Thumb Lake

Making Connections


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 13, Lac La Croix


  • DNR Lake No. 690337
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 2A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Thumb Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Thumb is a small, narrow lake in the Pocket Creek drainage of the Lac La Croix basin, 13¾ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 31½ miles NNW of Ely. Less than a mile long, its 52 acres still reach to a depth of 55' in the center of the lake. Thumb Creek enters the lake on its northwestern shore, moving south through a series of ponds and small lakes, while in the southwestern end, Contentment Creek drops in from Contentment Lake, some 55' above. A narrow channel out of the east end connects the Thumb to the Finger, bypassed by a 9 rod portage. A much longer carry out of the western end climbs 90' above the lake in its first 80 rods, before holding relatively level for the final 120 rods into Beartrack.

The forests which ring Thumb date from the fires of 1894 which burned a large area around Thumb and south. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Thumb supports one established campsite, in the northwest end near the Beartrack portage.

Planning Considerations

Thumb is a link in the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, the arc of which drops south and east out of Snow Bay on Lac La Croix through a string of lakes (North/South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, and Thumb) before turning northeast at Finger to Pocket, returning to Lac La Croix at the mouth of Pocket Creek. Thumb also provides access, off its west end, up to Contentment (and Brigand beyond) as well as Nahimana, all of which appear to be located in the Weeny Lake Primitive Management Area.

Thumb is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 19.


Thumb supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni).

Notes and Comments

Thumb makes for an excellent jumping off point for exploring the northern reaches of the Weeny Lake Primitive Management Area, beginning with Contentment, Nahimana, and Brigand, then south to Lucky Finn, Pageant, and beyond.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004