Belwood Lake Conservation Area


Location: Fergus Ontario
Region: Southwestern
Character: Day-use Area
Activities:
Rating:

Belwood Lake Conservation Area
By Grand River Conservation Authority

Belwood Lake was created in 1942 with the construction of the Shand Dam, the first dam in Canada built solely for water control purposes. Conservation area visitors can stand on the top deck of the dam and see the vista of the Grand River valley below. A stairway along the face of the dam allows visitors to walk down to its base. The flow from the dam is used to generate hydroelectricity. The 12 km-long lake (7.5 miles) offers excellent boating, fishing and water-skiing, while a small spring-fed quarry offers an ideal spot for people to cool off on hot summer days.

There is no camping available at Belwood Lake.

There is NO beach patrol at GRCA conservation areas. Children are the responsibility of the parents/guardians/adults.

ACTIVITIES

Canoeing
The lake is suitable for canoeing, but please bring your own as there is no canoe rental.

Boating
The 12-km lake is ideal for power boating and water skiing. Fully equipped 14-foot aluminum boats with 8-hp motors can be rented at the gatehouse. The cost of a four-hour rental is $70; $105 for an eight-hour rental. A $150 deposit by credit card number or cash is required, as is a valid driver's, but not a boating license. The minimum age for rentals is 18 years. Kayaks can also be rented for $26 per two hours, or part thereof, $43 for four hours, or $75 for eight hours. A $100 damage deposit by credit card number or cash is required. Weekend hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Weekday hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Boats can be reserved in advance for a $10 reservation fee.
The water level in the reservoir can vary. Please check at the gatehouse for hazard areas.

Sailing
Belwood Lake is a popular place for sailing. The park is home to the Belwood Lake Sailing Club.

Fishing
There are plenty of places for anglers to drop a line around Belwood Lake.
A fishing pond for kids 13 years of age and under is stocked with rainbow trout and bass. The lake is great for pike (trophy size), smallmouth bass and perch. Live bait is available in the conservation area. (Note: the pond may be closed from time-to-time if the adjacent Hampton Barn is rented for a special event. Call the park for more information.)
Belwood Lake includes one kilometre of Grand River access, downstream of the dam, for superb brown trout fishing.
Belwood Lake also has ice fishing in winter when conditions allow.

Hiking
There are 3.3 km of trails within the conservation area and the 42 km Elora-Cataract Trailway runs through the conservation area.

Cycling
The 42 km Elora-Cataract Trailway mentioned above is popular for cycling.

Swimming
Belwood Lake Conservation Area has a one-acre spring-fed quarry with a sandy beach. A shallow area is sectioned off for small children. The beach is not patrolled, so parents/guardians/adults must keep a close watch on children at all times.
A life-jacket loaner program is available. Use of the life-jackets is free with a small, refundable deposit. Ask at the gatehouse for information.
Water quality is tested weekly during the summer.

Picnicking

Numerous picnic tables are available for use. Fires or alcohol are not permitted. Recycling bins and garbage containers are placed throughout the conservation area. Blue box items include boxboard, paper, plastics, foil, glass, cans, drinking boxes and milk cartons.

Hunting
Hunting is available on a limited portion of the Belwood Lake Conservation Area property, a safe distance from other facilities. Hunters must buy a permit from the GRCA as well as meet all provincial rules and regulations.
Call conservation area staff at (519) 843-2979 for more information.

Winter activities
Belwood Lake is a great place for ice-fishing, cross-country skiing (ungroomed tracks), snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

FACILITIES

Gatehouse
This is the location of the lost and found. It is the place to go to report any problems or concerns, to rent motor boats, or get further information about the conservation area.

Group facilities
Belwood Lake is a popular spot for group events including family reunions, wedding receptions, and corporate picnics. Two facilities are available for these events.
The Hampton Barn is a quaint, restored barn nestled in a cedar hollow overlooking the trout pond. With seating for 90, it also has washroom facilities, a stove, fridge, double sink and serving counter and a large swing set is nearby for kids.

Washrooms
A washroom with flush toilets is near the boat launch. Flush vault toilets are located at the beach and standard vault units are located at convenient locations throughout the conservation area.

Sports and fun
The conservation area has horseshoe pits, a volleyball net and a baseball diamond, which can be reserved. There is also a new playground at the beach.

Boat Launch
The conservation area has two concrete boat launches

Dog Policy
Pets are welcome in the conservation area but they must be leashed and under control at all times. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in the swimming areas. Owners are asked to "stoop and scoop". There is a fine for not obeying these regulations.

Tourism/Services
Grocery stores, hardware stores and drug stores can be found in Fergus and Elora.
In Fergus, the 19th century storefronts along Stander Street West are home to a wide variety of businesses.
There are boutiques, antique stores, restaurants and cafes on Mill, Metcalfe and Geddes streets in Elora.
The nearest hospital is Groves Memorial Hospital, 235 Union Street East, Fergus.

Address:
8282 Wellington County Rd. 18, RR #4
Fergus, ON N1M 2W5
Approximate latitude 43 43' 56" N
Approximate longitude 80 19' 54" W

Season:
Open year round (reduced services/limited access off season). Please call to inquire.

Fees:
Conservation Area Admission As of Feb. 1, 2011
Over 14 years of age (excluding Brant and Rockwood) $5.25
Over 14 years of age (Brant) $6
Over 14 years of age (Rockwood) $5.50
Child aged 6 to 14 (excluding Brant but including Rockwood) $2.75
Child aged 6 to 14 (Brant) $3.50
Child aged 5 and under free
Buses (20 or more people) Discount $0.25/person