Clayton and Taylor Lakes

Clayton and Taylor Lakes

Thompson’s Black Rock park is located on the west shore of Clayton Lake.

Fishing & boating

The Clayton-Taylor Lake complex is located in Fisheries Management Zone 18.

Species of fish found in both lakes include pike, walleye (pickerel), small and large mouth bass, rock bass, black crappie, yellow perch, white sucker, pumpkinseed, bluegill, and brown bullhead (mud pout)

CLAYTON LAKE: Lake perimeter = 13.5km, Maximum Depth = 10.7 meters
TAYLOR LAKE: Lake perimeter = 15.0km, Maximum Depth = 3.0 meters

Clayton General Store, located 8km away, is a Service Ontario licence issuer.

History of the lakes

Once known as Lake Harmony, Clayton Lake was originally smaller than it is now.  Pioneer Edward Bellamy obtained the water privilege of the falls on the Indian River in the village of Clayton around 1824.  He wanted to build a dam to raise the water in the lake for water power.  When those whose land bordered the lake were in agreement, or “harmony” with the idea, the work went ahead on the dam and mill, hence the name “Lake Harmony”.  Many bordering properties were flooded as a result of the construction of this dam.  You can still see old fences, still intact, underwater in shallow waters.

Taylor Lake flows into Clayton Lake.  The two lakes are connected by the channel which resides just off our boat launch.  This lake is home of the famous Floating Bridge.  In Claudia Smith’s book, “Gypsies, Preachers and Big White Bears: One Hundred Years on Country Roads”, she explains the history of this bridge.  It was built using logs and lumber – many from our farm – on the narrows between Clayton and Taylor lakes in 1859.  Local residents, livestock, carts and wagons regularly used the bridge.  Crossing at the floating bridge made the trip to the Catholic Church in Ferguson Falls and the rail depot in Almonte considerably shorter.  By 1914, the first car crossed it. Sadly, in 1943, the deteriorating bridge was closed by the provincial government.  Current residents enjoy the floating bridge each winter when it is resurrected as an ice bridge.

About Black Rock Park