• By Lou
  • July 12, 2017
  • Comments Off on LAKE HAYWARD



Copyright 2017 KayakingCTwithLou.com


Lake Hayward

Colchester, CT

Last paddled: 7/10/17

Lake Hayward

A view of Lake Hayward.

The shores of this 174 acre lake are moderately to heavily populated with only two very small private areas of swamp and a lightly populated but short outflow (See last photo below) that extend beyond this sit-in-spin lake . First time paddlers who live in this area might benefit from paddling here; however, there are other lakes in the area which will provide more privacy and fun for non-fishing recreational kayakers.  For example, rec paddlers would likely enjoy exploring Moodus Reservoir in East Haddam, CT

Hayward Lake could be a good first experience for first time paddlers for a few good reasons! Paddlers are likely to be within sight of onlookers while paddling on the lake during the swimming season. It would be unlikely that a person in trouble could go unnoticed with three active beaches and so many homes along its shoreline during the swimming season. The launch is very easy to access and there are two small short swamp paddles and a short outflow that could introduce a beginner to something beyond a typical sit-in-spin lake without overwhelming the first-timer. However, this lake would likely be a boring paddle for anyone with experience that extends beyond intro level paddling.

The first area beyond the main body of water can be accessed immediately to the right of the ramp; it is a short canal like section of water which parallels the more swampy pad covered area next to it. In this area, paddlers will see beaver lodges and maybe scare up a heron as we did. This section can be paddled in just a few minutes; however, I suspect it might be a good place to try fishing. There was a fisherman casting down this way from the launch when we arrived and I found enough lures and line to suggest it is probably a popular spot.

The second area is a bit larger and can be found by paddling to the left of the launch. The entrance to the swamp can be found just after the red roof. After entering this area, paddlers can paddle left and right for a very short distance. Further to the right if paddlers look for the better way in. This will be very unremarkable to all but a beginner.

Lake Hayward

Trails through swamp.

I spent a half hour in the swamp area located to the left of the launch just after the red roof; but, I guarantee you most people will not be interested in going that deep into that swamp. I eventually pulled my way through a narrow waterway through the cattails for quite a distance and had to back out only to see a few more red-wing black birds than were already visible in the easier section. This easy portion of this section would give the average paddler about a 15 minute distraction at best. See photo left.

Lake Hayward

The end of the very short paddle-able portion of the outflow.

The outflow to this Hayward Lake is not visible from the lake and is located to the left of the ramp at the far side of the lake. This short outflow is less populated, feels slightly more private, and ends very quickly at road which crosses it (See photo).

We paddled this lake on a weekday and as was mentioned in the above description, there isn’t much to be seen here that wouldn’t already have been seen elsewhere by experienced paddlers. It’s well populated and has a few beaches. Even in the middle of the week, we were constantly seeing people along the shore and in the water. I would not recommend driving any distance to experience this lake unless fishing or new to kayaking.

Hayward Lake Boat Launch

The Hayward Lake boat launch is located 15 Fedus Road (off East Shore Road) in Colchester, CT.  Kayakers may want to launch on either side of the solid ramp area because there are two cement slabs at the water that are not aligned with the rest of the ramp. The lake is primarily located in East Haddam, CT.  Seasonal chemical toilet at launch.

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