Hipcamp host Dean W.,
Hosted by

If you’re looking for a campsite where you can interact or see other campers, this campsite isn’t for you. You’ll have LOTS of privacy here.

Update: A canoe/paddles and a picnic table are now at the site for you to use. 

 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 "Balsam Shores on th


If you’re looking for a campsite where you can interact or see other campers, this campsite isn’t for you. You’ll have LOTS of privacy here.

Update: A canoe/paddles and a picnic table are now at the site for you to use. 

 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 "Balsam Shores on the Bad River".  In the national forest, there is no camping allowed within 75 feet of water but here you will be camping about 15 feet from the water. This is a hike in tent site that is less than 1/4 mile from the parking area and should take about 5 minutes to hike to camp. 

This site will be set up with a Tentsile Stingray tent available which is an elevated tent tied to 3 trees for support.  You enter the tent from the center bottom and it supports up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.  I'm very sorry, but no dogs in the tent.  There is a very fine mesh screen on the inside of the tent that can easily be torn by a dogs toenails. The bottom of the tent could also be punctured by a dogs nails and a wet/dirty dog would leave smells for the next campers. So, I’m sorry but I can’t allow dogs in the tent. You could bring a small tent for your pup you can set up underneath the tree tent.  Prior to your departure, please use the towel I have at the camp to wipe out any dirt, grasses, and leaves that may have been brought into the tent.  Also please shake out the rug underneath the tent and close the door on the tent to keep bugs out.  I may not be able to check on the site between campers so thank you for leaving the site ready for the next campers.   Also no smoking or eating in the tent.    If there are food crumbs in the tent a bear will destroy the tent looking for the source of the food smell.  Yeah, they can smell one small crumb and they will tear the tent up very bad to get in.  Thank you very much for understanding this.  

There is room to set up your own smaller tents nearby also if you choose not to use the Stingray or if your group is larger.  The Stingray has a rainfly on it and please don't try to remove it as it goes on a specific way to ensure rain can't enter the tent.  I'll have the rainfly attached with its designed system plus additional means to ensure the tent stays dry for all campers.  As a heads-up, these tents are a little bit of a challenge to enter even though there will be a net ladder hanger to climb to enter from the bottom.  If you have physical limitations, please understand that this isn't the easiest tent to enter.  Please watch some videos on the Tentsile Stingray or bring a tent in your vehicle if it is too difficult to enter.  Thank you very much for understanding what I describe with the tent.       

With a 1 minute walk downriver there is another area to set up tents if you need additional space.  

You can also canoe/kayak to this site.  If you choose to do that please message me for details on that. 

 This will be a tent site with an enclosed pit toilet with a toilet seat, a canoe, a picnic table, a fire ring, and a grill to cook on.  As I expand the site, I may have some cut firewood for you to use. Please do not move the fire ring as sparks from the fire could damage the tent if the fire ring was moved closer to the tent. If the wind is blowing from the fire towards the tent, please keep the fire small and use the mesh cover to minimize sparks   There are 2 plastic chairs at the fire area and I'll also have some large blocks of wood cut to use for sitting on around the fire. 

At the site is the largest white pine on my property with a circumference of 13 feet.  Next to this tree is where the Stingray will be. 

Within a 3 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 mile 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.

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.

The river is great for swimming with clean water and a hard sand bottom as we have no farm fields for erosion in our headwaters. The river water is great for using a water filter for drinking.

There are numerous signs posted for directions to the campsite and the waterfalls.  There will also be a map for you at the campsite  (in the ammo can) to locate the waterfalls.  There are good options for hammock trees here also.

The Drop Tine Bar & Grill in Cayuga 1  1/2 miles away from the parking area has great food and drinks.  They're closed Monday & Thursday, open at 3 on Tuesday & Wednesday and open at noon Friday-Sunday..  

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 1/4 mile hike over irregular terrain from the parking area 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. IMPORTANT: Directions should be provided after you book but, do not turn at the blue address sign, turn right 150 feet past the blue address sign which would be right after the gravel pit. Please read the directions carefully.  Thanks.

Lodging provided
1 site
Up to 15 guests per site
Short walk
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Kitchen available
Picnic table available
No potable water
No showers
No wifi
Pack it out
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: 9 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


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


Brook Trout, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, and Shiners/Chubs are in the river.


A canoe and paddles are at the campsite for you to enjoy. I have no life jackets so please bring those if you prefer to wear t...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

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


Hard sand bottom in the river for swimming.

Whitewater paddling

There are very challenging whitewater rapids downriver and a great kayak trip would be from the Cayuga Bridge to Mellen which i...Read more

Wildlife watching


Natural features you'll find at A Tree Tent on the Bad River in Wisconsin.


Very close to the national forest.


5 minute hike to one of the 3 nice waterfalls in the area.

Swimming hole

Places to see near Bad River Wilderness

9 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Jack

An amazing campsite, blown away

Jack T.
recommends this listing.
May 23rd, 2021

This was, and I am not exaggerating, one of the coolest campsites I’ve ever stayed at. It was an absolute adventure. Campsite sits on a gorgeous part of the bad river, and the fire pit is right down by the shore. Bugs this time of year were a little rough but with the campfire and a little bug spray we really didn’t have issues, despite it being a wet week in May. The tent that comes with the site is plenty roomy for 3 people and it rained on us the last night, which we wouldn’t have even noticed come morning. Tent is super water proof and gear can be set below the tent and stay dry. If we had needed more space there was room to pitch at least 1 more tent, maybe 2. Dean was friendly and really welcoming and even started a fire for us before our first night. Also: fire ring has a tripod adjustable height cooking grate that we used to cook some food and it worked great.

