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 offers only primitive camping. The area includes about 130 non-designated sites. Water, pit latrines, a dump station and playground equipment are available for campers.
A park entry permit is required and may be purchased at Game and Parks offices and permit vendors or in advance of your arrival online.
Residents $30 for an annual permit, duplicate annual permits are available for $15 and daily permits for $6.
For vehicles not registered and licensed in Nebraska $45 for an annual permit, duplicate annuals permits are available for $22.50 and daily permits for $8.
Camping – (first-come, first-served)
$8 – Primitive
For a complete list of all state park, state recreation area and state historical park fees, click here.
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.
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