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Branched Oak

State Recreation Area

12000 W. Branched Oak Rd. | Raymond, NE 68428-9728

Branched Oak State Recreation Area features the largest lake in eastern Nebraska and has long been a popular spot for fishing, boating and camping. Approximately 1,800 acres of water, along with well-maintained campsites, two swimming beaches, hiking trails and an equestrian campground draw visitors from near and far. A marina offers fuel, bait, boat rental, concessions and a bar and grill.

Features

  • Archery range
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Equestrian trails
  • Fishing
  • Food service
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Marina
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Shooting range
  • Swimming
Sunset scene of a kayaker fishing near a marina at Branched Oak Lake.

Marina

The Branched Oak Lake Marina is located in the northeastern area of Branched Oak Lake. The marina sells bait, firewood and fuel, among other amenities, and also offers boat rental and a bar/grill.

A woman holds a large walleye fish caught at Branched Oak Lake.

Fishing

Branched Oak Lake offers great fishing opportunities and is a popular spot with anglers. Available species include blue catfish, bluegill, common carp, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, freshwater drum, largemouth bass, striped bass, walleye, white perch and wiper. There’s a daily bag limit of one walleye, 22 inches or longer, and there’s a 10-inch minimum length limit for crappie. Striped bass, white bass, wiper and flathead catfish are catch-and-release. A wheelchair-accessible deck is available near the marina, and fish cleaning stations are located at areas 5 and 11.

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.

Attractions

Branched Oak Lake is open to all types of boating. Nine ramps and 49 docks are available. The marina sells fuel and also offers boat rental.

Branched Oak SRA offers 41 picnic shelters, three of which offer reservations. One of the shelters that take reservations has electricity and accommodates up to 60 people. Contact the park for information and reservations. The park also offers numerous picnic tables and grills; reserve a picnic shelter for $50/day without electric and $70 with electric.

Branched Oak features two swimming beaches. There are no lifeguards on duty at either.

Branched Oak has more than seven miles of interlocking multi-purpose trails that meander through trees, open grasslands and scenic overlooks on the south side of the lake. Trails include six miles of mountain bike trails and three miles of horse trails. A multi-use trail along the south side of the lake offers great wildlife viewing and scenic views of the lake.

Equestrian trails

A horse camp is located in Area 2 (Homestead Campground) which offers 15 electrical rock pad campsites, water, restrooms, grills, picnic facilities, an accessible mounting ramp, hitching posts and corrals. Half of the electrical sites may be reserved up to 1 year prior to arrival. The equestrian trailhead is located out of the Homestead Equestrian campground.

Branched Oak also offers archery, horseshoe pits and a nationally recognized dog trial area. It’s also a popular spot for wildlife viewing, particularly in the spring when many visitors stop by to view bald eagles.

Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area

Nearby Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area offers boating, camping, swimming, fishing and other activities.

Wildwood Wildlife Management Area

Wildwood Wildlife Management Area, th3 ree miles south of Valparaiso, is an eastern Nebraska favorite for fishing, no-wake boating, camping and picnicking. The area includes a 103-acre lake on the 491-acre property.

Camping

Branched Oak offers an array of camping amenities. Middle Oak Creek and South Shore campgrounds offer Full Hookups, Electric Plus and Electric camping along with Basic campsites. The lake has five shower houses, modern restrooms, primitive restrooms, dump and fill stations and playground equipment. Along with the electrical modern camping, Branched Oak offers numerous Basic and Primitive campsites at several of its campground locations.

Camping reservations are available for half of the campsites in Middle Oak Creek, Homestead and South Shore campgrounds. All other camping is all first-come, first-served and campers register their nightly camping fees in a raised, locked box called an Iron Ranger. Self-service envelopes are provided at each Iron Ranger station. Check or cash only. Iron Rangers are generally located near the park entrance or in the campground area. On-site camping informational signs are provided to help guide campers with the self-registration process.

Equestrian camping

Visitors can camp with their horses at Homestead Campground equestrian area (Area 2). This area offers 15 pull-through Equestrian Electric Plus campsites. To make reservations for these 15 sites, please contact the park office. Other amenities include 14 corrals, hand-pump drinking water, primitive toilet, picnic tables and fire rings. The equestrian camping area also provides 8 Equestrian Basic campsites for those that do not need the electricity. These sites are first-come, first-served.

Rent a facility

Picnic shelters at Branched Oak State Recreation Area may rented for your activity.

Park FAQs

Park FAQs

Answers to questions frequently asked by park visitors.

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Campground policy

Campground policy

To help campers enjoy their visit to the fullest, Nebraska Game and Parks offers these reminders.

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Go Boating

Go Boating

Use these resources to get out on the water safely and legally while boating.

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Swim

Swim

Cool off at a swimming beach, spray park, aquatic center or floating playground in state parks.

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Explore Trails

Explore Trails

Nebraska offers trails for hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, snowmobiling and more.

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Contact Us

12000 West Branched Oak Road
Raymond, NE 68428-9728

Park Pricing

A park entry permit is required to visit state parks and may be purchased at the park, statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors, or in advance of your arrival online. View those fees, as well as attraction and amenity pricing.

Reservations

Reservations are accepted for cabins, lodge rooms, and group lodges up to one year in advance of the arrival date. Reservations for camping are accepted up to 180 days in advance of arrival date. The Reservation Call Center hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (CT) and closed on holidays.