Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area

Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area is a multipurpose project of the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District. Located ten miles east of Norfolk, Nebraska in the rolling hills of north-central Stanton County, the lake attracts people from across the state.

View of Maskenthine Lake Constructed in 1976, the dam provides flood control for the town of Stanton, one and one-half miles south of the lake. The area is approximately 740 acres in size, including the 100 acre lake, which provides many recreational activities to the public. The lake is a popular fishery in the district, and is stocked by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Other recreational activities include hunting, boating, picnicking, hiking, camping, swimming, and winter sports. An arboretum has been established on the east side of the lake. Other tree plantings and windbreaks are located throughout the area. No park permit or fee is required for entrance.

Dam and Reservoir

The flood control structure on the south end of the lake is a 1,500 foot long earth dam, The 53 foot high structure was the first project in the State of Nebraska funded by the Resources Development Fund that is administered by the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. The permanent pool storage of the reservoir is 927.5 acre-feet, whereas the flood storage is 2,551 acre-feet. Almost 6,000 acres drain into the lake.


The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission manages the Maskenthine fishery. Some of the biologists' duties at the fishery are stocking and monitoring the fish population, conducting surveys and moitoring fish growth rates. Northern pike, walleye and channel catfish are stocked annually. Other species present in the lake include largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, black bullhead and yellow perch.


* Boating is allowed in most areas of the lake although a 5 M.P.H no wake regulation is enforced. The boat ramp is on the west side of the lake.
* A sand swimming beach is a popular gathering site on the southwest end of the lake.
* A handicapped accessible fishing pier is located south of the swimming beach. The water is 18 feet deep off the southeast corner of the pier for added fishing enjoyment. The fishing pier has been named "Chet's Pier", in memory of longtime fisherman, C.V. Gaddie of Stanton.
* A shower house is also available for Maskenthine campers. The shower house is handicap accessible with shower stall, sinks, and restrooms.
* A 33 pad camper area with electrical hookups was constructed in 1989 near the swimming beach.
* Hunting is allowed throughout the area except within 200 yards of any building, campground, boat ramp parking area, swimming beach, picnic area, or where prohibited by signs.
* Hiking and bird watching are other activities well suited to Maskenthine Lake.
* Winter sports are available.

Arboretum and Native Plant Display

An arboretum is an area maintained for growing trees, shrubs, vines, prairie and woodland plants. The Maskenthine Arboretum is a collection of native and exotic tree species planted in a natural arrangement. Established in 1976, the area is used by schools and other groups for nature studies and general enjoyment.

While the arboretum encompasses about 20 acres, tree plantings have also been established for wildlife, habitat, research, windbreaks and beautification throughout the area.

In 1988, a native plant display was constructed just south of the arboretum. Plants are obtained from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, and new species are added each year.

Sediment Trap

In 1989, the Lower Elkhorn NRD purchased 160 acres north of the lake. The quarter section was acquired to protect the lake from silting in and to expand wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.


* Vehicles are allowed on roadways and parking areas only.
* Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
* Swimming permitted in designated area only.
* Pets are prohibited on the swimming beach.
* Fires are allowed only in grills.
* Operation of snowmobiles is prohibited.
* Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days.
* Quiet shall be maintained between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in the camper pad area.
* Swimming beach is closed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Camper Fee

* Tent camping (not on camping pads) $5 per tent per day
* Electric pads - 30 amp (110 volts) $12
* Electric pads - 50 amp ( 220 volts) $14
* Overflow camping in north lots $5

For more information about Maskenthine Lake, contact the
Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District.
601 East Benjamin Ave
Norfolk, NE 68701

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