At Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area near Valentine, NE you have some choices to make. There are Merritt Main, Willow Cove , Lone Tree, Cottonwood , Pines, Cedar Bay , Beeds and Board Campgrounds to choose from. Each has sites near the Reservoir or further back in the scrub that have fire rings and picnic tables. Some have electric options, showers and boatramps. All have at least a pit toilet and dumpster. (And sand)
The state employees were a little scarce when I visited and the weather was not real inviting. I decided to not float on the Reservoir due to the low temperatures, but it would seem that the Nebraskans are a little hardier and used to the cold temperatures then me because there were a few out on the water fishing.
This area would be ideal for a large group get together and out in the middle of nowhere so any noise shouldn’t be an issue. I heard coyotes and it was pitch black at night, had the sky been clear the stars would have been amazing.
Valentine, NE is nearby for resupply and entertainment and there are some other recreation areas that offer hiking and of course floating on the Niobrara River.
Love camping at Merritt. Many different campsites to choose from. Walk up and extended stay. Great fishing and boating. The Scenic Sandhills surround the lake and on the biggest hill is always Ole Glory our up every year by a local business owner that frequents the lake. Hunting around Merritt is great too from deer to grouse. Merritt is a year round sportsman’s lake.
Wuiet campground with restrooms with plumbing and showers. Sites with and without power for tents and RVs. Miles of quiet beaches, even on holiday weekends.
We come here every year with a small group of friends and have a wonderful time. Whether we are out on the lake boating, or fishing, or this year trying to kayak, or by the camp fire telling stories, we always have fun. The sites are mostly shaded at Cedar Bay where we camp and are Electric only, but they are nice large sites and you have plenty of room. Everyone is very friendly. It is usually packed on weekends. Cell service can get be hard to get so prepare those teens.
Always peaceful and family friendly. Several different camp areas with primitive or hook up options. Several boat docks, good fishing, shower facilities, and more!
There are so many great sites here. Cedar Bay is always the busiest. Bordeman def has the best grassy sites and is great for groups. Powderhorn is the least used lake access and you can never go wrong with the quiet area of willow. The night sky is the best reason to go here. It’s one of the darkest places in the US.
We visited in May of 2017, and we stayed at Cedar Bay campground site AA. The area offers great views and close to unity to regional sites auch as Snake Falls, Niobrara, Valentine and more. The site sits right on the edge of the southern edge of the reservoir and is close to two boat ramps. There are. Number of beaches which offer good wading and places to cool off. Kayak access is everywhere and there is a lot of shade at each site. Our site was pretty close to showers and had electricity. Some things to look out for are cliffs which are about 10-20 ft high that lead to a drop towards the reservoir. If you are a paddler, the boats coming and going to both ramps give off some wakes which are not a big deal if the wind is not blowing. This is a great site in the Nebraska Sandhills which offers clear water and good fishing.