Camping in Northeast Wisconsin: Governor Thompson State Park
Camp Wisconsin: I’m talking with Matt this morning. He’s the Park Ranger at Governer Thompson State Park in Wisconsin. Matt, why don’t you get us started with giving us a little bit of history on that Park?
Matt: Well, the Park was originally purchased from Paust Woods Lake Resort. About 200 acres of wild looking lakefront. And it was purchase by Wisconsin DNR. Initially 1900 acres or so, and the Park is currently around 2800 acres. It’s located 15 miles northwest of Crivits, in Marinette County.
Camp Wisconsin: Nice, and how many acres is the lake there?
Matt: The Caldron Falls Reservoire. That’s the main lake that’s around here.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay.
Matt: That’s part of the Peshtigo River State Forest, our management unit.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay. And what types of camping do you offer at Governer Thompson State Park?
Matt: We offer a mix of everything. Our campsites are all kind of, for the most part, uniform. They have a compact gravel pad, and usually side areas. A side grassy area for campsites or tenting. Things like that. But also large enough for RVs and motor homes, and things like that.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay, nice, so people can pull in. Do you have hook-ups or do you just have the space for them to pull in?
Matt: Most of our campsites are back into and some are pull-through for the larger units, and we just have electrical hook-ups for 16 of our 100 sites.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay. And what’s the nearest dump station around there? Do you know?
Matt: We have a dump station on-site. Free of charge for our camp visitors.
Camp Wisconsin: Oh, awesome. What are the most popular activities for the guests there?
Matt: We have a Woods Lake Recreation Area. It’s a day use area. It’s a small, little lake for canoeing and swimming. We have a beach down there. There’s a shelter. Some grill and picnic tables, and access to our trail system there. And coming up this summer, we’re also going to put in another beach area. That’s up by our boat launch.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay, nice. Two more questions for you, Matt. If you were going to spend just one hour at Governer Thompson State Park, how would you spend your time there?
Matt: One hour really isn’t going to get you to see much, other than driving to certain spots. It’s hard to say. Summer and winter provide a lot of recreation.
Camp Wisconsin: Sure. How about, since we are moving into the winter, what’s your favorite thing to do in the winter in Governer Thompson?
Matt: Well, we have snowshoe trails, ski only trails and multipurpose trails that we maintain. We have about 16 miles of hiking trails within the park, but we only manage about eight of them in the winter for those winter activities.
Matt: The multipurpose one is for everyone walking, hiking, snowshoeing, and the pets are allowed on there.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay.
Matt: So it might not be the best surface for that, but–
Camp Wisconsin: You can let it rip if you wanted to.
Matt: Yeah. I mean the ski only trail – they’re very wide, and we have one single track of traditional cross-country skiing on there, but they’re basically (Unclear 3:47.1) roads, so they’re very accommodating.
Camp Wisconsin: Okay. And in the summertime, if you were going to spend just one night at Governer Thompson State Park, which specific campsite would you stay at, Matt, and why?
Matt: One campsite. That’s very hard to pin down. They’re all very nice. I mean everyone can come here and kind of – in the summer, I realize you can’t really choose something because we have very heavy reservations, but they’re made to be uniform as closely as they possibly can be to provide a certain experience so that anyone that enters that site has enough room, or the right tent pad area, or whatever accommodation they might need.
Camp Wisconsin: Sure. Sounds good. Well, thank you for the tips and thanks for taking some time out of your day, Matt, to give us a little bit more information about Governer Thompson State Park in Wisconsin.
Matt: Well, thank you very much.