Traveling through Nebraska there are several areas you might be interested in exploring, amongst those Jeffrey Canyon State Wildlife Area, a primitive site with a rich history and a unique location.
As you travel down the road to Jeffrey Canyon the corn fields abound and thrive, the terrain begins to climb then you sharply turn to access the area. The area is clearly marked, but the areas which you are allowed to camp are not. As a part of the hydroelectric power area there are many unique features including a large lake with plenty of land around it. The problem lays in that there are no maps delegating areas which are able to be camped on. One area beyond the park is privately owned and marked for no entry, but the historic looking outbuildings, while interesting are not marked by any specific markers.
It was not until I left the property that I knew what exactly I had been looking at while there. The historic buildings are gems to say the least but without marking or description they are mere photographable relics. It was a bit sad to visit and have little to no knowledge of what was abounding.
The reservoir itself is a fishermen's haven with many coming to the area to fish and enjoy sport. While visiting I noticed many navigating the lake on various sized boats.
As for camping this is where there was more than a little confusion. The steep uneven terrain just beyond the road/dam was open for primitive camping, however it would be a bit awkward to access for many vehicles. With road wash and loose gravel it was not ideal and I could honestly say I was a little worried about driving down toward the camping area which was not much more than a slurry pit area.
It was very sad to see that such an area with great promise was not better equipped for those coming to the area to appreciate it. There were no services, which was somewhat expected but the potential of the site and how well manicured the outbuildings were and the vast difference in the actual camping area allocated was very disconnected.
When approaching town I asked someone and they said many use the woods, however this is hike in only and very limited parking along the major roadway are used for this. I personally would not recommend this.
The grounds were beautiful and deserving of a much higher rating but the camping itself was limited and deemed the lower rating. Perhaps visit for fishing or just a good stop in Nebraska but steer toward one of the other locations within 30 miles of this location for actual camping.
I was very excited when I was asked to review some of the items from Banner & Oak on this trip and found that the variety and styles of hats offered was so vast. I selected the "Freedom To Explore" hat which was very fitting for the adventures I take on while traveling. I consider myself to be a nomad at heart and go wherever the wind blows me so the theme of this hat was a mirror of myself.
The hat is a snapback with a unique feel to the material used. The black and grey fabric is a great suit for most looks as it is muted and can appeal to many. The customizable size is perfect for someone like myself because my head is a bit smaller so this allows me to really fit the hat and keep it secure even in a windy day like the one I visited this location.
The quality of the Banner & Oak brand is very high and I love that the hat is not only versatile but durable.
I personally prefer hats during summer for sun protection wince I have such short hair and this hat did not disappoint at all in this regard! I would easily give this hat by Banner & Oak a 5 star rating. It was just ashamed that the hat completely outshined the location!
The park is a quick hop off I80! Quiet, scenic and spacious! Camp Hosts are SUPER HELPFUL & kind! The shower/bathhouse is older but well kept. $25 for RV parking and showers are free! I would stay here again & I would recommend this park for families/hikers/nature lovers.
Nice little spot in beautiful NW Kansas. Conveniently located on the intersection of Hwy 83 and Hwy 36. Like everyone in this town, the owners are helpful and friendly. Full hookups available in all (6 or 7 total) RV spots. Back in only in all but end spot, with relatively level gravel pads. There is a gazebo on site with seating, and a fire pit and barbecue. It's open for all guests, including motel guests. I give 4 stars because of 2 drawbacks. Hotel WiFi is hit and miss, and the RV spots are small. We couldn't put out our awning without invading the neighbors. But good value for the money ($30/night). I recommend. Oh and do yourself a favor, go downtown and get the best pizza ever at the ReLoad Bar and Grill.
Nicely kept roadside campground with grass and trees. Electric hookups (very nice in Nebraska summer). Lots of dragonflies to eat the mosquitoes. Airport across the street and railroad behind to mix with road noise. A little far to walk back to town for dinner. But local stopped by an said we should go to Fuller’s for breakfast (5 egg omelette).
