Windmill State Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Windmill State Recreation Area


(308) 468-5700

Map Directions

Things To Do


Windmill State Recreation Area is one of two highly developed areas in Nebraska's unique "chain of lakes" along Interstate 80. Situated at the Gibbon Interchange, between Kearney and Grand Island, it was once a stopping spot for early-day travelers. It still serves travelers today with modern camping facilities, a 14-acre man-made lake, and a fascinating assortment of antique windmills. It has an improved campground with electrical hook-ups, a modern shower building, primitive tent camping, a swimming beach, and picnicking areas.

The old-time windmills that add so much to the character of the area were acquired in the early 1970's. They have all been restored to working order. The largest is a railroad windmill that stands over 60 feet tall. The wheel is 20 feet in diameter, with 200 blades in two rows of eight sections each. The vane or small fan section that extends beyond the edge of the wheel is actually a type of governor. When the wind is too strong, it turns the head out of the wind and shuts it down so it won't spin at excessive speeds that can damage the mechanism. The main tower extends 40 feet to the platform, while the "stub" tower rises another 11 feet. Also the oldest windmill at the park, it was first erected in a small town in northeastern Colorado, probably Fleming, about 1880. It was taken down in 1955 and moved to Kansas. It was then found at "Sodtown," just east of Colby, and moved to Garden City. It was acquired in 1972 from Homer Sargent of York, Nebraska, and finally moved to Windmill State Recreation Area where it stands today.

Map of Windmill State Rec. Area (NE)

Latitude, Longitude: 40.705173, -98.845367



  • Boating

    Both electric motorboats and non-motorized boats are allowed in the lake.

  • Camping

    Windmill State Recreation area has an improved campground with electrical hook-ups and a modern shower/latrine building. Primitive camping is available as well.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is a popular activity in Windmill State Recreation Area.

  • Picnicking

    There are picnic tables and grills throughout the area.

  • RVing

    The modern campground has facilities for RVs including a sanitation station, electrical hook-ups, laundry facilities, and water access.

  • Water Sports

    Visitors enjoy the swimming beach, as well as boating.



From Gibbon, NE: 3 miles south, or Windmill SRA is located at the Gibbon I-80 Interchange.

Phone Numbers


(308) 468-5700