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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Campground Review – Haymeadow Creek campground in the Hiawatha National Forest


Ok.. this is a *sequel*  to yesterday’s post about Flowing Well campground…. you may remember I said it was my birthday weekend, and we spent Thursday night at Flowing Well, after first driving through Haymeadow Creek campground.   Now, after one day at Flowing Well, Steveio decided we could drive back to Haymeadow and check it out too.   I was happy at Flowing Well, but he was thinking of the weekend being spent scoping out campgrounds as opposed to sitting down and relaxing for the whole weekend!   ACK


We thought three things about Haymeadow as we drove through there the first time:

1. It’s a fee-free campground and a few sites had folks that looked like they had permanently moved in.  (there is a 14 day rule in effect)

2. The waterfalls were quite a hike from the campground on a poorly marked trail, and the campground seemed to be located close to the road – gravel forestry road but still a lot of traffic on it.

3. It was the middle of bow season, and some of the campers there appeared to be hunters, and we would need to be wearing blaze orange to even walk to the water falls.


But… we travelled back the 18 miles on the single lane gravel forestry road, and went to Haymeadow Creek Campground anyhow.  As we pulled in, we noticed the two questionable campsites of all-too-set-up residents were now vacated!  We think perhaps the rangers came by and made them move on?   Now it was only a young couple in a nice airstream, an older gentleman in a small travel trailer, and the cluster of hunters at the last site by the road with the Holiday.  They were gone (out hunting?)  and all was very quiet in the campground. 


So we pulled into one of the far back sites of the loop and backed in.  There are only 15 sites here.  It was a nice site and we decided to stay.  It was getting close to supper time (my birthday supper!) so Steveio hauled out the propane burner and big kettle used for deep frying turkeys.  We use it for steaming Alaskan Crab Legs!!!  (or canning tomatoes or pickles when camping)


 birthday dinner He even bought me a Halloween birthday cake too!


It was a lovely evening, and we curled up in our snug bed and slept peacefully.  The campground was very quiet, and we heard only one truck drive in later.. .the hunters returning to their campsite.   In the early morning before daylight we heard them leave again.  So we never even met or saw them…..  


 birthday weekend (20)

This is Haymeadow Creek that runs alongside the campground.  Only 2 sites had access to the river, the rest of the sites were up on hill around in a loop.   I took this shot from the bridge on the gravel road. 


We decided to take the walk to the waterfalls…  so we donned our blaze orange clothing and put mesh blaze orange vests on the dogs.  Although they are on leash, we want to be sure they are well-marked and not mistaken for a deer!  


birthday weekend (6)

The leaves have al fallen down by the end of October, but a few green ferns are still alive… not yet turned brown and curled up for the winter. 


 birthday weekend (11)

The trail to the falls was not well marked, and we had to backtrack a few times.. following the river most of the way.  We saw these little rapids…. and kept on going.  OH NO…had to turn back.  No more trail.    These ARE the falls?!?!?   Yup, sure nuff….  this was it.   


(see the falls, about a 1-2 foot drop on the left upper corner?)birthday weekend (15)


We also found this bronze plaque near the falls.  I am thinking his ashes are buried under there too.  Probably not allowed on National Forestry Land, but hey, who is gonna tell? birthday weekend (22) 

 birthday weekend (13)

It sure was a beautiful day and the sunshine dappling in through the trees was warm enough to make the walking comfortable, though it was a brisk fall day with temps probably in the 40’s


There was a log-hewn bridge spanning the creek here, but I can’t find my picture of it now….   so we crossed the bridge and took the other side of the creek trail back to the forestry road…. it wasn’t marked any better than this side was.   But we made it back to the campground. 

Now .. remember… so far on this 3 day weekend, this is only Saturday… and we have a non-existant TV signal here at this campground, and no FOX network where the Packer game is going to be broadcast on for Sunday.  Darling Steveio, with his antsy pantsy attitude of scoping out campgrounds NOW suggests we drive south, more towards Wisconsin for the last night of our three day weekend.   Gosh, and here I was comfortable in the quiet campground we were at! 


Sooooo again, with wheels under the rig, we can load up fast and take off as needed.  On a whim, to be sure!     We load it up and head out, aiming our sights to Chalk Hills Dam campground where we know we get in the Fox station from Green Bay, as we camped here a bunch of times before.  I won’t redo a campground review on Chalk Hills, as I posted that one a few blogs back….  

My review of Chalk Hills Campground

We pulled into Chalk Hills…   nobody else was in the entire campground, so again we had a place to ourselves.   This place has electric hookups, so we took out the Lasko ceramic heater (very quiet)  and set up for the night, giving our propane a break. 

steveios heater


We do run the big furnace once or twice a night just to keep the lower compartments warm, but this night it didn’t go below freezing so we were fine.    We cooked up a nice tenderloin out on the grill.  The campground owners came by to visit a bit too.   They were putting up *Buck Poles* at various places throughout the campground for the upcoming gun deer hunting season.  That way any hunters coming to use the campground could hang their bucks from the crosswise poles (to let the blood out).  They said that they stay open till after gun season closes.    I was cranking socks on my sock machine and doing a bit of this and that around the motorhome too.  We like to keep things pretty much all put away, less clutter and nicer to relax in.  The campground owners took a mini-tour of our Jungle Bus as their son called it.  LOL.  They know when they see the white tigers on back, that it’s us again!


96 safari serengeti pfundtner

Later that night, after dark, we had a campfire going for a few hours.   It was finally nice enough to sit out and look at the stars too.   Then we turned in, and doublechecked the TV reception to be sure Steveio could see the Packer game the next day!  Priorities you know.   

I was amazed----  three nights of camping in three different campgrounds!  That was a real first for us!

Again, we woke up the next day and it was sunny and lovely!   With only rain on Thursday when we first went to Flowing Well campground, we had sunshine the rest of the 3 day weekend.  How nice is that?   We took a walk over to the dam and the reservoir backwaters in the morning after breakfast.   It was so nice out and warmer than it had been all weekend.  

backwaters of chalk hills dam

By noon, we settled back in the comfort of the motorhome for the Packer game… I also got an aircard signal on the computer, so we caught up emails, photos and watched the game.  They won!

All too soon, it was time to pack up and head home.  The kids were coming over for supper at our house, so we needed to get back and celebrate my birthday with them too!


  1. Great post, and really beautiful photos. It makes your reader think they are right there looking at those huge falls. LOL You had quite a birthday weekend, and you got a great meal and a nice cake, too. Wow.

  2. Re: Haymeadow creek Camp ground. we have camped there for a few years in september. also found the bronze marker. got in touch with a relative through ancestry, she was thrilled to get pictures we had taken. there is also a small marker there with "Babe" on it. we thought it may have been a dog but was in fact the man's wife. interesting place.


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