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“A Dog Sledding Non-Adventure”

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A Wilderness Haven Resort
Ranked #8 of 14 Hotels in Hayward
Kane County
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Dog Sledding Non-Adventure”
Reviewed January 20, 2009

We booked our stay at Wilderness Haven for the week of December 27-Jan 3, 2009. We stayed in the "Fish Shanty" cabin which was clean and decorated nicely, but had a very bad smell at times. We decided that we would try out dog sledding as we are a bit tight on money and thought a winter vacation would be something exciting and new for us. According to the web page it seemed like this would be the place to go - close to home and affordable. Spring lake is just across the street from the cabins and would have been beautiful to dog sled on, but the ice had a coating of slush on it due to some warmer weather and it was unsafe for the dogs to run on. I quite understand this and would not want to endanger the owner's dogs in anyway. I was under the impression that John also had trails in the woods (as noted on the the website) that we could go on, but he stated that "these had not been cut yet". So we were a bit disappointed that dog sledding was out of the picture for that week. We did not experience any of the "down home hospitality" that the other reviews delineated. I never met Jerri, (although she was present to take our check) and when we did run into John, he was abrupt and seemed too busy to try and schedule another activity or make suggestion as to what to do during our stay. We were on our own. FYI to future travelers to the Hayward in winter - The town is very much "shut down" during the winter months. In other words, there is not much to do. We have an 8 year old boy who was very much looking forward to dog sledding, snow shoeing, etc., but none of this was available. We went to see a movie in town and to the bowling alley. (I could have stayed home and done this). Most of the antique shops were closed. Out of six shops only two were open and they wanted top dollar for junk. John and Jerry were out of town Tuesday and Wednesday of our stay. I got the impression that we were there at a bad time for them. I would have much prefered to have been told this rather than go all the way up there and not have anything to do! We did not get a tour, explanation, or any information about dog sledding. I do not know any more about this sport than I did before we came. Inevitibly, we left for home on Wednesday due to the smell in the cabin and the lack of anything to do in town or at the cabin/lodge. I was told that there was a fire place in the cabin (which ended up being gas), and there was no t.v. The CD player was broken (only the radio worked). The lodge grounds were littered with a lot of scrap metal and such. We did some ice fishing as we brought our own equipment, but this gets a little labor intensive for an 8 year old. I would suggest that if you are anticipating dog sledding, that you make sure that conditions are "right" before you go as it seemd that weather plays a huge part whether or not you will actually be able to do so or not. We were very disappointed in our stay at Wilderness Haven Resort and will not return.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Montgomerymom8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 26, 2005

We have gone to Wilderness Haven 3 times now and everytime we go we have the best time. John truely is an amazing man, He shows you the kind of hospitality that you can not even begin to imagion. He makes you feel as though you are FAMILY !!!!! We would encourage anyone who can make it for a vacation to Wilderness Haven to go as soon as you can. Life is too short not to enjoy this kind of place. We are going this weekend again.
Thanks:
Paul & April

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mpls, MN
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2004

My husband and I have stayed at other places in Hayward, but keep coming back to the Wilderness Haven Resort. They even let us bring our well behaved dog! The cabins are clean and cozy. Everything you would need except bring towels. We've stayed there in the summer and fall. A boat comes with renting the cabin. Jon taught us some good fishing tricks and his sled dogs are great! The area is beautiful and quiet. I can't think of any negative things to say!

Helpful?
9 Thank llz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 22, 2004

WOW ! Went on my first dog sled ride this last winter at "A Wilderness Haven Resort"! How cool !! even got to drive my own team!! I called and made the reservations (-------------------) in Feb and just got in as he was almost full! John is a great teacher and his dog team was so very friendly!! I didn't know sled dogs were so friendly!! What energy! what a place ! and the cabins were so clean and cozy!! I know I'll be back!! see you in January John!
Jim!

Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about A Wilderness Haven Resort

Property: A Wilderness Haven Resort
Address: 9293 N County Rd E, Hayward, WI 54843-6629
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Hayward
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 Hotels in Hayward
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Wilderness Haven is close enough to town for convenience, but far enough away to enjoy wildlife. It is not uncommon to greet black bear, deer, bald eagles, foxes, or bobcat after running into town for milk and eggs! Fishing at Wilderness Haven is one of the main draws. It is amazing the quantity of fish and wonderful experinces Spring Lake provides. ... more   less 

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