Gems in the Valley

Welcome to the second installment of Gems in the Valley – our effort to recognize unique spots in the Loup Valley. Last time we posted about Miletta Vista in Howard County, a gem of a business set in a unique location in the North Loup Valley. There they make some of my favorite wine, period.

This time around we’re going to talk about one of my very favorite spots to unwind – Davis Creek Reservoir and Wildlife Management Area. Davis Creek is a little-known fishing hot spot that also has a multitude of outdoor activities to enjoy. Located 18 miles south of Ord and just five miles off of Nebraska Hwy 11 (through North Loup), Davis Creek is open 24 hours and produces some of the best walleye fishing in the state. Fish species include walleye, crappie, yellow perch, channel catfish, and bullhead, with an abundance of prairie wildlife found in the surrounding state wildlife management area (Nebraska Game and Parks has fishing regulations and permits here). For 2011, Nebraska Game and Parks is forecasting white bass fishing at Davis Creek as “exceptional”.

Fall means hunting – deer, pheasant, quail, grouse, prairie chicken, waterfowl, turkey and much more can be harvested during the hunting season. A Nebraska hunting license is required, and you can read the hunting regulations here. Don’t forget, if you’re hunting waterfowl in Nebraska, you’re going to need a federal duck stamp and non-lead shot.

Bald EagleDuring winter months, Davis Creek is also one of the best places in all of the Loup Valley to watch bald eagles. It also has just about every prairie bird species that a birder worth their salt would expect to find in the Central Great Plains. Additionally, expect to see deer, fox, coyotes and bobcats (if you’re lucky and really quiet).

Davis Creek has primitive camping services – no modern restrooms and no electrical hook-ups. There is something about a primitive camping location that seems to keep all but the die-hards away, which I honestly think is great. Crowds are non-existent and you’ll have plenty of chances to commune with nature as you see fit. Of those that do frequent this spot regularly, often mention it reverently as one of the best kept secrets in Nebraska. If you go expecting a hot shower and a convenience store, Davis Creek isn’t for you.

Things to Do: Year round activities include boating, camping, hiking (primitive and trail), hunting, picnicking, RV camping, water sports and wildlife viewing. Be sure to try some primitive trail hiking – the thousands of acres of wildlife management area give you reign to hike freely. While I highly recommend it, please be mindful of where you step during the summer months. Free hiking means observing the “Leave No Trace” ethic – be gentle where you tread. Also, taking a dog with you during the summer nesting season is both illegal and burdensome to the grassland and upland bird species that are actively raising their brood (like quail, pheasants, grouse, prairie chickens, etc.).

How to Get There: You can reach Davis Creek Reservoir by heading XXX south of North Loup. The map below can help you get there or you can learn more about Davis Creek here.

View Larger Map

How Much Will it Cost Me? That’s the beauty of Davis Creek – it’s free. No park entry permit is required and parking is free. You can enjoy the prairie wetland habitat and the multitude of wildlife for the cost of travel and your time.

IF you do go, take your camera and share with us – we’ll post your photos online throughout the year. Have fun out there!

One Response to “Gems in the Valley”

  1. Ord Nebraska » Blog Archive » Gems in the Valley: The Valley Says:

    […] the past two years we’ve blogged about two special places (here and here) in the Loup Valley that I call gems: special places of respite that offer the wary traveler (or […]

Leave a Reply