Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

The 115,703-acre Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest, named for a former Nebraska governor, is the 155th forest in the national forest system.

Recreational activities include camping, hiking, hunting and fishing. The forest features a 23-unit campground at Steer Creek with water.

The Sandhills region of the forest produce some of the finest grass for beef in the country. Much of this land is protected to provide cover for ground nesting birds as well as rich grazing for cattle. Historic CCC camps provide inspiration for the tree planters of the manmade forest.

Wildlife includes antelope, mule deer, whitetail deer, sharptail grouse, prairie chicken, a variety of ducks and wild turkeys.

More than 150 species of birds have been recorded in the Sandhills region.

The forest is located off State Highway 16F and Cherry County Highway 5.
  • 125 North Main St.
  • Chadron , NE 69337
  • Nebraska
  • Open Year-Round
  • No Entry Fee Charged.
  • (800) 496-9077
  • (308) 432-0300 (308) 432-0304 Hearing Impaired

Touring & Services
  • Visitor Center
  • Children's Activities
  • Scenic Drives
  • Picnicking
  • Off Road Vehicles
  • Lodging Nearby
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Guided Tours
Winter Sports
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Ice Skating
  • Winter Camping
  • Downhill Skiing
Cycling
  • Mountain Biking
  • Bike Touring
Fishing
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Saltwater Fishing
Hunting
  • Big Game
  • Upland
  • Waterfowl
Nature & History
  • Bird-Watching
  • Nature Viewing
  • Historic Sites
Camping & Hiking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Horse Trails
  • Rock Climbing
  • Wheelchair Trails
Paddling & Watersports
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Rafting
  • Beaches
  • Boat Launch