Relatively small but very popular, Bridgeport State Recreation Area lies adjacent to the North Platte River on the north edge of the town of Bridgeport on U.S. 26-U.S. 385. It totals 197 acres with 119 acres of land and 78 acres of water in several sand pit lakes.
Bridgeport had its beginnings during the 1930s as a sand and gravel pumping operation. During the early part of World War II, gravel from Bridgeport was hauled to Alliance to build the concrete runways for the paratrooper base there. The area was obtained by the Game and Parks Commission for development as a recreation area in 1952.
Picnicking, fishing, swimming and camping are favoriate activities at the area. Facilities include picnic tables, shelters, fire grates, drinking water, trailer dump station and vault toilets. There is also a playground for the youngsters. Camping is primitive, with no designated sites. However, about 50 units can be accommodated on the area.
All boats are permitted on Center Lake; however, boat traffic must travel in a counter-clockwise direction, and speeds are limited to 5 mph in the large bay at the southwest end of Center Lake. The smaller lakes are limited to non-powered vessels and those powered by conventional electric outboard motors.
Swimming is allowed at the designated beach area, but it is unsupervised. Swimmers should always use extreme care and stay in the designated area. Anglers will find ample variety, with catchable size rainbow trout stocked in the northwest lake. Other species available include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch and channel catfish. Rifles and pistols are prohibited at all times at Bridgeport.
One of the earliest developments by the Commission was the planting of numerous trees and shrubs, which have now matured to provide ample shade. Visitors will find cottonwood, pine, sand cherry, plum, Nanking cherry, quail bush, chokecherry and Chineses elm predominant on the area.
Bridgeport encompasses 199 acres of land and 4 sandpit lakes totalling 78 acres. The area offers power boating, picnicking, hiking and fishing. There is a dump station and approximately 130 non-designated camping sites.