5 Things To Do In Winter In Keith County
Winter is for the birds in Keith County! Our location on the Central Flyway and proximity to large bodies of water add up to ideal conditions for birds. More than 360 species have been identified in the area, with over 100 breeding species. Winter opportunities include Red-tailed Hawks, at least 12 species of gulls, Western Grebe and much more. Bald Eagles begin showing up in larger numbers when the weather turns cold. CNPPID’s heated eagle viewing facility at Lake Ogallala opened the weekend of Jan. 8-9, and it will remain open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (MST) through February.
limited number of binoculars are available at the facilities, but
visitors are encouraged to bring their own viewing equipment.
2. HIKING & BEACHCOMBING
Lake McConaughy has 100+ miles of shoreline to explore, and there is a 2.5 mile long Hike/Bike trail on the east side of Lake Ogallala.
** SPECIAL EVENT: Welcome the New Year by taking part in a 1st Day Hike on the Lake Ogallala State Rec Area Hike/Bike Trail on Jan. 1, 2022 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Dress warmly and remember to bring water. Leashed pets welcome. Meet at the Lake Ogallala East Campground. There will be opportunities to try to spot bald eagles and other birds. Contact NE Game and Parks for more info at 308-284-8800.
3. LOCAL VISITOR ATTRACTIONS
** SPECIAL EVENT: Celebrate a Merry Prairie Christmas at Ogallala’s Mansion on the Hill. The Mansion, Schoolhouse, and O’Brien-Lute house will be authentically decked out for the holidays on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 from 1 to 3 p.m. Enjoy caroling, hayrack rides, hot cocoa, cider & cookies, plus a make-and-take activity for kids. $2 admission will go to the Keith Co. Education History Museum project. The Mansion is usually open to tours Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, so this is a great opportunity to see this lovely 1887 Victorian home on the National Register of Historic Places.
4. KEITH COUNTY SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES
When you #ShopSmall for the holidays in Keith County, an actual person does a little happy dance! Stop and explore through Dec. 24 for the chance to win a free Lake McConaughy t-shirt. No purchase required. Just download the Lake Mac app to do the Keith County Holiday Scavenger Hunt. (App Store: https://apple.co/3ePv9AI or Google Play: http://bit.ly/2x5P0b8)
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCAVENGER HUNT HERE!
5. WINTER FISHING
Watch the weather forecast for mild days and fish like the locals! Many local anglers and guides put their boats in and slab for walleye until the bays freeze. 2021 has also been a good year for the late fall/early winter smallmouth bass bite. Docks will remain available at Diver’s Bay, Martin Bay Low Water, Lemoyne and Cedar View Lakeside until the water begins to freeze.
Check the pinned post on the Lake McConaughy Facebook page for updated information, or call the local NE Game and Parks office at 308-284-8800. Check the local fishing guide list here. (Photo: Dollhouse Lures)