Paddling runs near Hayward Wisconsin

We paddle in Sawyer County Wisconsin east of Hayward Wisconsin. We’ve run Chippewa and Teal Rivers and are looking for some paddling run recommendations in the area. Does anyone know any recommended runs for day trips?



You might enjoy the North Fork of the Flambeau in Iron and Ashland counties. The first section is delightful IMHO. Class I &II with some flat stretches. The flat stretches are in the middle. All scenic - no towns, no houses that I can recall. I’ve done this stretch, from Dam Rd (just at the output from the Turtle/Flambeau flowage) to Agenda landing about a half dozen times, I guess, and had a great time every time. Its a bit over 14 miles and the shuttle is a somewhat lengthy but well worth it.
There’s one drop, called Pine Tree Rapids, where some have taken a swim… I bumped through it the first time I did it… Its very soon after passing Holt’s landing on river right. It used to be recognizable in advance by a pine tree that overhung the river, but that tree is now gone so be on your guard for it. It looks perfectly straightforward as you enter the drop but just before the end there is a flat rock that hides under a smooth pillow at the bottom. Enter slightly left on the tongue and hug the left bank and you’ll shoot right through. Everything else on this stretch is just rock dodging with no big surprises, but fun rock dodging.

Have you seen the guidebook “Paddling Northern Wisconsin” by Mike Svob? If not, its well worth getting a copy of or doing some photocopying at the library. The section I’m suggesting is listed as Flambeau F-1, but it is an excellent guide to many other rivers in the area as well.

Have fun!

The Namekagon from Hayward all the way to the St. Croix is a delightful river as well with no real rapids, if that’s more to your liking. Nice river accessible only DNR campsites along the way and a perfectly fine free township campground at Earl. There are lots of landings along the river so it’s pretty easy to plan trips to suit available time - and it must be close to home for you. They have river maps at the visitor center in Trego. There are some mildly “sporty” spots between Stinnet and Springbrook landing. You’re near quite a bit of nice paddling water.

PS: I’d forgotten - Morrall River Films has a couple nice films they’ve done to introduce folks to these river. You might want to see them.


The St.Croix may be a bit far for a day trip, but the Namekagon shouldn’t be. There are those who paddle the Namekagon above Hayward, but that is more dependent on water levels - I’ve done one section up there, but it was following heavy rain - I wouldn’t count on its being a pleasant paddle otherwise.

Another beautiful day paddle is from Stones Bridge to Winneboujou Landing on the Bois Brule. If you go past Winneboujou there is a campground about a mile further down river. After the campground you run into whitewater, so it depends on how experienced you are as to whether you want to deal with that. Mays Ledge is Class II to Class III. The Namekagon is great! It’s warm. The Brule is cold!