We found this nice little city park in McCook, NE which allows camping and has free electric hook-ups, and restrooms. There are only 7 spaces but the park is well maintained. There is no reservations it’s a first come first serve. There is a 3 day limit on your stay. It was a great stopping point for anyone needing a quick stop. There are trees surround the park and a little river running beside the park. The even had LIGHTENING BUGS !!
There are many RV and tent sites at this campground with water access to the Harlan reservoir. Several loops of sites are available around the lake within this campground. Electric RV sites and some tent sites can be reserved online while there are also a set number of first come first served sites. Dogs and campfires are allowed. There is a fish cleaning station for those who are interested in fishing. There is also a playground in the main loop for kids. Due to the overwhelming amount of rain in the area, some of the sites are unavailable right now, but there are still more than enough for everyone. We were there on a busy holiday weekend and still had plenty of space, shade, and privacy. Dogs are allowed on lease at all times. There are also two group campsites and a covered picnic facility that would be great for reunions.
My husband and I did a long anniversary weekend here to enjoy the beautiful weather. We stayed here early October of 2016! Like I said in the title, if possible arrive early on the weekend or even a little earlier during the week to get the best spot in the area. We were lucky enough to get this spot and it must be a hot commodity because we had no less than 10 different people drove past to see if the spot was open. As you can see from the pictures, the spot is just a short walk from the small sand pit lake. Makes it ideal for early morning fishing and a quick kayak launch site. If you love fishing and floating around beautiful lakes, this is the spot for you. There is no modern amenities so you will have to rough it for a few days, which we don’t mind at all. Early October was a perfect time to go, the trees were still changing colors and the smell of fresh fall air was everywhere!
This campground is busy all summer for the full hookup but normally will have electricity only or primitive openings
I should have paid more attention to this park. I didn't realize there was a frisbee golf course. Plenty of hiking, biking and horse riding trails. I read later there's pond there to fish in. The place is called a state park but it's actually run by the city of Oberlin, Kansas. We were just driving through and needed a place to stay and found this little gem. We were the only ones in the park. It's free if you aren't using electricity. Otherwise there is an honor box for those using RV electric hook ups. We are van living and didn't need any hook ups. Lots of trees for shade around. There's a shelter house. Wish I took some pics. It was a pretty little spot.
This large city park on the edge of town has a variety of great sites. Easy for large RVs that I saw to pull through. The park itself is nice enough and has a river running through it. The showers are old but clean. There are lots of things to do in town and out. ASn old pony express depot has been restored and is a visitor's center.
This campground was hard to find, even with GPS. Finally a local came by to show us where it was. When we drove in there was a boat ramp, 1 tent site with a picnic table and fire ring, and 1 spot for an RV to park with no hookups. I was told there were other spots for tents on the other side of the lake that you could get to by hiking. The area needed to be mowed but wow the views from the tent site were gourgous. There were other trails, hunting, and fishing. Up the road were beautiful views of the dam and area. If we would have had our generator, we would have stayed the night.
Fantastic state Park with full hookups… Beach, fishing and a delightful small City of prairie dogs to entertain the kids for hours
So normally I wouldn't be harsh cuz I truly love nature, but we weren't even able to look around or take pictures. We were literally stuck in our camper and only spent the night and than left. When I did have to go out to take my dogs out to the bathroom, the bugs would fly up my nose and were all over me. I joked when I got back inside that this is the next place they should drop off for the show Naked and Afraid. Hopefully it was just a wet period or bad day😱
Located on Harlan County Lake. We chose campsite #63, just back from the shoreline. It was an extremely large site with plenty of room to play with our dogs without bothering anyone else. Plenty of places to walk or hike along the shoreline. While the temps were in the 90's and humid out in the sun, our site stayed between 78 and 80 due to the cooling breezes coming from the lake. The campground water supply was pristine. There were plenty of nice outhouses spread throughout the park. The main bathhouse is huge and the showers are great. The boat ramp was very nice. The campground hostess was very nice and comes around to introduce herself in case you have any questions.
