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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

  • Archery Range
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Food Service
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Swimming

Cedar View Campground is temporarily closed to public access until June 14th, 2019 to allow for the installation of new campground utilities.

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, smallmouth and white bass, among others. The area has three fish cleaning stations located at Martin Bay, Otter Creek and Cedar View. 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.

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.

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 McConaughy Visitor and Water Interpretive Center is perched on a bluff just south of Kingsley Dam on Highway 61. It features interactive educational exhibits on the North Platte River and High Plains Aquifer, two large aquariums, the Ethel Abbott Theater, which showcases a variety of promotional and education films involving Lake McConaughy and Kingsley Dam and is available for rent for special events and meeting as well as the Big Mac Community Room with space for special events and meetings up to 60 people.

The center is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During the rest of the year, the center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Concessions

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

  • Big Mac Marina: 308-355-5555
  • Kingsley Lodge: 308-284-2775
  • North Shore Lodge: 308-355-2222
  • Otter Creek Lodge: 308-355-2372
  • Ski Patrol: 308-726-7368
  • Van’s Lakeview: 308-284-4965

For more information on lake businesses, visit http://www.ilovelakemac.com

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 sailing are also popular activities at Lake McConaughy. The annual Kites and Castles weekend is a very popular event featuring a sandcastle building contest under a sky dotted with kites always taking place the last Saturday in July.

The Park Naturalist hosts many events throughout the year. Check the Outdoor Calendar or call the Park Office at 308-284-8800 for up to date information.

Camping

 

Modern camping

Lone Eagle Campground

Lone Eagle Campground is located on the north shore of Lake McConaughy SRA. The campground can be accessed through the Arthur Bay Entrance from Hwy. 92, and follow the Shoreline Road west, or you can access the campground through the Sandy Beach Entrance from Hwy. 92, and then follow the Shoreline Road east.

All 84 camp sites at Lone Eagle are Full Service sites. A dump and fill station is also located on Shoreline Road adjacent to the campground.

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. A dollar bill change machine is on site. Between Oct. 15 and May 1, only vault latrines are available, weather permitting.
Download Lone Eagle campground map

Little Thunder Campground

Little Thunder Campground is located on the north shore of Lake McConaughy. The campground can be accessed through the Martin Bay Entrance from Hwy. 61, and then follow the Shoreline Road west, or you can access the campground through the Arthur Bay Entrance from Hwy. 92, and follow the Shoreline Road 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. A dollar bill change machine is on site. Between Oct. 15 and May 1, only vault latrines are available, weather permitting.

Little Thunder Campground has eight Full Service sites and 34 Electric Plus sites. Water is available at the restroom and shower facility. A dump and fill station is located at the Arthur Bay Entrance and in the Martin Bay area.
Download Little Thunder campground map

Cedar View Campground

Cedar View Campground is located on the north shore of Lake McConaughy. The campground can be accessed through the Cedar View Entrance from Hwy. 92 and then follow Cedar View Road into the park area.

The restroom and shower facility offers public restrooms and six private shower cubicles, each with a dressing room and shower stall. Between Oct. 15 and May 1, only vault latrines are available, weather permitting.

Cedar View Campground has 85 Electric Plus sites and 17 Basic sites. Water is available at most camp sites and at areas throughout the campground. A dump and fill station is located at the Cedar View Entrance.
Download Cedar View campground map

Download park map

Primitive camping

Designated primitive camping areas are located at the following locations. Individual Camp Sites are undesignated and space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some picnic tables and ground grills are located throughout these areas.

Martin Bay

Martin Bay camping area can be accessed through the Martin Bay Entrance off Hwy. 61. A modern restroom is available between May 1st and October 15th, weather permitting. Water is available in the camping area. A fill and dump station is located nearby on Shoreline Road. Primitive restrooms are available seasonally. A restroom and shower facility is located south of Martin Bay camping area at the Martin Bay Day-Use Area along with a vault latrine.

Theis Bay

Theis Bay camping area can be accessed through the Arthur Bay Entrance or the Sandy Beach Entrance. A fill and dump station is located east of the camping area at the Arthur Bay Entrance and west of the camping area near the Lone Eagle Campground. Primitive restrooms are available seasonally. A restroom and shower facility is located at the nearby Lone Eagle Campground.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach camping area can be accessed through the Sandy Beach Entrance. A fill and dump station is located west of the camping area at the Lone Eagle Campground. Water is available year-round at this area. There is a vault latrine on site and additional primitive restrooms are also available seasonally.

North Shore

North Shore is home to a Walk-In Access Area which is open to day use and walk-in tent camping and can be accessed through the North Shore Entrance and by continuing west. Primitive restrooms are available along with nearby concession, North Shore Lodge.

Spring Park

Spring Park camping area can be accessed from the Spring Park Entrance and offers excellent primitive camping. It’s a small, quality area with a mature stand of cottonwoods and nearby Walk-In Access Areas with hiking/biking and equestrian trail opportunities. Water is available year-round and the area has a vault latrine.

Otter Creek

Otter Creek camping area can be accessed from the Otter Creek Entrance and also offers excellent primitive camping. It offers a Fish Cleaning Station, concrete boat ramps and seasonal primitive restrooms. Water is available at the Fish Cleaning Station seasonally. Nearby Otter Creek Lodge concession provides multiple amenities.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach is located at the western end of Lake McConaughy on the north side and can be accessed from the Omaha Beach Entrance. Omaha Beach offers a more secluded, primitive camping experience. Seasonal primitive restrooms are available in the area but there is no water availability.

Beach Access Areas

Beginning in 2016, the Commission began implementing a “beach zoning” concept that created five types of beach areas at Lake McConaughy SRA as a part of a management plan that was developed for the area. The concept will be implemented throughout the next 20 years. Different beach areas are designated via signage at each park location. The absence of signage designating a beach use, generally means it is Undesignated Beach Access Area. Zones are as follows:

Managed Vehicle Access Areas
These areas are generally open to vehicle traffic, day-use and overnight RV and tent camping. Some Managed Vehicle Access areas may have a carrying capacity on the number of RV or tent campers that can occupy the area, depending upon space availability.

Walk-In Access Areas
These areas are generally open to foot traffic only and can be utilized for walk-in tent camping.

Day-Use Access Areas
These areas are generally open to foot traffic only and overnight camping is prohibited.

Threatened and Endangered Species Areas
These areas are created to protect critical habitat for natural resource protection and any public access is generally prohibited.

Undesignated Beach Access Areas
If a beach area is not signed or otherwise designated as a specific “zoning type” it is open to recreational uses as defined in Nebraska State Park Regulations.

Download map of northeast shore area beach access

Download park map


Maps

Fees

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

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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