We did the complete 7.5 mile hike around the entire body of water including the tributaries. We did our hike on January 2 the some of the trails had ice and we had to be cautious. We did not experience a hunter although it is hunting season and orange is required. The elevations were interesting and the views of the water were very beautiful. The army corps of engineers did a fantastic job of putting orange metal markers along almost the entire route. The only way to get around the entire lake is to go all the way up to red Bridge Road. Thus to do the entire lake it is a 7 1/2 mile hike. We recommend this hike
The hiking here is okay - but it is also an amazing place to bring kayaks (so much wild life - the bird sanctuary, tons of turtles, otters, etc) and the disc golf course is one of the cleanest and most reliable courses I have played.
I hiked and reviewed this dog friendly trail last year. But the trail is so picturesque in the fall that it was a hike well worth doing again. This year we followed the Ramsdell Woods Trail and Quinebaug River Trail. This 9 mile loop highlighted the beauty of the Connecticut lakes, forest, and river. If you only do one hike a year, make it this one in October. Trail maps are available at the nearby Ranger Station or can be downloaded at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/WTL/WTLTrailMap.pdf.
These easy to navigate trails make a great family hike. My 15 year old grandson and I turned this hike into an 8 mile loop trail as we walked a couple of different trails that took us around the lake and the Quinebaug River. This mid October hike was very scenic as the contrast of colors reflecting off the lake made this a very enjoyable hike. At times I felt like I was hiking through a jigsaw puzzle. We enjoyed our packed lunch on one of the several benches overlooking the lake. Although the trails are very well marked, I would suggest downloading a trail map of West Thompson Lake (Army Corps of Engineers) before doing this hike. This will better enable you to plan the length of the hike etc.
Lots of trails around the lake some are old roads from back in the day. Orange trails lead up river on both sides and are a bit more challenging to hike or bike. Round trip from lake on one side up to Red Bridge road and back on other side about 8 miles. Many options all around the area to explore.
This area is fairly easy to ride. There are some off shoot trails that offer more challenging riding. For the most part they all end back onto a main trail. The bad thing is that during our last flooding period the pedestrian bridge was rendered un safe for use. So now you can't cross the river that divides the two areas. You'll need to pick a side. I recomend the west because you have 2 main trails that create an ob-long loop with great scenes of the resevior.