Walk 17 – Thompson Bay Nature Walk

This is a short walk along the shoreline of Thompson Bay. This is not an official Presque Isle State Park trail, and not listed on any of the park’s maps. It uses a mowed path that is kept open for duck and goose hunters who build blinds along the shore during hunting seasons. During the fall and spring migration seasons, many waterfowl rest in Thompson Bay’s sheltered waters. If you hope to view these birds in their natural habitat, you will need to spend an extended amount of time in the backwater area of this walk, sitting or standing quietly among the brush and reeds.


This walk begins on a small path leading almost due north out of the far western end of the parking lot across from Thompson Circle. Follow the path until it comes to the water’s edge at Thompson Bay. Turn left, and walk out the shoreline path until it ends, roughly one-half mile down the beach. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the original entry path. Turn right and return to your car. If you are interested in a longer walk, do not enter the return pathway, but continue walking along the shoreline’s mowed path. The path continues to Beach #11. At Beach #11, there are two entry paths on your right, which you can take to the beach access road. Once you reach this road, turn right and follow it back to the Multi-Purpose Trail, at which point you turn right again and walk to your car.

Special Features:

  1. Butterfly migration
  2. Shoreline exploration
  3. Birding


.8 miles / Extended walk: 1.5 miles

Type Walk:

Out and back

Approximate time:

45 minutes / Extended walk- 1.25 hours



Surface conditions:

Sand and grass and paved path on extended walk