Guelph Lake Conservation Area
Guelph Lake Conservation Area
By Grand River Conservation Authority
There's a lot of room for recreation at this 1,608 hectares ( 3,971 acres) conservation area created with the construction of the Guelph Lake dam in 1974. A newly developed concert area with a unique living roof is on an island in the middle of the lake.
There are two beaches and non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake. It is home to a sailing club, a rowing club and there's excellent fishing.
7743 Conservation Dr., RR 4
Guelph, ON N1H 6J1
Approximate latitude 43° 36' 20" N
Approximate longitude 80° 15' 25" W
Print a map and directions
E-mail conservation area staff or phone (519) 824-5061
Open April 30 to the Sunday following Thanksgiving
Review our Camping Reservation Policy prior to making your online or phone reservation (1-877-558-GRCA (4722))
Alcohol is permitted only on registered campsites. An alcohol ban is in effect from the start of the Victoria Day weekend until the third Sunday in June as well as the Labour Day weekend.
There is NO beach patrol at GRCA conservation areas. Children are the responsibility of the parents/guardians/adults.
Camp sites: Guelph Lake has 104 services sites with electricity and water and about 190 unserviced sites in a variety of locations, including riverfront and forest. Up to six people are permitted per campsite and check in is after 2 p.m. while check out is before noon.
Group camping: Nine group campsites can be booked directly through conservation area staff for supervised youth groups or large gatherings that exceed 10 camping units. These are available by reservation only.
Monthly & seasonal campers: Please contact the conservation area directly to book a seasonal or monthly site.
Alcohol: Alcohol is permitted only on registered campsites. An alcohol ban is in effect from the start of the Victoria Day weekend until the third Sunday in June as well as the Labour Day weekend.
Waste: Containers are located throughout the conservation area. Please deposit all refuse in the large hoppers as you exit, as there is no collection directly from the campsites. Paper products, cans, and bottles can be recycled in the bins beside the main washroom. A trailer sewage dumping station is at the entrance of the serviced area.
Canoeing and kayaking
Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the boathouse by the main beach.
No outboard motors are allowed on Guelph Lake. The lake is home to the Guelph Rowing Club which offers many programs for people of all ages.
The lake is home to the Guelph Community Boating Club and both sailing and windsurfing are popular on the lake. Warning: wind direction changes quickly here and speeds can pick up.
Guelph Lake offers the novice or pro-angler northern pike (trophy-sized), smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, and carp. Anglers can fish along the shorelines or from a boat. Only electric motors are allowed, no gas engines.
There are approximately five kilometers of hiking trails which will take you through a wide variety of natural wooded areas as well as tall stands of reforestation.
Cyclists use the trails and roads inside the conservation area. In addition, there is a recreational trail from Riverside Conservation area in Guelph that follows the river to Guelph Lake.
Swimming in the conservation area is a popular activity. There are two large sandy beaches located in the conservation area for your convenience. Change houses are at both beaches.
Neither beach is patrolled, so parents or guardians 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.
Picnic tables are scattered throughout the conservation area for your use. Waste containers are located throughout the conservation area. Recycling bins for paper products, cans, and bottles are beside the main washroom.
This is the location of the community bulletin board, pay telephone and a lost and found. It is the place to go to report any problems or concerns, to purchase firewood (until 9 p.m.) and get further information about the conservation area.
For weddings, company picnics or family gatherings you may want to reserve one of the three shelters in the conservation area. The shelters all offer an exceptional view of the lake. The largest of the three shelters will seat approximately 500 people, has an abundance of electricity available.
There are two washrooms: one in Lower Parkside area #2 campground and the second near the day use beach. Both have hot and cold running potable water. Coin-operated showers are also available at the Lower Parkside washroom. Vault-type toilets are located throughout the conservation area for your convenience.
The "Last Resort" food concession located at the main day-use beach offers excellent food at reasonable prices. The concessionaire also has canoes and kayaks available for rent.
Sports and fun
Guelph Lake has a children's play area and volleyball area.
A boat launch is available.
Pets are welcome in the park 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.
All services including shopping, hardware stores, gasoline, grocery and pharmacies are in Guelph, about five minutes drive south.
A city of just over 100,000, Guelph is known for its quaint downtown, numerous festivals and limestone buildings. Guelph Lake is home of the annual Hillside Festival.
The nearest hospital is Guelph General Hospital at 115 Delhi St., Guelph, 519-822-5350.