State Recreation Area
7399 S. US HIghway 281 | Grand Island, NE 68803
Just off Interstate 80 by Grand Island, Mormon Island State Recreation Area is a convenient place for outdoor fun. Mormon Island has handicap-accessible fishing piers, modern camping, great fishing, great swim beaches and abundant picnicking opportunities. Mormon Island West has 42 surface acres of water, and the middle island has 19 surface acres of water.
Mormon Island hosts a spectacular gathering each spring, as hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes stop to rest and pursue their courtship rituals. The world’s largest concentration of these magnificent birds draws thousands of visitors to the region every year. Mormon Island lies on the eastern edge of this migration route.
Arriving in early to mid-February, the numbers peak about mid- to late March. The cranes spend their days feeding and engaging in colorful courtship dances.
After the first of April, the birds start flying to northern breeding grounds and are usually gone by mid-April. A variety of geese, ducks and other waterfowl also come to the area before heading farther north.
Mormon Island State Recreation Area has abundant wildlife and offers good wildlife viewing opportunities all year long, particularly along the Platte River.
All boats are allowed. The lake is a no-wake lake. Boat ramps are available on Lakes 1 and 2.
Fish species include largemouth bass, redear sunfish, black crappie, walleye, channel catfish and bluegill. Lake 1 also has muskellunge. Boat ramps are available on lakes 1 and 2. A handicap accessible fishing dock is available for anglers on Lake 1.
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 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant boat ramps and docks, among other features in reservoirs, lakes, streams and rivers statewide. Lake contour maps are available for some lakes, as well.
Day use amenities at Mormon Island provide numerous picnic tables, fire rings and standing grills available for use, which makes it a great location for gatherings.
There are four small picnic shelters and one large group picnic pavilion. The large group picnic pavilion seats around 50 guests and is located in the Cedar Campground. All picnic shelters and group pavilion are first-come, first-served and do not provide electricity.
Swimming is a popular activity at marked swimming beaches. Shower houses are provided.
Mormon Island State Recreation Area offers Electric Plus, Electric and Basic camping. Other camping amenities include modern restrooms, showers, dump and fill station and laundry.
Half of the camping at Mormon Island offers reservations and the remaining campsites are first-come, first-served. Campers are asked to register or check-in for their reservation at the kiosk at the park entrance. After-hour arrivals or during the off-season, 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.
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 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.
Our 76 gorgeous state park and recreations areas host a plethora of events throughout the year. From bird hikes to kayak races, Living History events to family outdoor days, our parks host something fun for every outdoor enthusiast.