We did a bit of exploring today. We drove about 20 miles to Lake Minatare State Recreational Area. We thought about moving to the campground there next week, but once we saw the camping area, we knew we would not be able to get our satellite in because of the trees. I have never seen so many trees so close together. This is a beautiful park where you park right on the water, it does not have full hookups, just electric, but the area is awesome. It is closed part of the year just to protect the birds that migrate to the area.
The park is one of the most popular and scenic recreation areas in Nebraska’s Panhandle, Lake Minatare State Recreation Area encompasses 2,973 acres, including the 2,158-acre reservoir. It was built in 1915 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. We were very surprised to see a lighthouse in the park. Lake Minatare’s landmark lighthouse was a beacon of hope in the dark days of the “Great Depression,” when many Americans were jobless. It was built entirely of native stone between 1937 and 1939 by the Veterans Conservation Corps. The unusual structure stands 55 feet tall and was intended to serve as a combination shelter house and observation tower. “Built to simulate a lighthouse,” it is the only such structure in Nebraska. Now, six decades-plus later, it still stands watch over the area. It is open to the public, the historic tower continues to offer a spectacular view of the lake and picturesque river valley to those with the stamina to climb its winding staircase to the top.
The park also has a wonderful beach area, we saw a lot of people enjoying the water today with the temperature in the 90’s. They also had a tire swinging out over the water for everyone to enjoy. I would love to spend a week at the park just to watch the birds. If you are in the area don’t miss this awesome park. We had a great time exploring it and hope you enjoy the pictures too, check back later for more from Nebraska.