Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest Guide

Despite the name "National Forest," this 116,000-acre national preserve is largely a representation of the Nebraska Sandhills prairies. There is year-round camping available at Steer Creek Campground, which has 23 sites, eight horse corrals, and a 1-mile nature hiking loop. Visitors enjoy horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, and photographing wildflowers. Nearby, the Niobrara River Canoe Launch is a day-use site for launching small watercraft, and you can also fish in the Merritt Reservoir. 

Shape Hiking Trails

Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

Popular uses of the forest include hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, and bird watching. Hunting is allowed within the appropriate seasons across Nebraska's national forests. Hunting opportunities are available across the Nebraska National Forests. Hunting seasons, permits, and rules are managed by Nebraska Game and Parks. There are many opportunities to fish throughout the national forest for species like trout, perch, northern pike, and crappie.

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

Address: 25 North Main Street, Chadron, NE 69337

Fee: Day Use Fee $0

There are many outdoor recreational activities available within the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest in north-central Nebraska. The habitats are varied and include prairies, forests, lakes, and rivers. Visitors can have fun on the water and on land equally during all seasons. The national forest is large and is close to several interesting sites, like the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Niobrara River in northern Nebraska. Taking an RV road trip is a prime way to see and to fully experience all that the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest has to offer.