Harlan County Lake, Nebraska

Big Lake

Harlan County Lake has over 13,000 surface acres of water and nearly 75 miles of shoreline, making it Nebraska's second-largest lake.

Harlan County Lake, Nebraska

upcoming events

Songbird Migration Apr. 1 to May. 15, 2018 more
Memorial Day Weekend May. 25 to May. 28, 2018 more
Oxford's Turkey Days Jun. 13 to Jun. 16, 2018 more
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Harlan County Lake

Harlan County Lake
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Harlan County Lake, Nebraska's second largest lake, is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. Considered the finest walleye fishery in the state, Harlan County is also known for White bass, Wipers, Catfish and Crappie, and to a lesser extent, Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass. The lake is a favorite for camping, boating and water skiing in the Great Plains region of the United States.

As a federal project, Harlan County Lake is open year round, with public access on all of the Corps property for hunting pheasants, quail, turkey, deer, ducks and geese. During the winter, when the lake is full of tens of thousands of ducks and geese, American Bald Eagles can be viewed at the Alma end of the lake or from the dam. Harlan County residents know that spring has finally arrived when white Pelicans take up residence at the lake.

There are 542 camping pads available at 7 established campgrounds around the lake's 75 miles of shoreline. Primitive camping is permitted on most of the federal property around the lake.

Although a Nebraska hunting and/or fishing license is required, no state permit for camping is needed, and the Corps honors and sells Golden Age Passports.

Day use fees are charged at Gremlin Cove, North Outlet, South Outlet, Hunter Cove and Methodist Cove. Electrical hookups and heated showers are available at both Hunter and Methodist facilities. Hunter has a coin-operated laundry. Camping pads with electrical and full hookups are available at Patterson Harbor Marina and North Shore Marina.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' and U.S. Forest Service campground spaces can be reserved in advance by calling the toll-free phone number, 1-877-444-6777. You can also visit the web site at Reserve USA link opens in a new window. Reservations across the USA can be made up to 240 days in advance. Group shelter houses at Gremlin Cove and High Point can also be reserved by calling the toll-free number. More information is available on our camping page.

Harlan County Dam is at the Republican City end of the lake.

Harlan County Lake - click to view larger map