Calamus Lake & Recreation Area


Calamus Lake Recreation Area is located 7 miles Northwest of Burwell, Nebraska on Hwy 96.

All boats are allowed on the lake, but pleasure boating is limited to the lower area from east of the highly visible buoy line to the dam.

The upper half of the reservoir is a five-mile-per-hour, no-wake zone. This fish habitat area has many standing and submerged trees. There are good populations of pan and game fish species in the reservoir to test a fisherman's skill. Species include: Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Walleye, Perch, Bluegill, Northern Pike, and Wipers.



A day use area offering picnic facilities, drinking water and vault toilets, Little York Point affords visitors an exceptional view of the length of Calamus Reservoir. Visitors may also wish to stop at the area's headquarters to obtain their park entry permits, fishing licenses and camping information. Little York is so named for the large numbers of early settlers who had their origins in England, many of whom immigrated from Yorkshire.


Named in honor of the hearty settlers who pioneered agriculture in the Calamus valley, this area on the lake's north shore is the most highly developed recreation site on the reservoir. Homestead Knolls offers campers 83 hard surface pads with camper hookups, a shower/latrine building and lake access through two boat launching lanes. Ultimately, a designated swimming beach will be built to compliment the area's picnic grounds overlooking the lake.



A boat ramp and access area similar to Valleyview Flat which is popular with anglers and campers not looking for modern facilities. Drinking water, vault toilets and picnic tables and grills constitute the area's amenities. The area is named for the presence of two tombstones marking the graves of a family named Hannamon, dated 1886 and 1888.


Deriving its name from a small settlement platted speculatively with a view toward become a railroad town, Nunda Shoal is located midway along the lake's south shore. It offers 39 individual hard-surfaced campsites. While modem facilities are not yet available, electrical hookups are programmed for the near future. Other facilities currently available are two boat launching lanes, vault toilets and drinking water. The site of the one-time community of Nunda lies across the lake from the Nunda Shoal area. It was to have served the Lincoln and Black Hills Railroad Company, which failed before any rails were laid. At its height, Nunda boasted a post office, telephone exchange and school.


The area is named for Conrad Wentworth, nearby Fort Hartsuff's famed scout and hunter, better known as Little Buckshot. The area offers excellent boating access, even on windy days. The boat ramp and dock are protected, and it has modem restrooms and a gravel parking lot. No camping is allowed on this area.

For Fishing or Camping Information contact:
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Phone: 402-944-2703 or
Burwell Area/Garfield Co. CVB
404 Grand Avenue
PO Box 3 - Burwell, NE 68823-0747

Phone 308-346-5210
Fax 308-346-5121


The Calamus Lake Offers:

  • Camping
  • Restaurants and meeting facilities
  • 7 boat launching sites
  • 36 miles of public shoreline
  • 35 miles of sand beaches
  • Clean water
  • Swimming area
  • 5 miles of fish habitat area
  • 5182 surface acres of water (when full)
  • 5 miles of recreational waters

Nebraska Park Permit Required.

Permits are available at area businesses or at the
Calamus State Recreation Area office.


Situated directly on the now extinct town site of Valleyview, this small area offers a boat ramp and hard-surface parking area. Primitive camping opportunities are available for those who like to rough it with only vault toilets and a hand pump well. The town of Valleyview was founded in the early 1900's on the railroad grade of the never to be completed Lincoln and Black Hills Railroad. The grade was constructed in the late 1880's. A state historical marker on the site details the town's history.

The Calamus Lake area provides
excellent opportunities for Bald Eagle
and other wildlife viewing.


Copyright © 2005 product of The Burwell Tribune, Burwell, Nebraska