There are thousands of forests, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and shorelines to visit in Nebraska’s Sandhills, but if you are looking for the perfect marriage of bird watching and other outdoor pursuits then Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area is the place for you. Sherman Reservoir is in Sherman County, deep in the heart of Nebraska, and can be found just four miles east of Loup City, just off State Highway 92. The reservoir is sustained by the Sherman Eastern Dam, which was installed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in 1961. The dam measures 134-feet high and stretches to a length of 1,912 feet.
The region is especially popular for boating (with various marinas and boat ramps on the water), hiking, and camping. Within the Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area there are 360 non-paid campsites available to visitors, which offer a variety of facilities, such as coin-operated showers and modern water cabins; allowing visitors to appreciate the great outdoors without having to live in the same manner as the local wildlife.
Sherman Reservoir has a wealth of animals to tick off your list, with birds a particular draw for visitors. There are 2,845 acres of water surface to scan, and 4,271 acres of surrounding land to scour for rarities and local regulars alike. The areas navigable on foot include a good blend of hiking trails, which cross through a variety of terrain, chiefly prairie grassland and wooded creeks.
In the last year alone, the following species have been observed at the Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area: Marbled Godwit, Semipalmated Plover, Buff-breasted and Baird’s Sandpipers, Thayer’s, Glaucous, Herring, and Ring-billed Gulls, Golden Eagle, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Greater Yellowlegs, and Mourning Dove. So pack your bags, load up your car and head to the wilds of Sherman County to breathe in the fresh air. And try to keep count (it might be tough!) of the myriad of birds you will see on the reservoir, in the trees, and feeding in the grasslands all throughout the year.