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Atkinson Lake State Recreation Area


Park Snapshot

Please note: Atkinson Lake is managed as a city park by the city of Atkinson. For more information contact 402-925-5313.


Atkinson Lake State Recreation Area's original lake impoundment built in 1894 by the Atkinson Milling and Irrigation Company and was operated for milling purposes and hydroelectric generation until 1929 when high water washed out the dam. In 1947, the city of Atkinson deeded the dam to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. In 1949, the Game and Parks rebuilt the structure but in the early 60's high water washed out the dam again and a third time in 1984 reducing it to just a stream.

In 1991, a joint effort between local people and the Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Department of Water Resources and the United States Army Corps of Engineers made it possible for the reconstruction of the Atkinson Dam. The lake was deepened and the overall size is approximately 14 surface acres. The Game and Parks has stocked the lake with bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish.

In 1978, the Game and Parks bought approximately 2 acres of land which was an easement agreement in the 1950's. The recreation area at present takes in approximately 50 acres.


Recreational facilities at the lake include camping areas, vault toilets, drinking water, picnic tables and grills, picnic shelters and playground equipment. In 1992, construction of a Bluebird trail being funded from private memorials to Kenneth Butterfield, a long-time supporter and advocate began, and completed in 1994. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile in length with 12 bluebird houses, 4 park benches to provide restful viewing of these rare birds.

Overnight Accommodations

Camping Facilities:
8 non-pad sites with electrical hookups*
20 non-pad sites without electricity
*20/30-amp. non-reservable campsites

Atkinson Lake has 40 acres of land and a 14 acre lake on the Elkhorn River. The area is fairly flat and partially forested with mature trees. The area offers fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, electrical hookups and primitive camping.

Facility Details

Camping: Yes

Water: Yes
Modern Restroom: No
Dump Station: No
Showers: No
Laundry: No

Lodging: No

Cabins: 0
Rooms: 0
Dorms: 0
Food Service: No

Trails: Yes

Hiking: 1 miles
Mtn. Bike: 0 miles
Horse: 0 miles
Trail Rides: No
Allow Horses: No

Picnicking: Yes

Picnic Tables: 21
Grills: 23
Shelters: 2
Shelters w/ elec.: 0

Boating: Yes

Types: Electric motor, non-powered
Ramps: 0
Docks: 0
Fuel Avail.: No
Boat Rental: No
River Access: Yes

Fishing: Yes

Cleaning Stations: 0

Swimming: No

Pools: 0
Beaches: 0

Concessions: No

Visitor Center: No

Office on Site: No

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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