Midwest Living Review
With 35,000 surface acres of water surrounded by sandy beaches, Lake McConaughy is an oasis for folks who love the water. Much of the reservoir is surrounded by state land and features beaches, campgrounds and wildlife areas. One estimate is that there is 100 miles of beach here. Add the nearby Lake Ogallala (just the other side of the dam), and you have the makings of a weeklong vacation. (Just keep in mind that the lake gets really busy in summer and can have a party atmosphere; rangers strictly enforce parking permits.)The reservoir was created by the damming of the North Platte River in 1932. The Kingsley Dam is an earthen dam that required builders dig a big hole to supply the project with dirt. That hole is now Lake Ogallala. While there are no designated swimming areas on Lake Ogallala, the state maintains a park around the lake with a day-use area and campground. There are several private campgrounds nearby as well.For swimming, head up to any number of beaches on McConaughy. The closest beach to town is Ogallala Beach, which is nestled in a cove with a stand of cottonwood for shade on hot summer days.