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Hayden Lake is located in the scenic panhandle of North Idaho in Kootenai County. With its sparkling water, pristine sandy beaches and timbered shoreline, 3800-acre Hayden Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in the region.
The first known inhabitants in the Hayden Lake area were the Coeur d'Alene Native Americans who camped along the shoreline and lived on the abundance of fish and berries in the area. In 1878, a homesteader named Matt Heyden built a sprawling farm on the southwestern shore and planted the first fruit orchard in the area. The lake eventually became known as Heyden's Lake. Throughout the years the spelling of the name has changed and today it is called Hayden Lake. The nearby communities of Hayden and Hayden Lake take their name from this sparkling body of water.
Hayden Lake's irregular shape stretches for seven miles, giving the lake about 40 miles of shoreline. Three sides of Hayden Lake are surrounded by towering tree-covered mountains that rise to an elevation of 6,000 feet and extend to the east as part of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. Much of this panoramic landscape is part of the 726,362-acre Coeur d'Alene National Forest, famous for its camping, fishing, hunting, hiking trails, nature walks, horseback riding, bike riding, ATV trails, and skiing.
Several hundred permanent residences and vacation rentals dot the shoreline of beautiful Hayden Lake. Celebrity Bing Crosby chose to build his summer home on the northwestern shore of the lake in the 1950s. Crosby's love of golf and fishing attracted him to the peaceful area. For campers, there are campgrounds at the north end and eastern side of the lake. Hayden Lake's public beach, known locally as Honeysuckle Beach, is located at the southwest edge of the lake. The sandy beach is a great spot for relaxing in the sun and building sand castles. A public boat ramp and picnic area can also be found near the beach.
Like most of the lakes in the Idaho panhandle, Hayden Lake offers some superb fishing opportunities. The old state record for northern pike was tied in 2002 with a 38-pound, 9-ounce fish pulled from Hayden Lake. Other fish include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, walleye, brown bullhead, and bluegill. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game also stocks the lake with cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. Note: Although most fish taken from Idaho lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Idaho Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from any Idaho waterway.
For additional outdoor recreation, the city of Coeur d'Alene, located on shimmering 30,000-acre Coeur d'Alene Lake, is just 15 minutes south off Highway 95. Coeur d'Alene offers a variety of seasonal festivals and fairs, culinary delights, a summer theater, and an art walk and multiple art galleries. The downtown area features over 100 merchants offering unique gifts and collectables. North of Coeur d'Alene is the Silverwood theme park, complete with roller coasters, rides and attractions for all ages. Whitewater rafting, boat rentals, golf courses, and a casino can be found within a short drive from town. Being right on the lake, visitors can enjoy sandy beaches, a hike around a 120-acre waterfront preserve on the downtown waterfront or a stroll along the world's longest floating boardwalk. Walkers, runners and bikers will love the North Idaho Centennial Trail that stretches along the shoreline east of Coeur d'Alene to the Washington state line.
The Cities of Hayden and Hayden Lake provide the area with complete shopping facilities and restaurants. Lodging and all kinds of private real estate are also plentiful. For golfers, there are a number of world-class golf courses within five to 30 minutes of Hayden Lake. Skiers and winter sports enthusiasts will find major ski resorts, hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails and plenty of opportunities for ice fishing in the area. Located in where mountains and forests abound, the opportunities at Hayden Lake for hiking, biking, hunting, wildlife viewing and camping are unlimited.
Close to the city, yet still offering privacy and an abundance of wildlife, beautiful Hayden Lake has it all. Championship golf courses, lakeside restaurants, antiques, museums and all the hiking, hunting and water-related sports you can handle make Hayden Lake ideal for your next vacation or place to call home.
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