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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.Make a Reservation
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.
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.
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.
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
Parts of the area are open to hunting during certain times of the year. View the Public Access Atlas for details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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 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 at public access road No. 9 offers some good camping. It’s a small, quality area with a mature stand of cottonwoods.
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 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 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 is located near the middle of Lake McConaughy on the south side. A nearby concession offers camping and modern amenities.
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.
Address: Lake McConaughy SRA | 1475 Hwy. 61 N. | Ogallala, NE 69153-5930
12 mi. north of Interstate 80 on US Hwy 61
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