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Calamus State Recreation Area

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

Located in Nebraska’s beautiful sandhills, Calamus State Recreation Area is among the most popular places for camping, fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking in the state. Features of the area include a 5,123-acre lake and surrounding 4,958 acres of gently rolling land, covered with native grasses and forbs. Some 1.2 miles of the Calamus River and 3.5 miles of other streams meander through the area.

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Attractions

Fishing

Primary sport fish at Calamus State Recreation Area are walleye, white bass, wipers (white/striped bass hybrid), channel catfish, carp, drum, muskie, northern pike and crappie. In addition, catchable rainbow trout are stocked regularly in adjoining Gracie Creek Pond. In spring and early summer, walleye are tops on most anglers’ lists. As summer progresses white bass, wipers and catfish show up. Two fish-cleaning stations are on-site.

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

All types of boats are permitted at the lake, which offers four docks and five ramps. Calamus State Recreation Area also offers access to the Calamus River.

Concessions

Dining, snacks, groceries, boat rental, bait and other sundries are available at the following concession areas (call for details, exact location and hours):

  • Husker Marine: 308-346-4410
  • Homestead Knolls Sports Center: 308-346-5695
  • Calamus Marine: 308-346-5678
  • D&C Calamus West: 308-214-0013
  • Sandhills Service: 402-241-8424

Fish Hatchery

One of Nebraska’s five fish hatcheries is located at Calamus State Recreation Area. Located below the dam, the hatchery has self-guided tours and displays on raising fish and other topics, making it an interesting and unexpected stop for many lake visitors.

Picnicking

The fresh air and cool evenings of the Sandhills make Calamus a great spot for picnicking and grilling out. The area offers 204 picnic tables, 216 grills and one shelter.

Swimming

Swimming is permitted at Calamus Reservoir, however, no lifeguards are on duty, and swimming is at your own risk. Swimming is not allowed within 50 yards of boat ramps and docks.

Other activities

Calamus offers naturalist programs, birding events and a huge pumpkin carving event each autumn. Visit the calendar to view upcoming events.

Camping

RV camping

Calamus offers 132 pad sites with 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups spread over three different campgrounds. Shower houses are available at Homestead Knolls, Nunda Shoal and Valley View Flat campgrounds. All three areas offer mature shade trees, water and modern restrooms and each area is within walking distance of the lake. A dump station is available at Little York Point. Additionally, RV and camper camping is permitted in the parking lots of the Valley View Flat and Hannaman Bayou campgrounds in designated spots.

Download Homestead Knolls campground map
Download Nunda Shoal campground map
Download park map

Primitive camping

Calamus offers 55 non-pad sites without electricity. Water and modern restrooms are available, and shower houses are available at Homestead Knolls, Nunda Shoal and Valley View campgrounds. Reservable group tent sites that accommodate up to eight tents are available in the Valley View Flat Campground. Beach camping is not permitted at Calamus SRA.

Download Homestead Knolls campground map
Download Nunda Shoal campground map
Download park map

Nearby attractions

Burwell

Dining, lodging, fuel and groceries are available in nearby Burwell. Burwell is also home to Nebraska’s oldest rodeo, which takes place each July.

Tubing, canoeing and tanking

Calamus Outfitters offers tubing, canoeing and tanking trips down the Calamus River. They also offer guided bird watching and hunting.

Contact Information

Address: Calamus SRA | 42285 York Point Rd | Burwell, NE 68823-9803
Phone: (308) 346-5666

Email: Send email