Did this hike (with my dad who's visiting from Wisconsin) at a moderate pace with a significant amount of sightseeing pauses. What a perfect day for a hike: moderate cloud cover and a nice cool breeze throughout made for ideal conditions and plenty of smiling . This was my (and my dad's) first time to the Thumb, and once we got away from the trailhead (and the swarm of people venturing out on their ten to twenty minute "hikes"), we had the place mostly to ourselves.
I have to say, the facilities at the Gateway Access Area are rather impressive. They even have maps! (Which I don't typically believe in, but my dad insisted we bring one; probably a good idea since last time he visited he led us astray in MSP to the tune of four miles from the car.)