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Recreation & Activities

A wide variety of people from antique collectors--to hunters--to outdoor enthusiasts find plenty to do in the Royal area. Royal is visited by hundreds of tourists each year owing to the development of Grove Lake and a State Recreational Park. Ashfall Fossil Beds, Grove Lake Dam and the Grove Trout Rearing Station have also played a major role in attracting visitors to this area. Royal is known for its natural beauty including some of the most beautiful shelterbelts in the State.

Annual Events:

Ice Fishing Tournament
Join us the second Sunday in January for our annual ice fishing tournament at Grove Lake! The Royal Fire Department started this tournament in 1983 to raise money for equipment. Cash prizes and 24 trophies are awarded each year! Trophies include the Missy Hieter Eckmann memorial trophy for the youngest female fisherman and the Stacy Snodgrass memorial traveling trophies. All of the trophies are donated by area businesses. For further information, contact H&J Lures, (402) 893-4531 or Gary Ober (402) 893-2880.

Annual BBQ, Dance and Tractor Ride
Held the third Saturday in July, the annual barbeque and dance are held at the Royal Park. The annual tractor ride leaves Royal at Noon. For more information on the tractor ride, call Gary Ober at (402) 893-2880.

Recreational Opportunities:

Ashfall Fossil Beds ~

Located just 6 miles north of US Hwy. 20 between Royal and Orchard, Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park is a joint project of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and the University of Nebraska State Museum. The park offers a fascinating and educational experience for the entire family to see amazingly well preserved skeletons of prehistoric animals. It is a chance to step back in time and see what Nebraska wildlife was like long before modern man ventured onto the Great Plains. Visitors are invited to watch the on-going excavation of this unique "time quotes."

Operating Schedule:

  • Memorial weekend through Labor Day, 9-5 Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
  • During the month of May (prior to Memorial Day weekend) opened 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Labor Day through the 2nd weekend in October opened 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.
  • School and tour groups may make special arrangements to visit Ashfall between April 1 and October 20 with advanced reservations.

    For details and to make reservations, call (402) 893-2000 or visit the Ashfall Fossil Bed Web site.

Grove Lake ~

Grove Lake, named in memory of Philo Ulysses and Bertha Ellen Grove, was completed in 1954. The Lake, located two miles north of Royal, offers many recreational uses including camping and fishing. Grove Lake is on the only cold water trout stream in Nebraska, the Veridgris Creek. Wildlife abounds in the area and resident creatures are often seen from the many hiking trails. Local fishing information and supplies are available at the Grove Lake Bait Shop, (402) 893-2694.

Grove Trout Rearing Station ~

The Grove Trout Rearing Station is located 1 mile north and 1.5 miles east of Royal. It is a 41-acre facility situated within the boundaries of the 1,500+ acres of the Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area. Today nearly 200,000 fish are reared at the facility on an annual basis. The grove facility is manned 24-hours a day and is open to the public year-round. Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Visitors will find an information center complete with dispensers for feeding the trout. For further information, please contact (402) 893-5468 or RR1, Box 51, Royal, NE 68773.


Other Regional Activities:

Visit these Web sites to learn about other recreational activities in the Royal area.

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