Lake Thompson, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Thompson Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Thompson — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Thompson cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Thompson

Located in the beautiful Northwoods region of Wisconsin, Lake Thompson is a sparkling 382-acre lake located southeast of Rhinelander in Oneida County. Oneida County has one of the largest concentrations of water bodies in the world. With over a thousand lakes, and 68,447 total acres of water, the area is an anglers and boaters paradise. Although one of the smaller lakes in the area, Lake Thompson is abundant with large northern pike, walleye, and musky.

Lake Thompson, or Thompson Lake as it is sometimes called, is a popular vacation spot with several resorts on the water’s edge. Most resorts provide their own lake access, but for boaters visiting the lake for just the day, a public boat ramp is located on the northern shore of the lake. Fishing is one of the main pastimes for guests and residents. Primary fish species include musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, perch, and bluegill. Paddlers will find three islands in the lake, perfect for exploring. Because Lake Thompson is a well-liked body of water, fishing and boating pressure can be heavy during the peak summer months. There is still plenty of clear open water, however, and all water sports are encouraged. During the winter months, ice fishing becomes the number one lake sport followed by skating, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Most of Lake Thompson’s shoreline is developed with vacation rentals, private real estate, and campgrounds. Tent and RV camping facilities can be found on the western bay of the lake. For additional accommodations and provisions, the City of Rhinelander is just west of the lake. Originally named Pelican Rapids, Rhinelander, like most of the Northwoods area, started in the late 1800s with logging camps. Many of the original logging camps near Rhinelander have been converted to fishing resorts which are still in use today. Along with restaurants and shopping, Rhinelander has museums and many cultural activities. For golfers, an 18-hole public golf facility can be found just north of the city. Be on the lookout for the city’s mascot – the illusive, hodag. In 1896 lumberjack Gene Shepard was photographed with a seven foot long, 30 inch tall, hairy beast with tusks and horns down its back. Shepard later admitted that the photograph was a hoax, but by then the hodag had become the talk of the town. Today hodag images show up on signs, t-shirts, souvenirs, and in team and festival names.

In addition to Lake Thompson, there are several recreational lakes in the Rhinelander area. Clear Lake, at 40 acres, is a great little lake for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and relaxing; 382-acre Lake George, just south of Lake Thompson is known for its great water sports, canoeing and fishing. Boom Lake, north of Rhinelander is a part of the Rhinelander Chain of Lakes and offers 1,300 acres of shimmering water for recreational enjoyment.

Outdoor enthusiasts visiting Lake Thompson will find mile after mile of hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and horseback riding trails along with trails designated for ATVs and snowmobiles in the pristine woods of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. A half hour drive northwest of the lake, the forest was established in 1925, and covers 225,000 acres. It is the largest of Wisconsin’s state forests. Over two million people visit the forest every year to experience the remote solitude and enjoy hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, nature study, boating, canoeing, and countless other outdoor activities.

Lake Thompson offers the perfect balance between pristine natural resources and convenient amenities. You’ll have no trouble finding something to do, no matter what the weather brings. One visit to this busy, yet beautiful lake and you may find yourself, like many others, coming back year after year.

Things to Do at Lake Thompson

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Lake Thompson

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Lake Thompson

If you’re considering a Lake Thompson lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Thompson Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Thompson lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lake Thompson Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 382 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,562 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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