Grindstone Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Hayward Lakes

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Grindstone Lake.

If you’re considering Grindstone Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Grindstone Lake guide!

Grindstone Lake visitor and community guide

Named for the Chippewa word “gajigwanabikokag” meaning grindstone, Grindstone Lake has beautiful, clean water and some exceptionally large fish. Near Hayward and the Town of Bass in Sawyer County Wisconsin, Grindstone Lake is part of the Hayward Lakes that includes Lac Court Oreilles, Round Lake, and nearby Lake Chippewa. With over 50,000 acres of water, the recreation opportunities in Sawyer County exceed expectations.

Over 3,000 acres of that water is held in Grindstone Lake. Water flows into the lake from Grindstone Creek and out into Lac Court Oreilles. The lake has exceptional water clarity and very good water quality. There is plenty of room for boating, and anglers will find healthy populations of bluegill, muskie, northern pike, and largemouth bass. The lake can be challenging to fish, but it has some very large fish. There is also an abundant population of smallmouth bass. In the winter there is exceptional ice fishing for walleye. Anglers pull several ten pound fish out of the lake every year. In fact, Grindstone Lake has the best ice fishing in the Hayward area.

The eastern half of Grindstone Lake is on the Lac Court Oreilles Reservation. Created by a treaty signed in 1854, the 48,000 acre reservation is the home of the Lac Court Oreilles Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa. One of six bands believed to have migrated from Canada along the St. Lawrence Waterway, the LCO Band has lived in the area continually since 1754. The LCO Band, along with the Wisconsin DNR, are responsible for the water quality on Grindstone Lake, and the Wisconsin DNR manages the fish populations.

In addition to the exceptional water and fishing, the area around Grindstone Lake has trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, ATV’s, and snowmobiles. Nearby the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a beautiful section of the Wisconsin Northwoods. The Chequamegon side of the forest is over 800,000 acres, and it’s a great example of the restoration of the Great North Woods after the timber barons moved through. Sawyer County was heavily logged, and by the late 1800’s the Great North Woods were nonexistent. Thanks to restoration efforts by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the forest can be enjoyed today.

An easy drive from Grindstone Lake, Hayward has excellent restaurants, shopping, lodging and any amenities a visitor could want. Accommodations range from camping to cabins and resorts. It is also home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. The museum building is a 143 foot long and 41 foot tall muskie, and museum visitors can stand in the muskie’s mouth. At Christmas Santa Claus can often be seen peeking out and waving from the muskie’s mouth. The Namakagon section of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway runs past Hayward. The 252 mile riverway is a great way to explore the area by canoe or kayak.

With its beautiful water, exceptional fishing and all that the Hayward Lake area has to offer, Grindstone Lake is a great Northwoods getaway with something to please everyone.

Custom Grindstone Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Grindstone Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Grindstone Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Grindstone Lake

The Grindstone Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Grindstone Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Grindstone Lake statistics & helpful links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: WDNR & LCO Band

Surface Area: 3,111 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,287 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,289 feet

Average Depth: 30 feet

Maximum Depth: 61 feet

Lake Area-Population: 2,129

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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