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Swanson Reservoir

State Recreation Area

36166 Road 44B | Trenton, NE 69044

Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area is the largest of four recreation areas in the southwestern part of the state. Located near Trenton, Swanson consists of a 4,974-acre lake and 3,957 acres of land. The area offers fishing, boating, camping, concessions and hunting in season among other activities.


  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Concessions
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • RV camping
  • Sand volleyball
  • Swimming
  • Tent camping


All types of boating are permitted at Swanson Reservoir, and good water clarity makes this lake a popular spot for all kinds of boating sports. The area offers five ramps and five docks. The area also offers access to the Republican River.

The Good Life Marina offers snacks, groceries, bait, tackle, water ski equipment, gas, hunting, fishing and park entry permits and a trailer court with electrical hookups. The Marina can be reached at 308-334-5268.

Swanson Reservoir boasts a fantastic fishery. Anglers can find trophy-size pike lurking among submerged willows and along the face of the dam. The reservoir is also known for large and numerous walleye and for a growing population of black bass. Crappie anglers can do well in the shallows during spawning season, but the real draw is the large schools of white bass. For successful anglers, two fish-cleaning stations are available. In the winter months, Swanson is a popular ice fishing spot.

For more information on fishing opportunities 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.

Swanson Reservoir has 3,000 acres of wildlife land available for public hunting of all game species, most of which are found along the western reaches of the lake.

The area offers many great spots for a picnic or cookout, with 135 picnic tables, 65 grills and 16 picnic shelters available. A sand volleyball court is available for guests as well.

A designated swimming beach is a popular place for park visitors to cool off during the warmer months. However, there are no lifeguards on duty.

Scenic view of Swanson Reservoir from a trail overlook of the lake at the edge of a bluff lined with trees and soaring birds.

Nebraska Passport stop

Swanson Reservoir SRA is a 2024 Nebraska Passport Program stop! Get your passport stamped at the park office during visiting hours and take in the scenery around this beautiful lake in southwestern Nebraska.

RV camping

Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area offers 64 camping pads with 20-, 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups spread over two campgrounds. Seventeen are at Macklin Bay campground and 47 are located at Spring Canyon campground. Both campgrounds offer modern restrooms and showers. Two dump stations are on site, and firewood is provided.

Tent camping

An additional 150 or so primitive sites are available on the sandy beach surrounding the lake. Camping areas include Trail 3, Trail 4 and Trail 7. The beaches are kept well-groomed, a sand volleyball court is also available. Two dump stations are on site, and firewood is provided.

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Contact Us

36166 Road 44B
Trenton, NE 68044

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 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.