The Merritt Reservoir Recreation State Recreation Area in Cherry County, Nebraska, was created in 1964 when a dam was placed on the Snake River. The resulting reservoir quickly became a hugely popular camping, hunting and fishing park in the region of the Sandhills with the centerpiece the splendid 3,000-acre reservoir that is open year round, although the peak season for recreation is from May through September.
Along with all that water, there are 44 miles of shoreline – plenty of space for Woof to roam around. Primarily, however, the reservoir is, well, a water system that means – for people – boats, fishing, swimming. Woof who swim are surely going to have plenty of opportunities to play, as are dogs when their owners go for hikes instead of boat rides.
Dog owners, in fact, might take some comfort in knowing that the reservoir is in a remote area that is surrounded by other opportunities for Woof, including the McKelvie National Forest, which lies just to the north. The land, which abuts the Rosebud Indian Reservation, is also very close to the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and the Fort Niobrara Wildlife refuge, which abound in natural beauty.
Also, be aware that if you have never been to the Sandhills region, it is clearly a spot where the obvious description “rolling grasslands” just doesn't do it justice. This region is like putting a blanket of moss on a bubbly landscape as far as the eye can see – one green dome after another all in splendid technicolor.
It is like a rolling version of Scotland only minus those unsightly rock outcroppings. Permits are required and camping includes a fee $14 per night if you require electricity and $7 per night for what is called “primitive” camping. That's the type of camping where – gasp – you don't bring along a television set and a microwave oven.