The Cambridge area provides plenty of opportunities for those who enjoy the healing power of nature. Medicine Creek State Recreation Area includes the 1,768-acre Medicine Creek Reservoir, also known as Harry Strunk Lake. The manmade reservoir with 29 miles of shoreline harbors walleye, catfish, wipers, white bass and crappie.
Hunters on 5,600 public acres surrounding the lake pursue pheasant, quail, turkey whitetail deer and mule deer, which are also common on private land in the Cambridge area. Please gain landowner permission before entering private land.
Four state-owned rental cabins are available at Shady Bay Campground on Trail 4. A private concession at Trail 1 has a restaurant and sells groceries, fuel and hunting/fishing permits. The park has 72 RV camping pads with electrical hookups and plenty of space for tent campers. Pleasure boating and waterskiing are popular activities, so is relaxing at the public swimming beach. 40611 Rd. 728. (308) 697-4667.
Golfers can hit long drives and short putts at Cross Creek Golf Links. The 7,200-yard course is one of the longest in Nebraska. Children under of the age of 18 living within 20 miles of Cambridge or attending Cambridge schools can golf here for free. 900 Cross Creek Rd. (308) 697-4768.
Medicine Creek is the natural water hazard flowing along Cross Creek’s southern edge. The stream forms the northern border of McKinley Park where anglers walk the bank to tempt white bass and other species into striking colorful jigs in the narrow but swift waterway. The park includes ballfields, a disc golf course, playgrounds, picnic areas, RV and tent campground, an attractive arboretum affiliated with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum program, public art sculptures and a splash pad.
Cambridge’s expanding trail system connects to McKinley Park and includes footbridges over Medicine Creek. This sprawling park is hard to miss at the junction of highways 6/34 and Payne Street. Find the swimming pool at 115 Nelson St.
Welcoming residents and century-old architecture give Cambridge the feel of a small pioneer town. The vibrant business district includes a variety of shopping destinations including a grocery store, general store, several clothing boutiques, hair and nail salons, a floral shop and restaurants. Butler Memorial Library contains more than books. This is a busy hub of literacy with community events such as food drives, bake sales and children’s crafts. Traveling bookworms can stock up on road reading material during book bag sales. 621 Penn St. (308) 697-3836.
Cambridge Museum includes loads of local history and a few curiosities. This museum has more than its fair share of oddities to keep visitors coming back for another look.
There aren’t many places where you can see a taxidermy mount black coyote. Rarer still is the preserved dwarf calf. The short beast stands next to the museum’s two-headed calf. Native American artifacts and antique farm tools are among the other artifacts at this large museum. 612 Penn St. (308) 697-4385.
The historic Cambridge Bed & Breakfast is a museum of sorts – one where you can immerse yourself in history by spending the night. This nearly 10,000-square-foot home of an early Cambridge mayor is on the National Register of Historic Places. Guest rooms in the 1907 home are named in honor of politicians Hugh Butler of Cambridge and George Norris of McCook. The Nebraska Room – originally the home’s master bedroom – features hand-painted woodwork, wall sconces and a floral theme. Nearly 2,000 visitors tour this home each year. Call in advance of your visit. 606 Parker St. (308) 697-3220.
Learn more about Cambridge by contacting the Cambridge Economic Development Corp. at cambridgene.org or (308) 697-3711.