This campground is beautiful and spacious, and it is fun to watch the deer wander around, but with deer come ticks. We camp in many places and have seldom seen so many ticks in one place.
Area around SRA is great. Fireflies every night, nice bathrooms, and fishing wasn’t bad. However, the sites are WAY too close together. Don’t know if we just showed up at the wrong time, but seems like “quiet hours” aren’t enforced. If you’re in need of a stopover, stay here but if you want more of a camping experience, look elsewhere. Booked a reservation for the weekend (3 nights) and left a day early.
I was looking for a place to stay close to I-80 as I made a drive from Chicago back home to Boulder. This place seemed close enough to the highway to give a look, and I was not disappointed. I rolled in to the campgrounds around sunset and saw some people using the nearby lake to do some fishing.
I woke up, and there was a horse grazing across the road, and I discovered this really large, open space park next to the grounds also had a disc golf course. My campsite had a fire pit and a picnic table, there were others with electrical hookups, and sites that could easily accommodate RVs. There was a dump station and dumpsters for waste.
There were some playground areas, a place for firewood purchase, and a horse shoe play area adjacent to a rec building.
Product Review (update)
A few weeks ago I was awarded the Saris Freedom Superclamp 2-Bike bike rack from a contest run through TheDyrt's Facebook page. I have been able to use the bike rack for about 2 months, and taken it through a lot of different road conditions. You can read about the initial review here.
My overall impressions now that I've had the rack for a while longer is that it's a winner. You can watch a video of my overall impressions. While I still wish the rack offered some kind of way to get into my trunk without having to take the bike(s) off, it's just hard to argue it's a nuisance since it doesn't take that long to take the bike(s) on and off the rack. I've also changed my mind about the built-in bike locks. While I initially thought longer bike cable locks could be useful to lock up your bikes frame and front wheel (since most bikes have a front wheel quick-release option), I realized I had my own bike lock for my bike already that I just used, and I imagine most - if not all - people who will buy a bike rack for their bikes have locks for them too. A longer cable lock would require a larger place for it to be stored when not in use, which adds to the weight of the rack, which in the end isn't necessary.
In the city of Chicago, when I took the bike off during city commuting, I noticed it would have been nice to have the ability to fold the rack up closer to the end of my car, since there's so much city parking that's parallel parking, and the space added to the end of the car no longer made me a candidate for some spots.
Overall, this Saris bike rack is so easy to use, is super secure for my bikes, and was very durable - holding up to all kinds of 4WD-only roads. Definitely recommend.
The Sun Sets on Another Road Trip
Well, this 2,900 mile round trip Colorado-Toronto road trip has finally come to a close, and it's been a lot of fun. It certainly couldn't compete with my Rocky Mountain trip in late June up to Jasper National Park in Alberta on a scenery scale, but it had it's moments of solitude and a lot more lake time. To have been able to use TheDyrt to help plan out a few days on the road like my time in Land Between the Lakes, using info to figure out things like which campgrounds would be good for biking and canoeing, was a real plus.
I tried to avoid the corn fields of Iowa and Nebraska both directions, and don't regret doing the eastbound portion along I-70 and through Kansas and Missouri, but it was more of the same when it came to fields and fields of crops and prairies. My bigger regret is not giving myself enough time to explore more parts of Tennesse and Kentucky like the fun city of Nashville or the distilleries. Then again, I loved every minute of my time spent in Toronto up north in cottage country with my family, and would've regretted skimming days off that experience. With only so many days off, it's pretty easy to prioritize family. It just means I'll be back to Kentucky, derby time or camping season.
There are a number of loops here, we chose one with a lot of trees. There are some without water (fyi) and some that don’t allow RVs.
Yay: Lots of fishing, very short “trail” but nice for just simple relaxing on your road trip.
Nay: pretty much only prairie dogs to see here…
Surprise: crazy storms rolling over the plains! The caretakers were very nice and had recommendations for all kinds of things along our route (including amazing pie).