As far as the area, we explored a 12 mile stretch of the bad river north of the campsite via canoe, couldn’t take it quite all the way to the tree tent site but Dean gave us some great tips about the area. There is plenty to do if you’re down to explore a little.

Long story short, don’t think about it just book it. You won’t regret it, and you will probably come back to the site again - we certainly will.

Hipcamper Trista

Girls road trip weekend stay

Trista D.
recommends this listing.
May 30th, 2021

The stay was amazing. Definitely a little hike. Wear the correct footwear. :) as soon as we got to the campsite we immediately felt serenity. The tent felt like we were in a covered hammock. Check the weather first to prepare your sleeping night. It was a little chilly at night but definitely the best time we have had in a long time!

A Tree Tent on the Bad RiverA Tree Tent on the Bad RiverA Tree Tent on the Bad RiverA Tree Tent on the Bad River
Hipcamper Bradi

Wonderful stay amazing host

Bradi H.
recommends this listing.
June 8th, 2021

Dean was very helpful the bugs are thick as your in the woods in the river so bring bug spray he had a canoe for us to use which was awesome he was also really personable and brought us some beer when we asked for a close store! We will definitely be back on our next trip!

Hipcamper Jackie


Jackie Y.
recommends this listing.
June 12th, 2021

The Tree Tent site and the rest of Dean’s property is stunning, a little piece of Heaven on Earth. It is completely remote and peaceful and you just can’t find that in a campground. The river runs right by the site and at night, you can listen to the rapids just down the way. I enjoyed laying on my back by the river and the fire looking up at the amazing night sky. No light pollution out there! The amazing amount of labor put into just making the trails to get there is one clue that Dean is passionate about sharing this beauty with others. He has been careful to provide what you need but not to interfere with the simplicity of this pristine environment. I can’t recommend this site enough. There is so much more to tell but come and experience it yourself. Dean is the best and most attentive host ever!

Hipcamper Samantha

Peaceful stay along the bad river

Samantha L.
recommends this listing.
June 17th, 2021

Staying at The Tree Tent on the Bad River was such a peaceful experience you stay right next to the river and the views from the site are beautiful!

The hike back to the tree tent takes about ten minutes, so be prepared to pack all your stuff in and out. You'll first walk down an out-of-service train track and then there will be signs with ribbons guiding the way. After the train tracks, the trail becomes a little rocky and tree-rooted, so just be cautious.

Upon arrival, Dean had the fire made and all I had to do was light it. There was an abundant amount of firewood and kindling available to keep the fire going.

From the campsite, there are serval activities you can do, such as canoeing, fishing, hiking, and just relaxing. At the site, Dean provides a map of nearby waterfalls all within hiking distance from the tree tent. I highly recommend going to check them out.

Sleeping in the tent was so comfy, but the draft from underneath can get a little chilly at night. Also, at night the views of the stars are incredible from this location.

Sunset glow on the treesTripod grill grate available to cook with.Tent view from a distance on a rock across the river.Hiking in from parking area. From this point, it's about a 10-minute hike in.
Hipcamper Billy

Must camp!

Billy L.
recommends this listing.
June 6th, 2021

Amazing site for a lite camper!

Hipcamper SETH

Find somewhere else - i want it!

Seth J.
recommends this listing.
June 14th, 2021

This place was awful - do not go here - ever! Ok, that's selfish - I only want to keep this treasure to myself! What a hidden treasure! Dean was so hospitable - had fire set up and ready to light when we got there. Went swimming in the river, sat in the rapids. And the tent - what an experience! Great father/son weekend! Looking forward to getting back there and trying out the canoe. Resturant in town was good - walk able but with the bugs - we drove the mile. Not many bugs at the site with a fire going and light breeze. Bottom line - as others have mentioned - this place was a real treasure and we look forward to going back!!

Hipcamper Katy

Wonderful getaway!

Katy L.
recommends this listing.
June 21st, 2021

My friend and I stayed two nights. We slept in the tree tent, which was somewhat difficult to get in and out of, but was very fun and comfortable to sleep in. The site was great, as were the amenities (fire pit, chairs, tripod for cooking, fire wood, pit toilet, map to falls, canoe, etc.). We came with car-camping gear knowing that we would have to carry it in multiple trips. It was challenging making the trek with a cooler, etc., but not impossible. It would be a breeze with backpacking gear! We went in mid-June and the mosquitoes and dear flies were consistently there, but not so bad that they ruined the trip. Dean was a great host and even helped carry some of our gear back to the car on the last day!

Hipcamper Jessica

So unique!

Jessica D.
recommends this listing.
June 21st, 2021

Grateful for Dean's thoughtful communication and preparation. The cut firewood, fire ring, and canoe were all great perks. Plus he just added a really nice picnic table, which makes the reality of hiking things in way easier!
Make sure you read the whole description on his listing to know what youre getting into and to make sure it is a good fit. Great experience if youre ready for a unique adventure. Would definitely come back!
Pack bug spray, of course!

Bad River Wilderness
United States
1 Site

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