Calamus State Recreation Area

42285 York Point Rd
Burwell, NE 68823


Located in Nebraska’s beautiful sandhills, Calamus State Recreation Area is among the most popular places for camping, fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking in the state. Features of the area include a 5,123-acre lake and surrounding 4,958 acres of gently rolling land, covered with native grasses and forbs. Some 1.2 miles of the Calamus River and 3.5 miles of other streams meander through the area.



Primary sport fish at Calamus State Recreation Area are walleye, white bass, wipers (white/striped bass hybrid), channel catfish, carp, drum, muskie, northern pike and crappie. In addition, catchable rainbow trout are stocked regularly in adjoining Gracie Creek Pond. In spring and early summer, walleye are tops on most anglers’ lists. As summer progresses white bass, wipers and catfish show up. Two fish-cleaning stations are on-site.


All types of boats are permitted at the lake, which offers four docks and five ramps. Calamus State Recreation Area also offers access to the Calamus River.

Fish Hatchery

One of Nebraska’s five fish hatcheries is located at Calamus State Recreation Area. Located below the dam, the hatchery has self-guided tours and displays on raising fish and other topics, making it an interesting and unexpected stop for many lake visitors.


The fresh air and cool evenings of the Sandhills make Calamus a great spot for picnicking and grilling out. The area offers 204 picnic tables, 216 grills and one shelter.


Swimming is permitted at Calamus Reservoir, however, no lifeguards are on duty, and swimming is at your own risk. Swimming is not allowed within 50 yards of boat ramps and docks.


RV camping
Calamus offers 132 pad sites with 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups spread over three different campgrounds. Shower houses are available at Homestead Knolls, Nunda Shoal and Valley View Flat campgrounds. All three areas offer mature shade trees, water and modern restrooms and each area is within walking distance of the lake. A dump station is available at Little York Point. Additionally, RV and camper camping is permitted in the parking lots of the Valley View Flat and Hannaman Bayou campgrounds in designated spots.

Primitive camping
Calamus offers 52 non-pad sites without electricity. Water and modern restrooms are available, and shower houses are available at Homestead Knolls, Nunda Shoal and Valley View campgrounds. Reservable group tent sites that accommodate up to eight tents are available in the Valley View Flat Campground. Beach camping is not permitted at Calamus SRA.

Images provided by, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Burwell
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner