The best reaction came from our ten-year-old son, who as we drove up the road to the Lodge could barely contain himself. A huge grin came over his face, and he became giddy. This was his second visit to SLL and he knew what was in store. We could totally relate to his excitement as he darted to the lake.
Spider Lake Lodge is a special place, and everyone seems to feel a bond and connection to it. The Lodge has a rich history. It was opened in 1923 by Ted Moody. At that time, the only way to the lodge was by water, as no roads came this far out of town. During that time, Hayward was ground zero for the gangsters of Chicago, and this was a perfect place to hide out, as the only way in was by water.
This was a wonderful fishing camp, and huge walleye and muskie were pulled from these waters (they still are). In 2000, Jim and Craig bought the lodge. The cabins had been sold off to private families, but the main lodge remained intact. Jim and Craig took the lodge and transformed it into a show piece.
The lodge has seven bedrooms and is open year-round. It's located about fifteen minutes from Hayward on a beautiful bay on Spider Lake.
The lodge takes you back to a time when these fishing lodges were all over Wisconsin. Fish trophies hang from the walls, as well as moose and deer heads. Two large fireplaces stand guard on both ends of the great room.
Spider Lake Lodge is cozy. It's the kind of place you will want to take a new novel, curl up by the fire with a glass of port and relax. Jim and Craig make every guest feel like family, and it's a warm and welcoming place.
There is plenty to do here, or nothing at all to do here. There is a motto above the clock over the coffee bar: Here there is no time, and truer words were never spoken. Time does seem to stand still here.
Five of the seven rooms have private baths, and the other two each have a bathroom across the hall. A hearty breakfast is included each morning.
As there are only seven rooms, it's easy to book the lodge as a unit for a family reunion or just a group of friends. I imagine staying here alone is a great experience, but to have it all with family and friends makes you feel like the lodge belongs to you. We love having our Thanksgivings here, and I can't think of a better place to turn 50 with family and friends.
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
May 31, 2005
From journal Turning 50 Wisconsin-Style on Spider Lake
December 18, 2004
During summer, Spider Lake is magic; the regulars arrive, as do tourists, wanting that pristine summer lake experience. This time of year can't be beat! However, a word of warning—book early. This area is extremely popular, and Spider Lake Lodge fills up quickly.
The season is stretching into fall as more people are discovering the phenomenal fall foliage in this area of the country. The colors rival New England, and more leaf-peepers are making their way here to observe the brilliant colors. Again, book early, as this time of year is getting more popular.
So what about winter? You many ask, what does one do in the middle of Wisconsin in winter? A whole lot, or nothing at all, would be my answer. You can make it whatever you wish.
Telemark is not far away, and here you can ski. Okay, I admit it's not the Rocky Mountains, but the hills are fun and offer some thrills. Besides downhill skiing, they offer cross country skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing.
However, on this trip, we chose to stay near the lodge and took short, and scenic walks around the shore of the lake. We stayed in and played cards, board games, and Chinese checkers. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace every night, and to have a glass of port and catch up with family was a perfect few days in the woods.
We booked the whole lodge over Thanksgiving, and there are definite advantages to taking over the lodge. You can spread out a little more than you can if you only have a room booked. The biggest plus was that we had use of the wonderful industrial kitchen that is normally off-limits to guests. The kitchen was a dream come true for cooks. There was ample counter space for a whole gang of cooks to chop, slice, mix, and roll. It was great to have space for the entire family to be involved in the meal-making.
The lodge has seven rooms, or eight if you use the one behind the kitchen. This is easy to fill up with a family, college friends, or co-workers. I highly recommend the experience of taking over the entire lodge with your group. As a matter of fact, Thanksgiving was such a success that I have reserved the whole lodge again for my 50th birthday in May, when friends will gather here to enjoy this great lodge.
From journal Thanksgiving on Spider Lake
December 16, 2004
Spider Lake Lodge was everything I could have expected, plus a lot more. It's a 1929 timber-fishing lodge built on a scenic piece of Spider Lake, which is about 12 miles east of Hayward. The lodge is right out of the Adirondacks.
From the moment you step inside, you step into one of the most perfect northwood's lodges in the country. Jim and Craig, the hosts, ran a successful furniture and design business in Minneapolis and packed it up to buy this spectacular piece of lake property and turn it into one of the best bed-and-breakfasts in the Midwest. Their design background shows in every detail and every corner. During the whole stay, I was constantly coming across a new sign or a new corner.
The lodge has two great rooms, each with a fireplace, cozy sitting areas, and game tables, and all with stunning views of pristine Spider Lake. The public areas are comfy and inviting, the kind of place you want to take a good book and feel your surroundings while a fire crackles in front of you.
The guestrooms are on two levels. There are seven rooms in all, and each has a northwood’s theme, like my favorite, the Bear's Den, or others like Moonahanis or Let'r Buck. The Bear's Den is the most fun, with a huge bearskin rug thrown over the bed and a collection of Mountie prints on the walls. Dudley Do-Right would be right at home here.
Two of the rooms downstairs have a shared bath, but all the others have private bathrooms. Some of the rooms have small gas stoves that are similar to fireplaces in the room. Several of the downstairs rooms have wonderful private balconies that look over Spider Lake. These rooms are smaller, but the wonderful balconies are a wonderful place to sit in the evening and watch this picture-perfect lake and sunset.
We had the entire lodge and were able to be a bit messier and spread out in the public areas. However, the lodge is so inviting that, even when filled with strangers, it's the type of place everyone comes together around the fireplace to talk, relax, mingle, and make new friends.
Jim and Craig are charming hosts. I enjoyed Craig's enthusiasm in telling a story. He had some interesting tales about the history and legends of this area and only he can do those stories justice. If you're lucky, you can coax him into telling a few of the stories of the 1920s and 1930s, when Chicago mobsters used the Hayward area as a secure resting place.
Continued in Part 2