Hipcamp host Dean W.,
Hosted by

If you value a camping experience with privacy vs. camping a few feet away from another tent or RV, this camping experience on your own piece of the Bad River is epic!  You will not see another camper unless you happen to stumble on the few other campers that may be hiking on this private property's trails to the multiple waterfalls nearby.  Or, other campers may be floating


If you value a camping experience with privacy vs. camping a few feet away from another tent or RV, this camping experience on your own piece of the Bad River is epic!  You will not see another camper unless you happen to stumble on the few other campers that may be hiking on this private property's trails to the multiple waterfalls nearby.  Or, other campers may be floating quietly by in the canoe that's free to use at all 3 of the campsites.  

IMPORTANT: If you book this campsite, you will receive "arrival instructions" that provide detailed directions and other important information after you make your booking. PLEASE make sure you log into your Hipcamp account to read that. Thanks.  Also, please remember the name of your campsite so you follow the correct directions on the signs. 

After clearly stating that this is a HIKE-IN SITE, some have left "mixed feelings" reviews (which counts as a negative review) because they didn't read this full description which identifies the fact that this is a hike-in site.  The 2nd to last paragraph in this description clearly describes that this is a 1/8 mile hike to the campsite over uneven terrain. 

If you’re looking for a campsite where you can interact or see other campers, this campsite isn’t for you. You will have LOTS of privacy here.  You may see campers from other sites on the trails to the waterfalls but you are a few hundred yards from any other campsite. 

This is a sister site to 2 of my other sites on the same 40 acres along the Bad River; "Eagle Pines on the Bad River" and "Bad River Point".   In the national forest, there is no camping allowed within 75 feet of water but here you will be camping about 25 feet from the water. This is a hike to tent site that is less than 1/4 mile and should take about 5 minutes to hike to camp. There is a canoe and paddles for you to use at the campsite with 3 adult size life preservers available also. The river is only about 2 or 3 feet deep in most of the river.  This will be a primitive tent site with a pit toilet with a toilet seat, a fire ring and grill, a picnic table, and a few plastic chairs.  There is plenty of dead and down firewood to collect in the nearby woods or there may be some firewood cut nearby after I continue to expand the campsite.  There are good options for hammock trees also.

Within a 5 minute hike are one of the nearby waterfalls and with another 1/2 mile hike is another set of falls. If you're more adventurous, there is the largest falls in the general area that is about a 2 1/2 mile hike each way on the abandoned railroad tracks. Or, you can drive to within a 3/4 mile hike of this falls by driving north of Cayuga on Hwy 13 and turning left/West on the next road (Forest Road 184/Conley Road) and driving west until you come to the bridge and tracks and parking there to hike 3/4 north on the railroad tracks. Cross 3 railroad bridges and look for the trail on the left about 100 yards north of the 3rd bridge.

I’ll have a map for hiking in an ammo can at the campsite. 

This site is just a 10 minute drive to Copper Falls State Park.  Also nearby is Morgan Falls, St Peters Dome, Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands, and just a 20 minute drive to the Clam Lake area to watch the Elk along the roads. 

There is enough room to place at least six 2/3 person tents and room to place larger tents. 

There are Brook Trout in the river and the best way to catch them is with a #1 spinner or with a sinker and worms below the waterfalls in the deep pools.

There is no Poison Ivy, no Poison Oak, and no poisonous snakes or spiders in this area.  

Bears or bear sign have never been seen at the campsite because campers have been very good about having no food in their tents or eating in the tents.  There is a 3 gallon ammo can at the campsite to use for storing food.  If you have food waste or food wrappers, please burn it completely or pack it out.  

I have now extended the hiking trail past the first waterfalls that will follow the river and eventually lead to the railroad tracks instead of having to backtrack on the same trail to get back to the tracks. Just follow the ribbons down the trail  Then, once you get to the tracks, if you turn right you will head towards waterfalls #2 and if you turn left you will head back towards the campsite.  The hiking map in the ammo can won't reflect the trail extension.  

