Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area right outside of Enders, Nebraska is one of the four places that are known as the Southwest Reservoirs. It has over 5,700 acres with a 1,700-acre lake in the center. Out of the 4,000 acres of land, more than 2,100 acres of it is the Enders Wildlife Refuge at the western end of the lake. This park offers many different options for camping from rugged primitive sites to groomed sites with all the amenities, so it has something for everyone.
In addition to RV camping, you can find plenty of things to do here at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area such as fishing for pike, catfish, bass, and walleye. You can also take your boat out on the lake for a peaceful day on the water. Swimming is another water sport that visitors enjoy here, and there is one good-sized swimming beach near the Area A Campground.
Another sport enjoyed at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area is hunting. Some of the critters hunted include big game like deer, elk, sheep, and pronghorn. Small game includes squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, and ducks. If you would rather shoot the animals with your camera, you can spot over 100 different species of mammals and birds including eagles, rails, chipmunks, and foxes. So the next time you are driving through Nebraska in your rig you don't want to miss a stop at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area.
Four hours west of Lincoln and five hours from Omaha, Enders Reservoir is a quick jaunt down Interstate 80. Wherever you are coming from, take exit number 162 toward Ogallala and stay on Highway 61 to the park. The small town of Enders is the last town before you get there so make sure you stop, fuel up your RV, and get any groceries you may need for your visit.
Highway 6, the road leading into Enders Reservoir, is a large and wide road that is maintained well so you should not have any trouble maneuvering your big rig or trailer. However, you should drive slowly to enjoy the scenery and avoid running into one of the many critters that tend to cross these roads.
Inside Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area, you will find plenty of space to move around in most areas, but when you get into the camping areas you may have trouble getting around if you are in a large rig or campervan. It is best to park the RV at your campsite and walk or ride bikes anywhere you want to go. However, if you are camping in the Church Grove Campground, you may have to travel quite a ways to get to the swimming and fishing areas near the dam.
If you like being on the water but need to have plenty of creature comforts, Area A Campground is probably best for you. This one has 24 spacious campsites with electricity and all of the basic amenities including a shower house, restrooms with running water, and even a fish cleaning station. You can also find a playground for the kids, a picnic area, a potable water access station, and an RV dump site. Each of the campsites have their own picnic table and fire ring, as well as a level area that fits up to a 45-foot RV or trailer. All of these sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be just a few feet from the water but do not have to worry about walking a mile to take a shower. Pets are welcome here as long as they are on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times.
For those who are into roughing it and want plenty of seclusion, the Area B Campground is perfect for you. This campground offers a more of a primitive type of camping with just a restroom, picnic tables, and a potable water pump. There are approximately 12 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. All of these sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no electric available here and it is a more rugged area. Pets are welcome here as long as they are on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times.
If you are the type that likes to be in the middle of the action, the Center Dam Campground is your spot. This campground has eight campsites with electric hookups, fire rings, and picnic tables. There is also a restroom, picnic shelter, and a potable water access site. In addition, there is a boat ramp at the end of the campground. You will be just a few feet from Enders Dam and the lake here. Pets are welcome as long as they are on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times. All of these sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a totally secluded spot far away from everyone and everything, the Church Grove Campground is great for you. This campground is at the far western section of the park past the refuge. They offer primitive campsites with picnic tables and fire rings but no electric. There is a vault toilet, but it is basically a rugged area like the Area B Campground. You will have to walk a bit to get to the lake and if you want to go boating or fishing, you will need to drive all the way back to the dam. All of these sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Pets are welcome here as long as they are on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times.
There are approximately 200 primitive campsites without pads or any other amenities all over the park. Some of the areas have picnic tables and grills and you will have access to the showers, restrooms, and other amenities at any of the other campgrounds as well. If you enjoy roughing it and do not want to be bothered by anyone else, this is the best choice for you. Pets are welcome here as long as they are on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times. These sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Whether you are into waterskiing, wakeboarding, or paddle boarding, the huge Enders Reservoir has more than 1,500 acres to enjoy and explore. You could also hook the trailer to the RV and bring your personal watercraft like a jet ski or wave runner. You will love zipping around this large lake all day before heading back to the campsite for campfire stories and BBQ. Do not forget the life jackets since they are mandatory at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area. Sunscreen is not mandatory but recommended to prevent sunburns.
Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the Midwest. You can do some topwater fishing for bass using a jig, lure, or spoon, or try a bobber with a live worm for crappie and bluegills. If you would rather catch one of the giants of the lake, you can do some bottom fishing with a river weight and cut or live bait. Catfish and walleye can get up to 30 pounds or more so make sure you pack your net in the camper before heading out.
Whether you have a fishing boat, pontoon, or just a small Jon boat, hook the trailer to the campervan before heading to Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area because there is plenty of room for all. There is a boat launch at the Center Dam Area for your convenience and with over 1,700 acres of water, you'll be able to find a secluded fishing or swimming spot for you and your family. Be sure to bring enough life jackets for everyone because they are mandatory at Enders.
Pack the fam into the campervan before heading to Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area because there are seven picnic shelters in various spots in the park. One of these shelters has electricity and most have a nearby restroom or latrine. They all have picnic tables and BBQ pits for public use and enough room for a large group of people. The park also has 83 picnic tables with 90 BBQ pits in many different areas around the reservoir and in the wooded areas.
It may have been a while since you went ice skating, or maybe you are an avid skater. Whatever your skating experience, there are areas of Enders Reservoir that encourage ice skating during the winter. However, you need to talk to the park ranger or another park employee to make sure the ice is thick enough to be safe. Dress warm and remember to put your ice skates in the rig before you head to the park. You are welcome to stay at one of the campgrounds in your RV while you are there as well.
During the off-season you will find Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area nice and peaceful. In fact, you may feel like you are the only ones there but more than likely there are others around. For a great time exploring the wooded area as well as the north end of the lake, take the a five-mile trail that meanders to the far eastern tip of the lake. For a longer hike, start at the Church Grove Campground and head east along the refuge area of the lake.