Round Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Hayward Lakes

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

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All About Round Lake

Nestled in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, Round Lake in Sawyer County is a fantastic place to boat and fish. Part of the Hayward Lakes that include Grindstone Lake, Lac Court Oreilles and nearby Lake Chippewa, Round Lake is a deep, clear lake with some exceptionally large fish.

Round Lake is a natural lake with very clear water. It is classified as oligotrophic which means it has excellent water quality and oxygen available year round in the deep water, making is a great home for oxygen sensitive fish. Most oligotrophic lakes don’t have very large populations of fish, but conditions are right at Round Lake to grow large fish. Round Lake is particularly known for its jumbo perch. There are also good populations of walleye, muskie, northern pike, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake has been a popular recreation spot for anglers since the late 1800’s, and several fishing clubs were started in the early 1900’s as a way for visitors to enjoy Round Lake.

The area around Round Lake has likely been inhabited since 500 B. C. by the “mound builders.” More recently, the area was settled by the Lac Court Oreilles Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. One of six bands thought to have migrated from Canada along the St. Lawrence Waterway, the Lac Court Oreilles used the area around Round Lake and the other Hayward Lakes to gather wild rice. Today the LCO Reservation is next to Round Lake, and the LCO Band is very instrumental in protecting and maintaining the quality of the water in Round Lake.

Round Lake itself is not dammed, but it is impacted by dams on either side of it. There was a drought during the 1930’s that caused water levels on the lake to drop around 10 feet. Because Round Lake was so important for tourism, a dam was built on 230-acre Little Round Lake, and a dam was also built creating Tiger Cat Flowage. Along with Osprey Lake, which is undeveloped and completely surrounded by the LCO Reservation, they are the lakes that make up the Round Lake Chain. Tiger Cat Flowage flows into Round Lake, and Round Lake flows into Little Round Lake and Osprey Lake. The dams on the other lakes are used to regulate water levels on Big Round Lake. Today the water level and water quality are regulated by Sawyer County who owns the dam on Little Round Lake, the Wisconsin DNR, and the LCO Band.

Along with its beautiful water for boating and fishing, the area around Round Lake and the Hayward Lakes provides plenty of recreation opportunities off-water. Nearby Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has over 800,000 acres of Wisconsin Northwoods to explore by hiking, biking, or on horseback. In winter Sawyer County has cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. Hayward, the largest city near Round Lake, is the home of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. Visitors can stand in the mouth of the 143 foot long, 41 foot tall muskie that houses the museum. At Christmas, Santa Claus is often seen peaking out of the muskie’s mouth. Hayward, known as Wisconsin’s golf capital, has great restaurants, shopping and all the amenities a visitor could want.

The exceptionally clean, clear water of Round Lake surrounded by Wisconsin’s Northwoods combine with fantastic fishing and the area’s rich history to the lake a great Wisconsin destination. With all that Hayward and the rest of the Hayward Lakes have to offer, there is something for everyone at Round Lake.

Things to Do at Round Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Round Lake

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

Find Places to Stay at Round Lake

If you’re considering a Round Lake 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 Round Lake Vacation

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

Round Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: WDNR, LCO Band and Sawyer Co.

Surface Area: 3,054 acres

Shoreline Length: 26 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,346 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,347 feet

Maximum Depth: 76 feet

Water Volume: 100,146 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 2,129

Drainage Area: 14 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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