This is the woods and wilderness, not a populated campground where there is an insect control program.  The bugs could be minimal or they could be bad since this is a natural woods.  Insect numbers depend on many variables including how much rain we've had, how cold or warm the weather is, or insect hatch efficiency.  I'm sorry but I cannot control how good or bad the bugs are.  In a recent study, it is suggested to wear lighter colored clothes as mosquitos are mostly attracted to darker colors.

I will set the refund policy for 100% up to 3 days prior to check in.  Please do a check on the weather outlook at least 3 days before you arrive to see if the weather will be nice for at least part of your stay.  If you cancel within 3 days before your arrival, I am sorry but the system won't provide a refund.  If you need to cancel, please cancel at least 3 days prior to your arrival date so you can be refunded and others can have a better chance to schedule a stay.  Thank you for understanding this. 

There are numerous signs posted for directions to the campsite and the waterfalls.  IMPORTANT: Arrival instructions will be provided after you book but, do not turn at the blue address sign, turn right 150 feet past the blue address sign to get to the parking area.  Please read the directions carefully.  Thanks.  

The Drop Tine Bar & Grill in Cayuga 1  1/2 miles away from the parking area has great food and drinks.  They're open at noon Thursday-Sunday and closed Monday-Wednesday.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at the low cost for drinks compared to bigger cities!  :)

As a heads-up, this probably isn’t a good campsite if you need to have many items at the site that you would have to carry from your vehicle. It’s a 1/8 mile hike over irregular terrain from the parking area to the campsite. It will take about 4 minutes to hike to the campsite.  There are wet areas, rough/rocky areas, and hills on the path to the campsite. There is no paved or gravel path. I’ll include pictures of the trail in the image group.  Past campers have left negative reviews because they had to carry items that 1/8 mile but I was very clear in describing that situation.  Even if you consider using a wagon it will be very difficult to pull it over the rough terrain.  

So that you are aware;  Hipcamp will be adding a "service fee" (15-20%) when you complete the booking to cover their site management and other things that is somewhat a high %.  I believe it's excessive and I just realized they did this in March 2021.  I don't get any of this service fee and they also take an additional 10% from the price I list to cover the $1 million in insurance for you.  The total % Hipcamp gets is 25-30% which I and other folks that offer campsites do not appreciate as we have discussed this on social media sites for Hipcamp hosts.  I am very sorry for this and I will do everything I can to ensure you enjoy this very special wilderness on the Bad River.    

Campsite area
Tent site
1 site
Up to 14 guests per site
Moderate walk
2WD Accessible
No wheelchair access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Kitchen available
Picnic table available
No potable water
No showers
No wifi
Remove your rubbish
Laundry absent
Have a question? Send Dean a message!
  • Check in: After 12PM
  • Check out: Before 11AM
  • Cancellation policy: Moderate
  • On arrival: Go straight to camp
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Great mountain biking on the nearby forest roads and ATV trails.


Brook Trout fishing is good in the nearby deeper pools.


There is a canoe for you to use at the campsite. Please turn the canoe upside down when you’re done using it and secure it to ...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

Within 1 mile of the main ATV trail to Clam Lake and Hayward.

Wildlife watching


Natural features you'll find at Balsam Shores on the Bad River in Wisconsin.


Just a few minutes of hiking to the nearby waterfalls.

River, stream, or...
Swimming hole

Places to see near Bad River Wilderness

57 kilometers away Explore

28 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Jessica
Jessica P.
recommends this listing.
October 5th, 2022

Balsam Shores was great. Feels very tucked away, but also near to town. You might hear a little road hum or faint construction noise midday, but still feels remote and the surrounding foliage, water, geology is beautiful! The stars were abundant. A serene scene. The site is mostly tree canopy and opens up to the Bad River which was exceptionally low in early October. Would have loved to canoe, but it's all good. We still enjoyed the area, and you can rent canoes at Loon Lake in Copper Falls State Park if that's a draw. We hiked the rail line, very fun and felt very private. The signage + instructions are excellent. I'd come back in the Spring when the water is a little higher. Overall - great, easy stay and plenty of firewood.

