kayakers

Water Recreation

It’s hard to beat the allure of the pristine lakes and beautiful rivers in Western Nebraska. Whether you prefer kayaking, canoeing or trying your hand at tanking, there are water sports opportunities for everyone.

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Box Butte Reservoir

Hemingford Area
Box Butte Reservoir, a 1,600-acre lake and recreational area, is 10 miles north of town. It offers excellent fishing, boating, swimming, windsurfing and sailing, and is part of a state recreation area with picnic areas, hiking and primitive camping.

Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Sailing, Swimming, Windsurfing,

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Bridgeport State Recreation Area

Bridgeport Area
Just off Highways 26 and 92 on the west edge of town, Bridgeport State Recreation Area offers primitive camping, hiking, fishing, swimming and waterskiing. It is open year-round. A state park entry permit is required.

Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Swimming, Waterskiing,

(308) 436-3777

Morrill County

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Dismal River

Mullen Area
Experienced canoers and kayakers can test their skills on the Dismal River south of Mullen. The Dismal is a fast-flowing, spring-fed river with plenty of twists and sunken debris that make it a natural obstacle course.

Canoeing, Kayaking,

Lake Maloney

North Platte Area
A few miles south of North Platte, Lake Maloney with 1132 acres of state recreation area, gives access to fishing, boat ramps, beach areas, camping, golf, archery, wildlife watching, and trails.

Boating, Camping, Fishing, Swimming,

Lake McConaughy

Ogallala Area

Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hiking,

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Lake Minatare & Lighthouse

Scottsbluff Area
Lake Minatare is large, but not so big that it needs a lighthouse. It has one anyway and it offers an impressive 360-degree view. It was built by the Veterans Conservation Corps, a New Deal agency that provided jobs to unemployed veterans.

Bird Watching, Boating, Camping, Fishing, Swimming,

Middle Loup River

People looking for a family-friendly river trip can float or paddle down the Middle Loup River just north of Mullen. The Middle Loup  is spring-fed and has relatively calm waters as it meanders through wide, sloping Sandhills canyons. Canoe and kayak rental is available for both rivers.

Camping, Canoeing, Kayaking, Tanking,

(308) 546-0636

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Niobrara National Scenic River

Valentine Area

Canoeing, Kayaking, Tanking, Tubing,

Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

Valentine Area

Camping, Hiking, Hunting,

Walgren Lake State Recreation Area

Hay Springs Area
A newspaper story in a 1922 issue of the Hay Springs News reported the sighting of a Loch Ness-style monster at Alkali Lake. Rumors circulated of ranchers losing cattle to the hungry beast, but no physical evidence of the creature’s questionable existence was ever discovered.

Boating, Camping, Fishing,