New Nebraska state park gains visitors

HUBBARD, Neb. (AP) – As the temperature climbed on a humid summer morning, a few anglers and kayakers had a nearly new lake all to themselves.

Just how Justin Jarman likes it.

“It’s a relaxing place, not too many boats out here. The fishing’s good,” said Jarman, of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, who said he’s made several trips to the Danish Alps State Recreation Area, which opened two years ago a mile southeast of Hubbard.

One of the newest recreation areas in Nebraska, the 740-acre park, tucked among the hills along Nebraska Highway 35, is still being discovered by new visitors, the Sioux City Journal reported .

Named for the hilly terrain that is reminiscent of the Danish homeland of the immigrants who settled in the area, the park isn’t visible from the road, and visitors must drive a little more than a mile on a gravel county road to get there.

For Jarman, it’s worth the trip.

“I fish here a lot. I duck hunt out here quite a bit in the fall and pheasant hunt here,” he said as he fished recently with friends Cameron Bancroft, of Valentine, Nebraska, and Morgan Keating and Ashten Gibson, both of Wayne, Nebraska.

It was the second visit to the lake for Keating and Gibson. Both said it’s a good recreation destination in an area of the state that previously didn’t have much more than farm ponds.

“It’s close to small towns that don’t have a lot of water,” Keating said just after reeling in a bass.

Gibson also liked the handicapped-accessible pier that enables her brother to enjoy fishing from his wheelchair.

Those are just a few of the reasons that Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials believe the park and lake will, over time, become a popular destination.

“In all typical new areas, we’re trying to get erosion controlled, areas green, trees growing,” said Jeff Fields, Northeast Regional Supervisor for the Game and Parks Commission.

The park had an estimated 34,000 visitors in 2016, its first full year of operation, and parks officials are…

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