Hipcamper Josie
Josie R.
recommends this listing.
September 13th, 2022

We had an amazing long weekend camping at the beautiful site! Definitely returning again, the stars and river were breath taking. Thanks Dean for being so helpful and accommodating.

Balsam Shores on the Bad RiverBalsam Shores on the Bad RiverBalsam Shores on the Bad RiverBalsam Shores on the Bad River
Hipcamper Sarah

Happy campers :)

Sarah W.
recommends this listing.
August 22nd, 2022

Campsite was amazing. Dean is a great host! We arrived late and he was kind enough to meet us at droptine and guide us. Helped us haul everything to our campsite and started the fire, even provided wood!! Best part is your dogs can be off leash!! Which they absolutely loved!! Can’t wait to come back again! Highly recommend!!!

Hipcamper Paige

Froggys bog!

Paige S.
recommends this listing.
August 14th, 2022

Such a peaceful place! Saw lots of frogs & even otters one morning. Can’t wait to come back!

Hipcamper Drew

Great quiet escape

Drew J.
recommends this listing.
August 7th, 2022

Was absolutely stunning, very quiet with some fun hiking trails nearby.

Hipcamper Kellan

Private and peaceful!

Kellan M.
recommends this listing.
July 24th, 2022

Very private and peaceful place (not to mention beautiful). Dean was super helpful and everything was marked clearly so there was no problems what so ever.

Our dog also had a blast!

Wish we could have spent a couple more nights at this site. Highly recommend!

Hipcamper morgan

Great campsite off the beaten path

Morgan L.
recommends this listing.
July 21st, 2022

This was a great campsite that was completely isolated. Exactly what we were looking for. Dean went above and beyond, had a camp fire all ready to go. We just needed to light it

Hipcamper Brian
Brian K.
recommends this listing.
July 18th, 2022

We had a lovely time camping on the Bad River. Some sites are hike in so be prepared. Not a hard hike/walk at all, but I wasn't carrying a full cooler! Make sure to bring plenty of bug spray! The mosquitoes were fierce, but without spray or protection, you're going to have a bad time. River was a little low for canoeing, but great for swimming and enjoying the small waterfalls. Would be a great spot for fall camping.

paddling down the riverView of river from siteCooking pit and picnic tableTent/hammock site
Hipcamper Johnna

Lovely river site with waterfalls!

Johnna G.
recommends this listing.
July 16th, 2022

My boyfriend and I loved staying at Dean's campsite!! It was beautiful and spacious with everything we needed, right on the river and only a short hike to multiple gorgeous small waterfalls! It all felt very wild and natural aside from the really well maintained campsite and well marked trails. We had so much fun canoeing, the water level was quite low as Dean described so we had to carry the canoe over a small dam portion and get out on a few occasions to push it past some rocks but it was all totally worth it. The water was fresh and clean and felt great. Obviously it depends on rainfall/water level when you're there. There were huge piles of branches for the fire that we just had to break up -- we did end up buying bigger precut firewood the second night just so we could spend less time managing the fire but having all that there was so helpful! Dean was so accommodating and made us feel very welcome when we canoed past him on the river! The campsite was very private and on only a few occasions we heard people at the next site over or once saw people canoe by. The bugs were definitely out later in the day but what do you expect in the north woods -- bring bug spray! The hike in was not bad although certainly rough and uneven as described. It was a fun challenge to pack light and we took it all in one trip. Would totally recommend this campsite. Thanks Dean!!!

Bad River Wilderness
United States
1 Site

Lists including Balsam Shores on the Bad River

72 camps including Camping Off The Grid and Primrose Meadows