From Norfolk head north on Highway 81, turn left on Highway 13 to Hadar continuing on 13 through Pierce until you arrive in Plainview. From here Head west on Highway 20 to Royal. Once you arrive in Royal you can head several directions to do things from here. These Include Grove Lake, Grove Lake Trout Rearing Station and the Ashfall Fossil Beds.
Royal is a small town with a population of 63. Small in size, but large as a gateway to many things to do in this north central community and beautiful area of Nebraska. Several businesses dot the town, including a Tavern and Convenience Store. Visit Royal at their website.
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 Verdigre 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 Lake 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.
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.”
- 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.
Websites to visit
Ashfall Fossil Bed Web Site
Grove Lake Bait Shop Facebook page