Branched Oak State Recreation Area is home to the largest lake in eastern Nebraska, with around 1,800 acres of water. The park is a popular destination for a number of outdoor recreational activities, including boating, fishing, camping, and more. Branched Oak Lake is a popular fishing destination. Anglers might catch three types of catfish, bluegill, carp, crappie, freshwater drum, largemouth and striped bass, walleye, white perch, and wiper.
There are some size and quantity requirements for some fish species, and others are required to catch and release. Be sure to follow all relevant Nebraska rules and regulations. The lake is open to all kinds of boating. There are nine boat ramps with 49 docks. The marina has boat rentals and fuel available for purchase. Swimming at either of the two swimming beaches at Branched Oak State Recreation Area is at own risk since there are no lifeguards.
If you're interested in walking your dog or going for a ride, Branched Oak State Recreation Area includes seven miles of hiking trails, six miles of mountain biking trails, and three miles of horseback trails. Alternatively, the park offers other kinds of outdoor recreation including horseshoe pits, archery, and a nationally recognized dog trial area. Picnicking is also a popular activity. The park has 41 picnic shelters, 625 picnic tables, and 588 grills. Three of the shelters are reservable.
For overnight guests, the park has primitive and modern campsites, as well as equestrian sites for those with horses. Leashed or crated pets are welcome at Branched Oak State Recreation Area in the campground and on most trails. Dogs are not permitted on swimming beaches. Be respectful of any posted signs where dogs may not be allowed. Do not leave pets unattended and always clean up pet waste.
Branched Oak State Recreation Area is open year-round. The price for admission is $6 for Nebraska residents and $8 for non-residents. Additional camping fees vary by type of site. Camping or picnic reservations are available online, by phone, or upon arrival. In eastern Nebraska, Branched Oak State Recreation Area is a beautiful spot to enjoy the outdoors on or off the water with your furry companion.