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Now that summer is here, everyone’s looking to enjoy some time outdoors. For boat owners, that means spending as much time on the water as possible. Fortunately, Nebraska has many lakes for people to choose from, some of which are ranked among the best in the nation.

If you’re looking to mix up your boating adventures this year, or simply looking to spend as much time near water as possible, take a look at our picks below of the best lakes in Nebraska.

Lake McConaughy

Located in central-western Nebraska on the North Platte River, Lake McConaughy is Nebraska’s largest lake, coming in at 14,400 hectares. The lake is named after former Mayor Charles W. McConaughy and was built during the construction of the Kingsley Dam. Lake McConaughy’s large area makes it a perfect choice for water skiing, boating, and windsurfing. For fishermen, the lake is one of the best for walleye and white bass.

Lake Wanahoo

For water lovers, Nebraska lakes don’t get much better than Lake Wanahoo. Indeed, the lake was constructed with features like piers and breakwaters to make fishing accessible to both experienced and novice fishermen alike. The area also has campgrounds and picnic spots for families. Finally, Lake Wanahoo’s location near Omaha and Lincoln also makes it a convenient spot for many in the state.

Lake Minatare

Located in the state’s panhandle in Scotts Bluff County, Lake Minatare is one of the best lakes for those who love wildlife. Lake Minatare is part of the North Platte Wildlife Refuge, where more than 200 bird and 40 mammal species have been spotted (and is even home to a bald eagle nesting site). Fishermen can expect to catch catfish, crappie, pikes, white bass, and more.

Merritt Reservoir

As part of the Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, Merritt Reservoir is one of the best lakes in Nebraska for boating. In fact, the reservoir provides five ramps for boating access. With 38 camping grounds and many grills and picnic areas, Merritt Reservoir is ideal for people looking for a few days to enjoy the outdoors. Not exactly in the camping mood? Stay at the Merritt Trading Post Resort and still enjoy a lakeside view!



15 Best Lakes in Nebraska:


Four Nebraska lakes ranked among nation’s best:


Image Credit: https://www.warren.af.mil