Address 1: County Highway CC east of Hayward
Phone: (715) 634-2688
Number of Sites: 24
Full Hook: Yes
Note:All campsites are accessible by water only, and due to the remoteness of the campsites, it is recommended that campers leave an itinerary with friends or relatives.
The Chippewa Flowage, a 15,300-acre impoundment, is located in central Sawyer County, 15 miles east of Hayward.
The Flowage offers a fishing experience generally found only on lakes farther north in Minnesota or Canada. Its seemingly endless maze of islands, points, bays, floating bogs and channels offers visitors numerous opportunities for exploration, discovery and a feeling of wildness within the northern forest landscape. Camping at one of the primitive island campsites is an opportunity not common in Wisconsin. Visitors rate the natural scenery, undeveloped “wild” character, “uncrowded” atmosphere and the fine fishing as the Flowage’s outstanding attributes.
The local topography is a mosaic of rolling hills, valleys, streams, and bogs that reflect the glacial origin of the landscape. The Flowage’s shorelands are generally forested with a mixture of aspen, birch, pine, northern hardwoods, and oak. Mature aspen forests predominate but in many places longer-lived hardwoods and conifers are gradually replacing them. Almost all birds and animals that are indigenous to northern Wisconsin are found within the area and include bald eagle, osprey, and loon. Wildlife viewing opportunities enhance the attractiveness of the Flowage to visitors.
There are 18 primitive island campsites, shown on the map [PDF 3.8MB], available for public use. Some are available on a first-come, first-served basis and some are available by making a reservation. Each public campsite is marked with a sign and has a fire ring, picnic table and open-air box latrine. Camping is allowed in designated campsites only. You may NOT establish new campsites or camp at undesignated sites.
All campsites are accessible by water only, and due to the remoteness of the campsites, it is recommended that campers leave an itinerary with friends or relatives.
Campsites may be closed or relocated to allow the vegetation to recover and/or to protect threatened, endangered, or sensitive species and their habitats. Camping is also available at private resorts on the Flowage.
DNR and USFS Campsites
Of the 18 total campsites on the Flowage, eleven are on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) islands and one is on an island under USFS ownership with the remainder on LCO tribal-owned islands. DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFS) campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One campsite, Cedar Tops West, has been improved with accessible facilities and can be reserved by persons with disabilities by contacting the Hayward DNR Office: (715) 634-2688. If not being occupied by a reservation, this campsite is also open on a first-come, first-served basis.
Currently the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Conservation Department provides island camping by reservation and fee on six island campsites. The fee for camping is $20.00, and is payable to the LCO Conservation Department. Reservations may be made by calling (715) 634-0102. The LCO island campsites are located in the southeast part of the Chippewa Flowage and consist of Chipmunk Island, Loon Point, Loon Cove, Pine Island, Campers Island and Wagon Wheel Island.
This area of the Flowage is of great cultural and historical significance to the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. The Ojibwe people have great respect for these waters that now cover areas of their tribal homeland and wish for you to share their respect. While camping on these islands please do not cut wood for fires. Even if a tree is dead, it may not be cut for firewood.
Fires and Firewood
Firewood can harbor pests such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borer and oak wilt that threaten the local forest. New regulations regarding the transport of firewood are aimed at stopping the threats. It is now illegal to bring firewood to this or any other state property from more than 50 miles away. It is also illegal to bring firewood from out of state. You should consider purchasing locally harvested firewood to bring to your campsite. There are several local businesses that sell bundled campfire wood. For added assurance against introducing forest pests, please burn all your firewood, do not leave it for the next camper and do not transport it away from the area.