Recreation Areas

Recreation Areas

Camping Availability Update (as of 5/28/20):  Interest in camping at all of our parks this weekend is growing. Check our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information. We cannot guarantee availability at any park at a given time, and all camping is first-come, first-served. Tent camping is only allowed in designated tent camping areas at each park. Reminder to continue to practice proper social distancing while at the parks. 

COVID-19 Update: (as of 5/8/20)

  • All NNRD recreation areas remain open at this time.
  • If you are sick, have a fever, or been exposed to someone known to have the COVID-19 virus, please do not visit our parks.
  • Effective Monday, April 13, all playgrounds and picnic shelters are closed at all NNRD parks. Expect them to remain closed until further notice. Please do not allow children to play on the playground equipment. Playgrounds and picnic shelters are not regularly disinfected.
  • As of Friday afternoon, May 8, some restrooms have been opened at Kirkman's Cove, Iron Horse Trail Lake, Duck Creek, and Wirth Brothers Lake. Only the concrete restrooms are open at the first three parks; the lone wooden restroom at Wirth Brothers is open. Staff will clean/sanitize restrooms on Mondays and Fridays. No soap or hand sanitizer is provided, so bring your own. Please help keep the restrooms clean so they may remain open for everyone. Campers with their own facilities in their RVs are encouraged to use those instead.
  • Camping is still allowed as long as campers abide by social distancing and other posted rules and guidelines.  Camping with electrical hookups still require prepayment for each day.
  • NNRD park permits are still required at Kirkman’s Cove, Iron Horse Trail Lake, Duck Creek, and Wirth Brothers Lake.
  • Permits may be purchased online, at the parks, or by mail. Because our office is closed to the public, we have discontinued in-person sale of permits.
  • Visitors should be prepared for potential changes in status during their stay. Any changes will be posted on our website and Facebook page. Every effort will be made to give adequate notice (24-48 hours) if possible.
  • Although campers may stay a maximum of 14 days, if park status changes, campers may be required to leave.
  • Social distancing recommendations should be followed in campgrounds and other use areas. If areas are crowded, please find another area or come back at another time.
  • Group activities of more than 10 persons are prohibited, and no group park permits will be issued until further notice.
  • The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recommends travelers coming to Nebraska from out-of-state should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, self-monitor for symptoms, and self-quarantine for 14 days, if feasible.
  • Staying in NRD campgrounds should not be considered as an alternative to self-quarantining.
  • Although outdoor activities such as using NRD park facilities are considered a lower risk, do not assume that park facilities that are open mean there is no risk of contracting the virus if you use these facilities. Take precautions recommended by the CDC, including social distancing even in outdoors spaces.
  • Failure to follow social distancing guidelines or observe posted rules and guidelines could result in complete closure of the parks.

Five public recreation areas with lakes and one trail are maintained and operated by the Nemaha NRD. Rules and regulations to assure the safe and fair use of the areas have been set and approved by the NRD board of directors. A few rules that apply to most areas include prohibiting alcohol and weapons, no personal watercraft (“jet skis”) on any of the four lakes, and adherence to State fishing and boating regulations.

Utilities and trash service are suspended beginning on December 1 and are restored again on April 1 each year at all of the parks.

FIREWORKS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT ANY OF THE RECREATION AREAS OR ON THE STEAMBOAT TRACE TRAIL.

Nemaha NRD Park Rules & Regulations (revised 12/13/17)

In 1996 the board enacted a park entry permit requirement at three of its parks: Kirkman’s Cove, Iron Horse Trail Lake, and Wirth Brothers Lake (and now at Duck Creek Recreation Area). Fees collected from these vehicle permits have helped provide various park improvements and enhancements such as new picnic shelters, concrete outhouses, boat docks, etc.

  • Annual Permits (valid January 1-December 31):  $15
  • Duplicate Annual Permit* (limit one per annual permit purchased): $8 (Must be for a vehicle licensed to the same person(s) as the annual permit)
  • Daily Permit: $5 (valid on the date of purchase, expiring at noon the following day)
  • Group Permits: Must be requested in writing on NRD forms; rates vary depending on size/duration of event
  • Gift Certificates: Contact the NRD office to purchase

Annual and temporary permits may be purchased at each park through envelopes available at iron collection boxes. Annual permits will be mailed within 14 days (use your temporary permit until you receive the annual permit sticker). Annual permits may also be purchased in person at the NRD office (M-F, 8-4:30), by mail (click here for a printable application form), or ordered online (click the orange "Order Park Permit" button at the top of this page). We are currently not selling park permits in person at our office due to the COVID-19 situation. We apologize for any inconvenience as we are following local, state, and federal health official guidelines.