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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Horizons Without Bounds, LLC

Alliance Area
Agri/Eco/Scenery tourism. Trips of hours/days. Participate in direct, personal conversations with farmers and ranchers about their multi-generational ranches. Get on a horse or in a combine. Cranes, prairie chickens, elk, deer, kayak/canoe/tank rivers. From Anywhere - To Anywhere.


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Member of the WNTC
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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,

Merritt Reservoir

12345 W. 67th Street
This City, NE 12345

Merritt Trading Post Resort

We are located on the white sand beaches of Merritt Reservoir a quality multi-species fishery. We have over 200,000 acres of public accessible land for hunting. The resort offers lakeside cabins, bait, tackle, groceries, convenience food items, ice, beer, fuel, boat rental, kayak and canoe rental.
HC 32 Box 23
Valentine NE 69201


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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,

Smith Falls State Park

Valentine Area
One of the Niobrara River Valley’s many waterfalls, Smith Falls is the highest in the state. The spring-fed water drops almost 70 feet and then flows into the Niobrara River. A short hike and a walk across a historic truss bridge that spans the Niobrara River will take you to a walkway to the falls.


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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,