Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area

  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Food Service
  • Hunting
  • Marina
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Swimming

Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area is the largest of four recreation areas in the southwest 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.



Swanson Reservoir boasts a fantastic fishery. Anglers can find trophy-size pike lurking among submerged willows and along the face 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 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.


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.


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


The area 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.


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.


RV and tent camping

Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area offers 64 camping pads with 20-, 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups spread over two campgrounds. 17 are at Macklin and 47 are located at Spring Canyon Campground. Both offer modern restrooms and showers.

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 and are popular with campers. Two dump stations are on site, and firewood is provided. A sand volleyball court is also available.

Download Macklin Bay campground map
Download Spring Canyon campground map
Download park map



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

Contact Information

Address: 36166 Road 44B | Trenton, Neb. | 69044
Phone: 308-334-5493

Email: Send email