MEMPHIS – During a time of uncertainty surrounding a global pandemic one thing has remained – the love for the great outdoors.
Memphis State Recreation Area, located seven miles northwest of Ashland, has been busy throughout the months of April, and May and June has been no different.
Jake Rodiek, a Nebraska Game and Parks superintendent at Mahoney State Park, also manages the Memphis SRA and says that usage at lakes and recreation is up across the board as recreational enthusiasts look to get outdoors.
“Day use is way up at all of the parks and Memphis is included in that,” Rodiek said.
Memphis SRA sits on 163 acres which surrounds a 48-acre lake.
Camping and fishing are popular at Memphis and a project aimed at adding 18 gravel-padded, 50 amp, 14-by-50 foot campsites is almost complete according to Rodiek.
“There was a definite demand for it at Memphis. We are still finishing up the work, but are hoping to have all of them available before the Fourth of July,” he said.
The new sites are located on the north side of the lake and will offer a great view as campers exit their RV, according to Rodiek.
“It’s going to be view when you come out of your camper,” Rodiek said.
An additional 51 basic sites with fire pits and picnic tables are also available as is primitive tent camping with great views of the lake.
All of the campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Another recent project was replacing the water system at the recreation area.
The Memphis SRA reached an agreement with the Village of Memphis and is now utilizing the public water system.
All of the hydrants have been replaced and campers now have access to potable water.
Wetting a line is also a popular activity at Memphis SRA.
Fishing for catfish is a profitable proposition and there is also a large population of largemouth bass and crappie, according to Rodiek.
Anglers can fish from the shore or from the comfort of the boat.
There is one dock where anglers can launch their boat, but the lake is under a no-wake restriction, meaning that speeds of more than 5 mph are prohibited.
A one-mile hiking trail around the lake is also available to those looking to get in some exercise.
Along the trail multiple opportunities to view nature materialize.
A wildlife management area abuts the SRA and viewing blinds offer a way for hikers to view wildlife including a number of different bird species.
“(Hiking is) something that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of when they come out to Memphis. There is a dike on the west side of the lake and the trail winds all the way around the lake,” Rodiek said.