Lake Thompson and More Outdoor Recreation near De Smet

Lake Thompson, South Dakota is the home to author Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" books and the famed 1970s television series. There are plenty of outdoor and recreational spots for you to visit when you stay in Lake Thompson. Your options include boating and fishing opportunities for the avid outdoors person.

Lake Thompson Recreation Area
21176 Flood Club Road
Lake Preston, South Dakota 57249-6516
(605) 847-4893

It was originally called Dry Woods Lake by the Native Americans. The lake takes its name for Jacob Thompson, who served as the United States Secretary of the Interior under President James Buchanan in the 1850s. The lake was completely dry in the 1930s and was used as a cattle pasture. It later became a 9,000-acre marsh during the 1980s. Both heavy rains and snowmelt filled the lake to more than 20 feet deep, and now it covers approximately 18,000 acres in Kingsbury County. The lake has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. You can plan your day trips to Lake Thompson when you choose to stay in a De Smet inn

Day Excursions

Lake Thompson offers fishing and sites that you can access to relax in, many of which have electrical access. You can have a day of fishing and a place to go afterward to clean the fish before heading back to stay in your bed and breakfast. There are fire rings and picnic table areas for your dining convenience as well as breathtaking views of the lake. 

There is an accessible group rental lodge, which is a newly remodeled farmhouse, that serves as the perfect for large group reunions, family functions or hunting trips. This can give you a staging area when away from your comfortable bed and breakfast in De Smet. 

There is a large number of sport fish for area sportsmen including walleyes, perch and northern pike. It is one of the largest fishing caches in the state, second only to the Missouri River. 

Boating and Fishing 

Speaking of fishing, there are boat launching facilities available at Lake Thompson. This includes a double-lane ramp, a dock, toilet and paved parking lot. There are also two more boat-launching sites that are available at a nearby lakeside use area. It is located five miles south of DeSmet. These boat ramps provide access to both Lake Henry and Lake Thompson. It would also be perfectly accessible from your De Smet bed and breakfast

Little House on the Prairie 

The author Laura Ingalls Wilder has called the area around DeSmet her home, and it is also featured in several of her books. Lake Thompson itself is mentioned as one of the Twin Lakes in her books, including "By the Shores of Silver Lake" and "The Long Winter."

These are a few of the sights and attractions that you can enjoy when you plan an adventurous and recreational stay at Lake Thompson.