Within the beautiful panhandle of North Idaho are the two communities of Hayden and Hayden Lake. These two communities are within the County of Kootenai County, one of the fastest growing counties in Idaho.
With its crystal clear water, sandy beaches and timber shores, Hayden Lake is one of the most beautiful and popular lakes of Northern Idaho. Its strange shape gives it about 40 miles of shoreline, with the main portion of the lake being seven miles long and one to two miles in width. Normal lake elevation is about 2,239 feet above sea level and portions of its reach 800 ft. deep. The lake is surrounded on three sides by panoramic timber mountains. The majority of this land is the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, which offers excellent hunting, fishing and camping.
During the year 1878, a man by the name of Matt Heyden homesteaded the southwester shore and developed an extensive farm including the first fruit orchard in the area. Heyden and another man named Hager were friends who often played cards together and this led to the naming of the lake. So the story goes, the two men had decided to name the lake and elected to let the winner of a card game select the name. Matt Heyden won and the lake became Heyden’s Lake. Over time the spelling of the lake’s name changed and became Hayden Lake.
Today the lake is a perfect setting for several hundred homes. Housing is still good with a wide variety of homes for different lifestyles. There are also two public campgrounds available on the lake within a few miles of State Highway 95. The first is Sportsmen’s Park, at the north end of the lake and the other is Mikins Bay Campgrounds, on the east side of the lake. Hayden lake public beach, known locally as Honeysuckle Beach, is located at the southwest edge of the lake and is the only public beach, boat launching ramp and picnic area on the lake.