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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

  • Archery
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping

  • Canoe/Kayak
  • Fishing
  • Food service

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Lodging

  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Swimming

Nebraska’s largest reservoir, Lake McConaughy offers outstanding boating, fishing, swimming and camping. The area boasts beautiful white sand beaches perfect for swimming, building sandcastles or just soaking up the sun. The beach is also a popular spot for camping, as tent campers can pitch their tent right on the water’s edge. All together, the area totals more than 40,000 acres, 34,700 of which are water acres, and has more than 100 miles of shoreline. Alcohol is prohibited at Lake McConaughy.

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Attractions

Fishing

Fishing has long been a favorite activity at Lake McConaughy, with its cool, clear, deep waters. Game fish species include walleye, channel catfish, Northern pike, wiper and white bass. The area has three fish cleaning stations located at Martin Bay, Otter Creek and Cedar Vue. The area offers several boat ramps with docks, depending upon water level. Contact the Visitor’s Center for ramp availability. Fuel and boat rental are available from vendors around the lake.

Swimming

The area’s white sand beaches make it a popular destination for swimmers and those who want to hang out on the shore and soak up the sun. While the entire shoreline is open to swimming, a designated swim beach is located at Martin Bay. Lifeguards are not on duty.

Lake McConaughy Visitor Center/Water Interpretive Center

The lake’s Visitor Center houses the park offices, as well as aquariums and a theater. Interactive displays interpreting the Platte River and High Plains Aquifer are also located within the Visitor Center. The Center is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the rest of the year, the center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Concessions

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

  • Admiral’s Cove: 308-355-2102
  • Big Mac Marina: 308-355-5555
  • Eagle Canyon Hideaway: 308-287-2673
  • JC Cedar View: 308-355-2793
  • The Kite Ranch: 308-284-2775
  • Kingsley Lodge: 308-284-2775
  • Leuck Towing Service: 308-289-1213
  • North Shore Lodge: 308-355-2222
  • Otter Creek Lodge: 308-355-2372
  • Ski Patrol: 308-726-7368
  • Van’s Lakeview: 308-284-4965

Hunting

Parts of the area are open to hunting during certain times of the year. View the Public Access Atlas for details.

Other activities

Wind surfing, water skiing, scuba diving and ice boating are also popular activities at Lake McConaughy. The annual ATV Jamboree draws ATV enthusiasts from near and far. The annual Kites and Castles weekend is a very popular event featuring a sandcastle building contest under a sky dotted with kites.

Camping

Modern camping

Lone Eagle Campground

The Lone Eagle modern campground is located on the north shore of Lake McConaughy SRA. The campground can be accessed through the Arthur Bay Entrance (Gate #2) from Hwy. 92, and follow the Shoreline Road 2.7 miles west, or you can access the campground through the Sandy Beach Entrance (Gate #4) from Hwy. 92, and then follow the Shoreline Road 1.7 miles east.

The restroom and shower facility offers public restrooms and seven unisex private shower cubicles, each with a dressing room and shower stall. The showers are coin-operated, 75 cents for 3 minutes. A dollar bill change machine is on site. Between Oct. 15 and May 1, only vault toilets are available.

Lone Eagle Campground has electrical and some full hook-up sites. Water is available at the restroom/shower facility. A trailer dump station is located near the Arthur Bay entrance.

Download Lone Eagle campground map

Little Thunder Campground

The Little Thunder modern campground is located on the north shore of Lake McConaughy. The campground can be accessed through the Martin Bay Entrance (Gate #1) from Hwy. 61, and then follow the Shoreline Road 1.9 miles west, or you can access the campground through the Arthur Bay Entrance (Gate #2) from Hwy. 92, and follow the Shoreline Road 1.5 miles east.

The restroom and shower facility offers public restrooms and seven unisex private shower cubicles, each with a dressing room and shower stall. The showers are coin-operated, 75 cents for 3 minutes. Dollar bill change machine is on site. Between Oct. 15 and May 1, only vault toilets are available.

Little Thunder Campground has electrical and some full hook-up sites. Water is available at the restroom and shower facility. A trailer dump station is located near the Arthur Bay entrance and at Martin Bay.

Download Little Thunder campground map

Cedar Vue Campground

Cedar Vue Campground features all-weather camping pads, a trailer dump station, shower and restroom building, sandy beach, low-water boat ramp and blacktop roads. Cedar Vue is about 15 miles from the dam on Nebr. 92.

Download Cedar Vue campground map

Download park map

Primitive camping

While camping on the beach or any mowed area is allowed at Lake McConaughy, not all spots offer the same amenities. Read on for a list of popular campsites and their features.

Martin Bay

Martin Bay is probably the most popular area at Lake McConaughy. Martin Bay appeals especially to anglers, pleasure boaters, water skiers and sailing enthusiasts. Typical of Big Mac’s north shore, the bay is ringed with clean, fine sand, making for a fine swimming beach. Behind the ring of sand, clusters of trees offer welcome refuge from the hot summer sun and variety from the sand-water landscape. The area has a boat ramp that’s usable during part of the low-water season.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach, as its name implies, offers an excellent camping area with plenty of white sand, shade and clear water. The area is also close to Lone Eagle Campground dump station and shower facility.

Lemoyne Bay

Lemoyne Bay boasts a small but beautiful white sand beach with shade. A concession is nearby along with a high and low water boat ramp. Water and primitive restrooms are available to campers.

Spring Park

Spring Park at public access road No. 9 offers some good camping. It’s a small, quality area with a mature stand of cottonwoods.

Otter Creek

Otter Creek has several grass areas to camp with excellent shade. The area has two boat ramps, as well as a fish cleaning station and nearby concession. Water and primitive restrooms are available.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach is located at the western end of Lake McConaughy on the north side. It has a grassy camping area with excellent shade as well as primitive restrooms and water availability.

Eagle Canyon

Eagle Canyon is located at the western end of Lake McConaughy on the south side. It has a grassy camping area as well as primitive restrooms and water availability. A nearby concession offers several modern amenities.

Lake View

Lake View is located near the middle of Lake McConaughy on the south side. A nearby concession offers camping and modern amenities.

Ogallala Beach

Ogallala Beach is home to the whitest sand beach on the south side of Lake McConaughy. It has a primitive restroom, as well as water availability.

Download park map

Contact Information

Address: Lake McConaughy SRA | 1475 Hwy. 61 N. | Ogallala, NE 69153-5930
12 mi. north of Interstate 80 on US Hwy 61
Phone: 308-284-8800

Email: Send email