Explore the Lake Area
Calendar of Events
Dive In -The Lake Mac Blog
(Jan. 7, 2020) According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lake McConaughy hosted unprecedented amounts of visitors in 2018 and 2019 which stressed both park infrastructure and resources and local public safety resources. In response, NGPC has partnered with Keith County Commissioners, local public safety officials and the general public to propose changes that would reduce crowding and create higher quality experiences for visitors to Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala. (Press release available at: http://bit.ly/2T1rU1L)
Proposed solutions to overcrowding, if adopted by the Commission, may include reservation-only camping for all modern campground, beach, and primitive sites. No overnight camping would be allowed without a reservation. Specific day use areas would be available and not require a reservation, but occupancy numbers will be regulated and parking will be limited to designated areas.» Read more
Our wild turkeys are calling!
Nebraska offers some of the best turkey hunting opportunities in the entire country, plus affordable hunting permits, long seasons, great public access and $8 permits for youth. The Lake McConaughy/Keith County area is a longtime favorite with hunters for its scenic beauty and abundance of game. Fall turkey season is open through Jan. 31.
Archery deer season is open through Dec. 31, 2019. Waterfowl blinds are available for rent at Clear Creek Management Area. Learn more here.
Fall fishing opportunities include walleye and bass at Lake McConaughy, and trout at Keystone Canal and Lake Ogallala.
Hotel rooms are available just off I-80 at Ogallala, and electricity is left on at Lake McConaughy’s public campgrounds year round.» Read more
October is SPOOKtacular in the Lake McConaughy area! Put these activities on your calendar:
PUMPKIN CARVING (BYOP – Bring Your Own Pumpkin!)
Friday Oct. 11 from 5 to 7 pm and Saturday Oct. 12 from 5 to 7 pm at the Lake McConaughy Visitors Center. Carving tools provided.
PUMPKIN PAINTING (Bring the kids & a pumpkin!)
Saturday, Oct. 12 from 2 to 4 pm at the Lake Mac Visitors Center and Sunday, Oct. 13 from 1 3 pm at Ash Hollow SHP Visitor Center. Paint and brushes provided.
CREEPY CRITTER CARNIVAL
Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 to 4 pm at the Lake Mac Visitors Center. Bring the kids to play games for prizes and to learn a bit about snakes,
Due to its incredible species diversity and location on cental flyways, Lake Mac is known as a birdwatching hotspot. Bald eagles are among the lake area’s most notable winter stars, but there are many other winter visitors and permanent residents. Winter visitant species include purple finch, California gull, common redpoll, cedar waxwing, snow bunting and ring-necked duck. Year round avian residents include northern cardinal, American kestral, black-capped chickadee and downy woodpecker. Check the Lake McConaughy Birding Trails Map and Bird Species Checklist to plan your birding trip.» Read more
Need some ideas for your favorite Lake McConaughy/Keith County fan?
- A gift certificate to stay locally in 2019. Check our list of lake lodging or hotels in nearby Ogallala and Paxton, and ask if they offer gift certificates.
- A gift certificate to a Lake McConaughy or Keith County restaurant. Check with the restaurants to ask about certificates.
- Some Lake McConaughy swag. Many local businesses carry Lake Mac souvenirs.
- A 2019 Nebraska park entry permit from Nebraska Game & Parks. Available at the Lake McConaughy Visitor & Water Interpretive Center, many local businesses, and online.
- A trip with a Lake McConaughy fishing guide.
Want to show the beautiful beaches of Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala some love? Volunteer to help keep them litter free through the new Adopt-a-Beach program.
This volunteer program was created by Lake McConaughy state recreation area staff, in part, as a response to public concerns regarding litter in those areas. Game and Parks has taken several steps to combat this issue, including new signage relating to litter prevention, increases in garbage collection points and servicing, as well as partnerships with Keep Keith County Beautiful for the placement of recycle stations throughout the parks.
The goal of Adopt-a-Beach is to encourage participation in the protection of fragile park landscapes so that future generations can continue to enjoy this area. The program was modeled after the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway Program.» Read more
Due to its incredible species diversity and location on cental flyways, Lake Mac is known as a birdwatching hotspot. Bald eagles are among the lake area’s most notable winter stars, but there are many other winter visitors and permanent residents. Winter visitant species include purple finch, California gull, common redpoll, cedar waxwing, snow bunting and ring-necked duck. Year round avian residents include northern cardinal, American kestral, black-capped chickadee and downy woodpecker. Check the Lake McConaughy Birding Trails Map and Bird Species Checklist to plan your birding trip. Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District provides a heated eagle viewing facility that is open weekends January 7 through early March. Check our calendar for hours.
(photo credit: California Gull by Joel Jorgansen,» Read more
The Lake Mac naturalist has more great events coming up this month. For more information about any event, contact Alison Bleich at 308-284-8800 or at email@example.com
Reindeer and Cocoa
Lake McConaughy Visitors Center
Oh deer! Join the park naturalist out at the lake for an afternoon of deer facts, hot cocoa, and crafting.
Learn a little more about about deer while we make reindeer holiday cards.
Hot cocoa and snacks will be provided.
No fee to attend. Registration required.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-281-8800.
Lake McConaughy Visitors Center
Everyone is invited to the lake for a night of acrylic painting.
From bird walks and nature hikes to a butterfly info session and Coffee & Canvas nights, Lake McConaughy is now offering a variety of nature programs through resident naturalist Alison Bleich, shown in the photo with her sidekick Lorilai. Bleich says, “I will be setting up events, activities and presentations that encourage the public to come out to the lake and enjoy outdoor education. We want to continue to promote the lake and park as a great recreation and learning place.”
Bleich will also plan some events at Ash Hollow State Historical Park.
Check here or the ilovelakemac.com calendar for more information on upcoming events and activities.» Read more
The Front Street Crystal Palace Revue
Did you toss back a sarsaparilla and take your oath as an honorary Ogallala deputy as a kid? Now your kids can get sworn in, too. (They’ll still have to promise to change their underwear at least once a week!) A western Nebraska institution, the Crystal Palace Revue is in its 52nd season. Catch the gunfight and Old West show beginning at 7:15 pm Thursday through Saturday through June 25, Monday through Saturday June 27 – August 13, with 2:00 pm Sunday matinees June 19 & 26, July 3 & 31 and August 7. Call 308-284-6000 for reservations.
Mansion on the Hill Museum
What did a child’s bedroom look like in the 1890s?