Little Lakes and Camping Stakes

Along with summer comes fun – and western Nebraska has many different state recreation areas that anyone can visit, any time of the week, just for fun.

Lake McConaughy has many beautiful sandy beaches that are perfect for spending the day at the lake on. Bring the family, pack a picnic and get ready to relax for a day at the beach.

If you are looking to spend more time at the Lake, there are plenty of camping areas to utilize. You can camp on the beach, go to a primitive site or go to a modern camping area; Little Thunder campground is halfway between Martin Bay and Arthur Bay. The campground offers modern camping pads with electrical and some full hook-up sites. The coin operated shower and restroom building offers public restrooms and seven unisex private shower cubicles, each with a dressing room and shower stall. Campsite reservations can be made up to one year in advance.

Lone Eagle campground sits in the scenic Arthur Bay. Lone Eagle has modern camping sites with electric and some sites are full hook-up. A coin-operated shower and restroom facility is on site and a dump station is located by the Arthur Bay entrance. These campsites also have reservations that can be made up to a year in advance.

Cedar Vue Campground features all-weather camping pads, a trailer dump station, a shower-restroom building, sandy beach, low-water boat ramp and blacktop roads.

For a unique experience stay in one of the rooms or houses for rent – for a complete listing of the entire camping opportunities visit

The Visitor/ Water Interpretive Center is just a jaunt away from the lake and is a great place to learn about the history of Lake McConaughy. The center houses park offices, aquariums and a theater. You'll also find the Water Interpretation Center, featuring fascinating hands-on displays of the story of water and the history, hydrology and geology of the North Platte River Valley.

Lake Ogallala - just below the dam of Lake McConaughy is a great location to spend some time as well. Known as the "little lake," it offers primitive camping, two boat ramps, a fish cleaning station and fishing piers for the disabled on the west side of the lake.

The west side of the "little lake" is also home to the Eagle Viewing Building, open to the public during the winter. A hike/bike trail starts at the Eagle Viewing Building and shares an interior park road as it follows the shoreline north around the lake. The trail continues through the east side modern campground and follows the north dike to the Keystone Diversion dam at the far east end of Lake Ogallala.

Modern camping is located on the east side of the lake. With shower and bath facilities, and playground equipment this little lake is sure to please all campers.

Don’t forget to pack your rod and reel for some great fishing fun while at Lake McConaughy or Lake Ogallala. Trout, bass, walleye and wipers are a just few species of fish you can catch.

Julie Geiser out of North Platte is a Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Regional Editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. An avid outdoors-woman Julie has been involved in the outdoors in almost every aspect for over 30 years and is passionate about getting others outside to enjoy the great outdoors. She is also a member of the NWTC through the NGPC.