Visitors to Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area have a new place to gather the shade.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently installed a new 988-square-foot shelter at the Cedar Bay area.

The $100,000 cost of the project was equally divided between the Game and Parks Capital Maintenance Fund and a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Cedar Bay, which features 46 campsites, is one of eight campgrounds at the 2,900-acre reservoir.

The new shelter is the second significant improvement at the Sandhills attraction during the past two years. Last summer, the recreation area received a new concrete showerhouse at the Willow Cove Campground.

Merritt Reservoir is 26 miles southeast of Valentine on Nebraska Highway 97. For more information, and to obtain a Nebraska Park Entry Permit, visit