Chase County is a haven for people who like the outdoors. It has a whopping 17,000 acres of public land with walk-in access for hunters, with populations of pheasant, quail, dove, turkey and deer. To view the land details, visit maps.outdoornebraska.gov/PublicAccessAtlas.
The jewel of the county is Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area, southeast of Imperial near the town of Enders. The recreation encompasses 3,200 acres, of which Enders Reservoir is a 1,700-acre lake for boating fishing, camping and otherwise playing outdoors. Anglers catch white bass, crappie, walleye, channel catfish and wipers.
The east shore has camping with electrical hookups, picnic shelters, grills, drinking water, restrooms and a trailer dump station. Hunting for big game, waterfowl and upland game is allowed on public property west of the refuge. 73122 338th Ave. (308) 394-5118.
The community of Champion, southwest of Imperial, is home to Champion Mill State Historical Park and Recreation Area. The old mill pond is a good place for youngsters to splash around or learn to fish, and there are six camping sites with electrical hookups. Also on site is a large, restored 1892 flour mill – the only operating water-powered mill remaining in Nebraska. Open Memorial Day-Labor Day, 1-5 p.m. (308) 882-5860.
With about 2,000 residents, Imperial is the county seat and largest town in Chase County. The downtown area has shopping and dining attractions. Balcony House Bed and Breakfast offers cozy stays in a unique building with a long history. 1006 Court St. (308) 882-5597.
Broken Arrow Cellars offers their Nebraska-made wines and craft beer. They go all out for Oktoberfest and other tasty special events. 73892 332nd Ave. (308) 882-7772.
Learn more about Imperial and Chase County by contacting Chase County Tourism at chasecounty.com and (308) 882-5444.