hopeful we can go, but understand that our little piece of heaven on earth will be waiting for us when the time is right.

If you need a comfortable vacation spot with exceptional fishing, great shopping, festive food and drink, and breathtaking scenery, try Hayward, in Northern Wisconsin. If you feel you need a few more options regarding activities, Hayward is only about an hour from Bayfield and Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. There is just something about going Up North. Once you try it, you will go back again and again.

Bayfield, Wisconsin

Bayfield, Wisconsin

© 2020 Marcy Bialeschki


Marcy Bialeschki (author) from Cerro Gordo, IL on April 26, 2020:

It is just one of those places that is dear to my heart. I hope our planned vacation there is not canceled. I could really use some Wisconsin right now.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 25, 2020:

You have made a good case for North Wisconsin as a post pandemic destination. It sounds like you have good memories of this area.

Related Articles