Many lakes in the area including Lac Courte Oreilles, Grindstone Lake, Round Lake, Moose Lake, Windigo Lake, and the Chippewa Flowage. Also home to the "Quiet Lakes" (Teal, Ghost and Lost Land Lakes), which do not allow water sports as do the larger lakes.
Hayward is home to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame contained within the 200-foot (61 m) long tribute to the Musky. One can climb up into the mouth of the fish, a fiberglass sculpture, and look over the town, as well as Lake Hayward.
In addition to fishing, Hayward is also a hot spot for deer hunting, golfing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and road and mountain biking.
Hayward is the site of many festivals and events. The annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is the largest gathering of off-road mountain bike riders in the world, and is the largest mass start mountain bike race in the United States. The first Fat Tire Festival was held in 1983 with 27 riders, and in 2008 the race was capped at 2500 competitors. The two main races include the 40-mile “Chequamegon 40”, and the 16-mile “Short and Fat”. Participants in the annual Lumberjack World Championships compete in a variety of lumberjack games such as log rolling, chopping, sawing, and chainsaw events. Hayward hosts the American Birkebeiner cross-country skiing race. Both the Birkebeiner and Fat Tire Festival are the largest races of their type in the country.