Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area

Cottonwood Lake Rd.
Merriman, NE 69218


Peaceful and secluded, Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area includes a 60-acre Sandhills lake surrounded by 180 acres of rolling hills. The area is partially forested and offers power boating, fishing, bird watching and picnicking. Its remote location makes it an excellent place to see the stars and get away from it all.


Anglers at Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area will find bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike and yellow perch. Aquatic vegetation may hamper summer fishing.

All boats are welcome at Cottonwood Lake. There is one ramp and one dock.

Bird watching
With its mixture of marshes, open water and wooded areas, Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area attracts a wide variety of avian species.

Cottonwood Lake offers 17 picnic tables, six grills and two picnic shelters. A playground on-site gives kids a place to play. Cottonwoods and other mature trees provide plenty of shade.


Primitive camping
Cottonwood Lake offers 30 non-designated sites, all of which are located along the shoreline and near mature trees. Water and vault toliets are available to campers. A public water hydrant is available from May 1 through Oct. 1. There is no dump station.

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