Bridgeport State Recreation Area

  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Swimming

Those looking for shady campsites and sandy beaches will enjoy a visit to Bridgeport State Recreation Area, a relatively small but popular spot for boating, camping and picnicking just west of Bridgeport. It encompasses about 200 acres, including 78 acres of water in five sandpit lakes.

Many years ago, the Commission planted numerous trees and shrubs, which have now matured to provide ample shade. Visitors will find cottonwood, pine, sand cherry, plum, Nanking cherry, quail bush, chokecherry and Chinese elm.



Anglers will find a lot of variety at the area, with catchable size rainbow trout stocked in Center Lake and Northwest Lake. Cutthroat trout, a species not common in Nebraska, have been stocked there, as well. Other species include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and channel catfish.

For more information on fishing opportunities here and at parks across the state, visit the interactive public fishing areas map. This map provides detailed information on available species, regulations, public boat ramps, fish cleaning stations and ADA-accessible boat ramps and docks, among other features in reservoirs, lakes, streams and rivers statewide. Lake contour maps are available for some lakes, as well.


Boating is popular at Bridgeport. All boats are permitted on Center Lake, the largest of the lakes on the state recreation area. However, boat traffic must travel in a counter-clockwise direction, and speeds are limited to 5 mph in the large bay at the southwest end of Center Lake. The smaller lakes are limited to non-powered vessels and those powered by conventional electric outboard motors.


A designated swimming beach provides visitors with a place to cool off on warm summer days. No lifeguard is on duty.


With its many mature shade trees, Bridgeport is a popular spot for picnicking and grilling out. The area has 125 picnic tables, 100 grills and one picnic shelter.



Bridgeport State Recreation Area offers all first-come, first-served Primitive camping. The area includes about 130 non-designated campsites. Other amenities include drinking water, primitive restrooms, a dump and fill station and playground equipment are available for campers.

Camping is all first-come, first-served and campers register their nightly camping fees in a raised, locked box called an Iron Ranger. Self-service envelopes are provided at each Iron Ranger station. Check or cash only. Iron Rangers are generally located near the park entrance or in the campground area. On-site camping informational signs are provided to help guide campers with the self-registration process.



A park entry permit is required and may be purchased at statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors or in advance of your arrival online.


Nearby attractions


Food, lodging, fuel and groceries are available in nearby Bridgeport, population 1,545. Also nearby are landmarks Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock. Just down the road you will find such attractions as the Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area.

Take a Video Tour

Contact Information

Address: Bridgeport SRA | PO Box 65 | Gering, NE 69341-0065
West of Bridgeport off Neb. Hwys 26 and 92
Phone: (308) 436-3777

Email: Send email