Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Get outside and head to western Nebraska’s Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area for your next RV camping getaway! The largest reservoir in the state with 40,000 acres (34,700 water acres), this state park has everything you need for a great adventure - fishing, boating, swimming, and much more. Take in the sunshine as you lounge on the white sand beaches that are great for relaxing or making a sandcastle. There are over 200 RV spots that are easy to access and located right on the edge of Lake McConaughy. With over 100 miles of shoreline, this lake is popular among anglers, so get ready to catch walleye, smallmouth and white bass, and channel catfish. Fido is allowed in the campground but must be on a leash no longer than six feet. To learn more about the western area of Nebraska, visit the Lake McConaughy Visitor and Water Interpretive Center. A great opportunity to relax from the hustle of everyday life, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area provides that perfect alternative for RV camping with their three campgrounds - Lone, Little Thunder, and Cedar View.

RV Rentals in Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Transportation in Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Driving

Open year-round, pack up your RV camper and head out to camp at one of western Nebraska's most popular state parks! Nestled next to Lake McConaughy, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is near Lincoln and is a short drive from Denver, Colorado. Before you arrive, check the campground map to see what part of the lake you will need to drive as there are campgrounds to the north and south of Lake McConaughy. A wonderful way to escape from it all, you’ll be glad you travel to this great state park!

Parking

When you arrive at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, check-in at the visitor center to pick up a park map. Traveling the roads to several campgrounds are a breeze as the camping sites and roads are all paved and easy to navigate. There are plenty of parking spots available in parking areas all around Lake McConaughy.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Campsites in Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Lone Campground

Have a great experience camping at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. Nestled along the Sandy Beach area of Lake McConaughy, this campground offers 84 full hook-ups for you to reserve. The bathhouse offers hot pay showers with a dressing room and flush toilets during the peak season. Weather permitting, from Oct to May there are only vault latrines available for campers. The campground also offers a dump station and fill station on-site.

Little Thunder Campground

What’s not to love about this Nebraska campground? You will find Little Thunder Campground on the north shore of the No Name Bay area of Lake McConaughy. A great camping location, there are 8 full hookup sites and 31 electric hookup sites to choose from during your getaway. The lake views from this campground are amazing.

Cedar View Campground

Head to the north shore of Lake McConaughy to access this popular campground with 85 electrical hookup sites and 17 standard sites. The campground offers all-weather camping pads, a trailer dump station, and a bathhouse offering restrooms and six private shower stalls. Water access is available to a majority of the sites, and there are a sandy beach and boat ramp to use during your stay.

First-come first-served

First Come, First Served

At Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, half of the campground sites are available for reservations in advance and the rest are first-come, first-served.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

In-Season

Hunt

Come and experience the sport of hunting in the scenic 2,000-acre public hunting countryside in the west end area of Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. Hunters will find a variety of animals including the popular Canada goose. If you plan to hunt at this state park, you will need to do so at least 100 yards away from roads, campgrounds, or other popular park areas that may have other campers. You will need to be a license which means that you have a valid Nebraska hunting permit in order to hunt.

Annual Kites and Castle Weekend

Make plans to join this popular summertime event at Lake McConaughy while visiting in your camper or trailer. Hosted at the Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area at the end of July, this family-friendly event features a sandcastle building contest at the lake’s beach. Bring your kite as the sky is full of colorful kites during this spectacular event. Grab your camera as you’ll want to capture each moment of this great event!

Enjoy the Water at Lake McConaughy

Affectionately called “Lake Mac,” enjoy your time on Nebraska’s largest lake and reservoir within a three-state region. Play out on the water at this twenty-mile long, four-mile-wide lake or soak up the sun at the park’s white sand beaches. There is a designated area at Martin Bay for swimmers who want to take a dip at their own risk. Nestled against the Nebraska Sandhills, find time to soak up the sun at the park’s white sand beaches. Great for boating or even surfing, take a moment to get outside and play!

Off-Season

Fish at Lake McConaughy

Take a break from your RV camping site and enjoy a favorite past time at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area! With several boat ramps and docks, you can find a great location to relax and enjoy your time at this state park. From Northern pike, wiper, smallmouth, and white bass, there are many game fish to catch. You’ll find three fish cleaning stations at Martin Bay, Otter Creek, and Cedar View.

Lake McConaughy Visitor and Water Interpretive Center

Take a break from camping in your camper and enjoy the interactive educational exhibits of the Lake McConaughy Visitor and Water Interpretive Center. Located on the bluff just south of Kingsley Dam, this center hosts two large aquariums, exhibits about the High Plains Aquifer and North Platte River and the Ethel Abbot Theater. Catch a film featuring Lake McConaughy and Kingsley Dam during your visit. Visiting with a large group? This center is available for rent for large groups and special events.

View Nebraska’s Wildlife

Grab your binoculars and camera out of the campervan to capture Nebraska’s diverse wildlife population at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. A great blend of pine forest, wetlands, and prairie fields, along with the size of Lake McConaughy, makes it one of the best birding areas in the state. From attracting western grebes in the tens of thousands to the federally threatened Piping Plover, you will be delighted to see a variety of waterbirds during your RV camping trip.

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