Lake Hayward, Connecticut, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Connecticut - River Valley -

He unloads the station wagon carrying carefully packed boxes to his wife in the house. The kids are already next door reacquainting themselves with the friends they made last summer. Everyone is a little tentative and shy at first, but it will only take a few hours before they are back to being fast friends playing on the beach or in the water of Lake Hayward. They’ve been bringing the kids to the lake every summer to enjoy the clean, clear water of the lake and all the amenities that come with POA membership for their lakefront house. Lake Hayward in the River Valley region of Connecticut is a fantastic destination for the whole family.

Lake Hayward is a natural spring fed lake in the central district near East Haddam. Its outflow is through Eight Mile River. Originally called Long Pond by the Indians that lived on its shore, the name was eventually changed to Shaw’s Pond. European settlers came to the lake in 1704 and built several mills at the outlet of the lake. In `1790 Thomas Shaw bought the grist mill, and the lake became known as Shaw’s Pond. The lake’s dam was rebuilt in 1854 and again in 1877 raising the lake to its current level.

In 1924 Nathaniel Hayward partnered with Mr. Goodyear of Goodyear Rubber in a rubber mill on the shore of the Lake Hayward. Together they came up with a way to vulcanize rubber and may even have made the first basketball shoes, ahead of Converse. Mr. Hayward established a hunting lodge on the lake, and after his death the lake was named for him.

Mr. Hayward’s lodge may have been one of the first attempts to establish Lake Hayward as a recreation destination, but it certainly wasn’t the last. In the 1930’s a development company started Lake Hayward Days. Visitors and residents competed in swimming races, watermelon fights and a decorated boat contest. Lake Hayward Days continues today, and Lake Hayward has firmly established itself as a seasonal recreation community.

The eastern shore of Lake Hayward has private residential development almost all on the waterfront or with lake access. A dirt road designated as a scenic route runs along the eastern shore with room for hiking and biking. Public access to the lake is from a state owned boat launch and is restricted to the launch area only.

Residences on the western shore of Lake Hayward are all part of the Property Owners Associations of Lake Hayward (POALH). There are sand beaches for POA members along with amenities that include a boat ramp, pavilion and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. Most of the residences on both shores of the lake are seasonal, but there are some year round waterfront homes as well. Property on the lake is sought after so there are few vacation rentals available, but there is some real estate for sale.

Lake Hayward is very clean and no gas powered boats are allowed on the lake. With almost 190 acres of water there is plenty of water to swim, kayak, canoe, paddle boat and sail. In the winter there is also ice skating and ice fishing. The lake is a mile and a half long, half a mile wide and a fantastic place to fish. Every year the lake is stocked in the spring with brown trout and rainbow trout.

Slightly south of Lake Hayward, Devil’s Hopyard State Park is 860 acres including interesting rock formations and trails for hiking and biking. The park also includes Chapman Falls with a 60 foot waterfall. Round holes in the stone of the falls may be the “Devil’s Footprints” that gave the park its name; no one knows for sure. What is certain, however, is that the park, established in 1919, is one of the best places to bird watch in the state. It is also an exceptional day trip from Lake Hayward.

Gillette Castle State Park is also a great day trip from the lake. The medieval stone castle was built for actor, director and playwright, William Hooker Gillette. It took 20 men working five years from 1914 through 1919 to complete the castle. The State bought the 184 acre estate in 1943 and opened it to the public. There are trails crossing the grounds, and the architecture, both interior and exterior, is fascinating.

Lake Hayward is near East Haddam and about 30 minutes from Mystic Seaport, Hartford, and New London. There are restaurants, shopping, and any amenities a guest could want all within a short drive of the lake. With its beautiful clear mountain water and wooded shores Lake Hayward is truly a getaway. The facilities of the POA, however, and the amenities of the surrounding area combine to make it an ideal and accessible family destination.

Things to do at Lake Hayward

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • State Park
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Hayward

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Lake Hayward Photo Gallery

    Lake Hayward Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Surface Area: 190 acres

    Shoreline Length: 4 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 348 feet

    Average Depth: 11 feet

    Maximum Depth: 37 feet

    Completion Year: 1877

    Spread the word! Share our Lake Hayward article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.