Medicine Creek State Recreation Area
Rated by many visitors as one of Nebraska's more scentic recreation spots, Medicine Creek State Recreation Area and wildlife land encompass some 8,500 acres of public land and water in southeastern Frontier County. The dam on Medicine Creek is a zoned, earth-filled structure. It is 165 feet high and 5,665 feet long. At the top of the conservation pool, the lake covers 1,850 surface acres, with 29 miles of shoreline. Completed in 1949, the dam is 30 feet wide at the top and 840 feet at the base. Water stored irrigates some 16,630 acres of land.
With the long narrow configuration of the lake, much of which is shaded by mature stands of trees and lush underbrush, Medicine Creek offers outdoor buffs plenty of recreational opportunity, plus solitude and plenty of private spots to get away from it all. The long bays that pocket the winding shore and the small islands provide fishermen with hotspots for king-sized crappie and other panfish. In early spring, walleye start hitting back in the shallows, but the walleye fishing really begins in June in the main body of the lake.
In the fall, hunters will find that Medicine Creek is one of the finest public hunting areas in the state, for its wildlife lands lie in the heart of southwest Nebraska's pheasant and quail range. More than 5,500 acres have been extensively managed for wildlife habitat. The Game and Parks Commission and Bureau of Reclamation have planted more than 50,000 trees and shrubs in recent years, concentrating on plantings that benefit both game and nongame species.
The private concession on the south side of the dam on Trail No. 1, offers a restaurant, grocery items, camping supplies, bait, tackle, boat rental, gas, modern air-conditioned cabins, and hunting, fishing and park entry permits.
Medicine Creek camping ranges from the most modern to just the essentials. Shady Bay Campground on Trail-No. 4 on the east side of the lake has 77 hardsurfaced camping pads. Most are shaded, and there are 34 electrical hookups. A top-notch camping spot, Shady Bay also has showers, flush toilets, boat ramps, a swimming beach, trailer dump station, water wells, and barbecue grills. More camping is located on Trail No. 1, where there are a modern shower/latrine, picnic shelters, water, parking, and boat ramps. There are also boat ramps on Trail No. 3, and there are other camping sites scattered around the lake that have trail road access.Medicine Creek State Recreation Area has 4 lakefront cabins on the East Side of the lake in the Shady Bay Campground, Trail 4. Each two-bedroom cabin is approximately 532 square feet has air conditioning, full bathroom, furnished kitchen and a covered deck overlooking the lake. Linens and utensils are provided. The cabins sleep four people. For reservations, please call (402)471-1414.