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Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area

 

Park Snapshot

Summary

Swanson SRA is the largest of four state recreation areas in Southwest Nebraska. Located near Trenton with a 4,974-acre lake and 3,957 land acres. Campers will find 62 pads with 30/50 amp electrical hookups, plus 150 non-pad sites. Other facilities: Showers, 2 dump stations, concession.

Attractions

Situated on the Republican River, 2 miles west of Trenton on U.S. 34, Swanson Reservoir offers boaters and anglers 4,794 acres of crystal clear water at top conservation pool. Nearly another 4,000 acres of public land are managed by the Game and Parks Commission for outdoor recreation and wildlife.

The zoned, earth-filled dam was completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1953. It is 144 feet high and 8,620 feet long and measures 30 feet across at the top and a maximum of 800 feet at its base. The largest of the four Southwest Reservoirs, it stores water to irrigate about 16,440 acres of land.

The water clarity of the lake has a special appeal for both boaters and anglers. High water years in the early 1980's cut down on swimming activities, but they provided a natural boost to the fishery that should be enjoyed for years to come. Trophy-size northern pike lurk among the submerged willows and along the face of the dam. Swanson is also known for its large, numerous walleye and a growing population of black bass.

Crappie anglers can do well in the shallows during spawning season, but the real draw is the large schools of white bass from July through September. Anglers cruise the shoreline, watching the gulls. When the birds concentrate and begin feeding on the shad, the fishermen move their boats into the action. White bass will be directly beneath the shad, pushing them to the surface. The correct bait, well-placed, will yield a white bass virtually every cast. To make cleaning the catch easier, the Commission has provided a large cleaning station at the Spring Canyon Campground.

Spring Canyon offers top-notch camping facilities, with modern restrooms and showers, 50 rock-surfaced pads (45 with electrical hookups), and large parking lot. There are two boat ramps and a mooring dock in the well-sheltered bay. Located nearby, the concession offers shortorder food, groceries, bait, tackle, water-ski equipment, gas, hunting, fishing and park entry permits, and a trailer court with electrical hookups.

There are sanitary trailer dump stations at both Spring Canyon and the other modern campground at Macklin Bay, another protected cove. U.S.34 crosses the northern tip of Macklin Bay,which has 17 campsites with electrical hook-ups and modern restrooms and showers. Both Spring Canyon and Macklin offer waist-high barbecue grills and easily accessible water wells.

Some more primitive camping sites and picnic shelters are located near the concession, while picnic shelters and tent camping sites are scattered around the lake. There are barbecue grills and vault toilets along many trail roads.

In the fall and winter, hunters pursue waterfowl, upland game birds, and deer, while anglers chop the ice for crappie and northern. Swanson has 3,000 acres of wildlife lands open to public hunting for all game species, in season, and most hunting is found along the western reaches of the lake.

Overnight Accommodations

Camping Facilities:
54 camping pads with electrical hookups*
150 non-pad sites without electricity
*20/30-amp. non-reservable campsites

Spring Canyon offers top-notch camping facilities, with modern restrooms and showers, rock-surfaced pads with electrical hookups, and large parking lot. There are two boat ramps and a mooring dock in the well-sheltered bay. Located nearby, the concession offers shortorder food, groceries, bait, tackle, water-ski equipment, gas, hunting, fishing and park entry permits, and a trailer court with electrical hookups. There are sanitary trailer dump stations at both Spring Canyon and the other modern campground at Macklin Bay, another protected cove. U.S.34 crosses the northern tip of Macklin Bay,which has campsites with electrical hook-ups and modern restrooms and showers. Both Spring Canyon and Macklin offer waist-high barbecue grills and easily accessible water wells. Some more primitive camping sites and picnic shelters are located near the concession, while picnic shelters and tent camping sites are scattered around the lake. There are barbecue grills and vault toilets along many trail roads.


Facility Details


Camping: Yes

Water: Yes
Modern Restroom: Yes
Dump Station: Yes
Showers: Yes
Laundry: No

Lodging: No

Cabins: 0
Rooms: 0
Dorms: 0
Food Service: No

Trails: No

Hiking: 0 miles
Mtn. Bike: 0 miles
Horse: 0 miles
Trail Rides: No
Allow Horses: No

Picnicking: Yes

Picnic Tables: 135
Grills: 65
Shelters: 16
Shelters w/ elec.: 0

Boating: Yes

Types: All
Ramps: 7
Docks: 4
Fuel Avail.: Yes
Boat Rental: Yes
River Access: Yes

Fishing: Yes

Cleaning Stations: 2

Swimming: Yes

Pools: 0
Beaches: 1

Concessions: Yes

Good Life Marina
HC 2 Box 7
Trenton, NE 69044
(308) 334-5268

Visitor Center: No

Office on Site: No

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