- Hayward Area Chamber Of Commerce
- 15805 US Hwy 63 - Hayward
- Wisconsin 54843 - United States
- (715) 634-8662
- [email protected]
Hayward is a city located in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, in the United States. It is situated in the northwestern part of the state, surrounded by beautiful forests, lakes, and recreational opportunities. Here's an overview of the history of Hayward:
Early Settlement: The area that is now Hayward was originally inhabited by the Ojibwe (Chippewa) Native American tribe. The Ojibwe had a significant presence in the region and utilized the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering.
European Settlement: The first European settlers arrived in the Hayward area during the mid-19th century. The area was initially known as "Hayward's Landing" after Anthony Judson Hayward, an entrepreneur who established a lumbering operation and a trading post along the Namekagon River in 1870. The community started growing around this trading post.
Lumber Industry: The lumber industry played a crucial role in the early development of Hayward. The vast forests in the region provided an abundant supply of timber, and lumber mills were established to process the wood. Logging became a significant economic activity, attracting more settlers to the area.
Namekagon Post Office: In 1873, a post office was established in Hayward's Landing and named "Namekagon." However, the name was changed to "Hayward" in 1880, to honor the founder of the trading post.
Railroad Expansion: The construction of railroads in the late 19th century, particularly the completion of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railway line, contributed to Hayward's growth. The railroad facilitated the transportation of lumber, goods, and people, further boosting the local economy.
Resort and Tourism Development: The natural beauty of Hayward's surroundings, including the many lakes and forests, attracted tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. Resorts, fishing camps, and recreational facilities began to spring up, making tourism a significant industry for the region.
World's Largest Musky: Hayward is famous for its association with muskellunge (musky) fishing. In 1949, the iconic 143.5-foot fiberglass sculpture known as the "World's Largest Musky" was erected in Hayward, becoming a beloved landmark and a symbol of the town.
American Birkebeiner: Since 1973, Hayward has been hosting the American Birkebeiner, the largest cross-country ski race in North America. The event draws thousands of participants and spectators to the area each year, further contributing to the town's reputation as a winter sports destination.
Today, Hayward continues to thrive as a tourist destination, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The town preserves its rich heritage and celebrates its natural resources, making it a popular destination for those seeking recreational adventures in Wisconsin's beautiful Northwoods.
Top Tourist Attractions
Hayward offers several top tourist attractions that showcase the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the region. Here are some of the notable attractions in Hayward:
- Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: This expansive forest spans over 1.5 million acres and offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The forest is crisscrossed by numerous trails and scenic drives, allowing visitors to explore its picturesque landscapes.
- Namekagon River: Known as one of Wisconsin's premier waterways, the Namekagon River is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The river flows through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, offering serene and scenic paddling opportunities amidst forests and wildlife.
- Fishing: Hayward is often referred to as the "Musky Capital of the World" due to its excellent muskellunge fishing. Anglers can also find other popular game fish like walleye, bass, and panfish in the area's numerous lakes and rivers.
- Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum: Located in Hayward, this unique museum showcases the history and artistry of freshwater fishing. Its main highlight is the iconic "World's Largest Musky" sculpture, which visitors can climb for panoramic views of the area.
- Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau: This visitor center provides comprehensive information about the area's attractions, events, and recreational opportunities. It's a great starting point for planning your outdoor adventures in Hayward.
- Wilderness Walk Zoo and Recreation Park: This family-friendly attraction offers a zoo with over 35 different species, including bears, wolves, tigers, and reptiles. Visitors can also enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, mini-golf, and go-karts.
- American Birkebeiner Trail: Known as the "Birkie Trail," it is a renowned cross-country skiing trail that stretches for over 100 kilometers. In winter, it attracts skiers from around the world, while in other seasons, it offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and scenic walks.
- Hayward Golf Club: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the Hayward Golf Club, an 18-hole course known for its scenic beauty and challenging layout.
- Park Theater: This historic theater in downtown Hayward hosts live performances, concerts, movies, and community events throughout the year.
- Lumberjack World Championships: Held annually in Hayward, this event showcases the skills of lumberjacks and lumberjills from around the world. Spectators can witness exciting competitions like log rolling, chopping, sawing, and axe throwing.
These attractions, among others, make Hayward a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a relaxing getaway in Wisconsin's beautiful Northwoods.
Hayward experiences a humid continental climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in Hayward:
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Hayward is generally cool with temperatures gradually warming up. March and April can still be chilly, with daytime highs ranging from the 30s°F (around 0°C) to the 50s°F (10-15°C). By May, temperatures start to reach the 60s°F (15-20°C) and occasionally climb into the 70s°F (20-25°C). Spring is a transition period with some rain showers and occasional snowfall in March.
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Hayward are warm and relatively humid. Daytime temperatures range from the 70s°F (20-25°C) to the 80s°F (25-30°C), with occasional days reaching the 90s°F (30-35°C). The nights are generally cool and pleasant. Summer is the wettest season in terms of rainfall, with occasional thunderstorms and showers.
- Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Hayward is characterized by cool and crisp weather, with temperatures gradually dropping. September sees daytime highs in the 60s°F (15-20°C), which then decline to the 50s°F (10-15°C) in October and further into the 40s°F (5-10°C) in November. The colors of fall foliage are vibrant and attract visitors to the area.
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Hayward are cold and snowy. December and January are the coldest months, with daytime temperatures often below freezing. Average highs range from the teens°F (-5 to -10°C) to the low 30s°F (-1 to -5°C), while overnight temperatures can drop into the single digits and even below zero Fahrenheit (-18°C). Snowfall is common, and the area is known for its winter sports, including skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
It's worth noting that temperatures can vary from year to year, and extreme weather events are possible. It's advisable to check the local weather forecast before planning any outdoor activities in Hayward.
- Location: Hayward is situated in the heart of the Northwoods region of Wisconsin. It is approximately 270 miles (435 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee, the state's largest city.
- Terrain: The area around Hayward is characterized by a mix of rolling hills, forests, and numerous lakes. The landscape was shaped by glaciation during the last Ice Age, resulting in the formation of many lakes, wetlands, and rivers.
- Lakes: Hayward is known for its abundance of lakes, with more than 55 lakes in the immediate vicinity. Some of the prominent lakes include Lac Courte Oreilles, Round Lake, Grindstone Lake, Moose Lake, and Spider Lake. These lakes offer opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water-based activities.
- Namekagon River: The Namekagon River, a tributary of the St. Croix River, flows through the Hayward area. It is a designated National Wild and Scenic River, known for its scenic beauty, clean water, and excellent canoeing and kayaking opportunities.
- Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: Hayward is located near the southern boundary of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which covers a vast area of over 1.5 million acres. The national forest features diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and streams, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Sawyer County Forest: The Hayward area is also encompassed by the Sawyer County Forest, which consists of over 240,000 acres of forested land. It offers additional opportunities for outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, and snowmobiling.
- Glacial Drumlin: Hayward is located on the edge of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, which features a notable glacial drumlin formation. These elongated hills were created by glaciers and are a prominent geological feature in the region.
The geography of Hayward showcases the beauty of Wisconsin's Northwoods, with its pristine lakes, forests, and scenic landscapes. It provides a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors seeking to enjoy recreational activities and connect with nature.