Lake Chippewa, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Chippewa Flowage, Hayward Lakes

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Chippewa — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Chippewa cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Chippewa

Tucked away in Sawyer County in northwest Wisconsin, Lake Chippewa is a rare undeveloped paradise. Called the “Big Chip,” Lake Chippewa is one of Wisconsin’s largest inland lakes and tops the list for pristine water and wilderness.

Lake Chippewa was formed by the construction of the Winter Dam on the Chippewa River. Before that the area was the home of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and the area under and around Lake Chippewa was their primary rice gathering area. Construction of Winter Dam flooded eleven natural lakes, nine rivers, and countless streams and destroyed the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Band’s subsistent way of life. The lake flooded the Indian village of Post including a church and burial ground. Some of the burial sites were moved prior to the flooding, but others continue to be uncovered by erosion on what is now called Church Island. The LCO Band rebuilt at New Post which is the nearest town to Lake Chippewa. Winter Dam is still used to generate power for the area and it and the lake’s water levels are controlled by Xcel Energy and the LCO Band.

The flooding of Lake Chippewa created a lake with interesting and unusual characteristics. The lake has over 140 islands ranging in size from half an acre to 272 acres. The many islands and floating bogs make speed boating unwise. Lake Chippewa much better suited to quiet boating and fishing. The lake’s many coves and inlets are best explored slowly or by canoe or kayak. There is, however, plenty to explore. Lake Chippewa’s 233 shoreline miles are deliberately undeveloped, and unlike other recreation lakes they never will be. In 1988 the state of Wisconsin spent $7 million to purchase 6,900 acres from the power company, saving it from commercial development. Because most of the rest of the shoreline is owned by the LCO Band and the Federal government in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, the wooded shores of the “Big Chip” will never be more than 15% developed.

Lake Chippewa does not lack amenities, however, and the parts of the shore that are developed have resorts, restaurants, lodging, and marinas. There are good public boat ramps and some primitive boat camping on the islands. Sawyer County has over 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and cross country skiing nearby.

The fishing on Lake Chippewa is exceptional. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, over half of the walleye caught on the lake exceed 40 inches, and the lake is exempt from the state’s 15 inch walleye limit. There are also healthy populations of muskellunge, crappie, northern pike, perch, and bluegill. The lake is rimmed with aspen, birch, pine and oak, and the woodland is home to deer, bear, elk and otters. Beavers, herons, osprey and eagles also call Lake Chippewa home. Lucky visitors might see or hear loons on the lake.

With its beautiful, pristine waters and undeveloped shores, Lake Chippewa is a nature lover’s paradise.

Things to Do at Lake Chippewa

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Lake Chippewa

  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Lake Chippewa

If you’re considering a Lake Chippewa lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Chippewa Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Chippewa lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

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.

Lake Chippewa Statistics & Helpful Links


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