Rising up in Northeast Ohio, Lake Erie has at all times been a part of my life — at Cedar Level, Put-in-Bay and when seeing household close to Cleveland. So, after I bought the prospect to go to Erie, Pennsylvania just lately, going again to Lake Erie was lots like “going house.” It felt nostalgic, comfy, acquainted.
I do know I’m not alone in that. Yearly, greater than 4 million individuals go to Presque Isle State Park in Erie. Lots of them make common visits to this historic peninsula — tenting at their favourite spot, grabbing a chunk to eat at a favourite restaurant, and, after all, having fun with lengthy, lazy days on the seaside at this Erie, PA state park.
If in case you have by no means been to Presque Isle, I hope this submit makes you think about Presque Isle for a trip getaway. If in case you have been to Presque Isle earlier than, possibly you’ll study one thing new. OR — let me know within the feedback beneath if there’s one thing extra so as to add to this submit!
Presque Isle State Park Journey Planner
Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie, with entry 4 miles west of downtown Erie. On the north aspect of Presque Isle, there are seven miles of sandy seashores to take pleasure in. The southern aspect of Presque Isle State Park presents a rocky shoreline with boat launches into Presque Isle Bay — a protected waterway utilized by industrial transport frighters, tour boats, non-public boats, wind surfers and kayakers.
Presque Isle State Park is a day-use park that gives guests a sandy shoreline with many leisure actions, together with swimming, boating, fishing, climbing, bicycling, and in-line skating. The park is open three hundred and sixty five days a 12 months from dawn to sundown.
Whereas this Erie, PA state park is a day use park solely — no in a single day lodging — there are ample lodging close by offering quite a lot of trip choices.
Presque Isle State Park is taken into account a Nationwide Pure Landmark, designated by the Secretary of the Inside for its excellent organic and geological assets. Presque Isle State Park earned this designation for its quite a few, distinctive habitats that include a larger variety of the state’s endangered, threatened, and uncommon species than another space of comparable measurement in Pennsylvania.
In much less scientific phrases, it’s a superbly numerous ecosystem that draws fowl watchers and nature lovers who recognize all it has to supply.
Since Presque Isle State Park is open 12 months spherical, it provides seasonal actions for all to take pleasure in. Sure, even in winter, there are issues to do in Presque Isle! In fact, the most well-liked season is summer time — so let’s begin there!
Issues to do in Summer time at Presque Isle State Park
Swimming at Presque Isle seashores
Presque Isle seashores enable swimming from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Broad, sandy seashores — every with its personal lifeguard station — entice guests all summer time lengthy. First time guests are sometimes stunned to study that Lake Erie has tides — identical to the ocean — with waves and all the pieces!
The seashores are numbered from 1-11, every with particular facilities. Swimming is just allowed at seashores with lifeguard stands. A favourite past-time for seaside goers is on the lookout for seaside glass. It’s exhausting to seek out, however definitely worth the hunt.
Canine guidelines state that canines should be on leash and solely within the treeline on guarded seashores. Canines might swim with supervision in areas exterior of guarded seashores.
- Seashore 7 (Waterworks Seashore) and Seashore 8 (Pettinato Seashore) are ADA accessible, together with restrooms, altering areas and a ramp that gives ADA entry to the water’s edge. Seashore wheelchairs can be found on the Public Security Constructing.
- Seashore 6 (Lyons Seashore) has sand volleyball courts, a seaside home with altering areas, restrooms, meals and beverage concessions.
- Seashore 9 (Leslie Seashore) is closest to the Presque Isle Lighthouse.
- Seashore 11 (Kohler Seashore), a smoke free seaside, is probably the most sheltered seaside that includes shallow water, a big sandy seaside, seaside home with altering areas, restrooms, and a meals and beverage concession. Kohler Seashore can be adjoining to picnic areas, playground gear, and a picnic pavilion making this a preferred seaside for households with younger youngsters.
- Seashore 3, the Millroad Seashores and Seashore 11 are smoke free seashores, every with its personal facilities.
If in any respect potential, keep for sundown. It’s merely wonderful watching the solar drop away on the western horizon.
Academic activites at Presque Isle State Park
This Erie, PA state park provides all kinds of environmental teaching programs for all ages. By hands-on actions, guided walks, and night packages, individuals study concerning the pure and cultural assets on Presque Isle. Yr-round packages are supplied to the general public on historical past, artwork, wildlife, vegetation, and outside recreation.
Households who go to Presque Isle in summertime can take part in particular instructional packages supplied this time of 12 months. Kids’s packages discover the outside by structured play, bolstered by tales, and crafts.
Boating at Presque Isle State Park
Each private watercraft, industrial boats and boat excursions are supplied at Presque Isle State Park or within the harbor close by.
Presque Isle Boat Excursions provides a 14 mile, 90 minute, absolutely narrated tour on the open waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay. The tour, supplied spring by early fall, contains Erie’s historic lighthouses, Gull Level Nature Protect, Presque Isle’s shores, Erie’s skyline, ships, seashores, wildlife and quite a few different sights. Tickets could be bought prematurely on-line (beneficial June-August) or on the Presque Isle State Park ticket sales space close to Perry Monument.
Presque Isle Marina, with 493 slips, is open Could 1 by October 31 every year, and might accommodate boats as much as 42 toes lengthy. Park concessions provides gasoline and diesel, sewage pump out station, meals and refreshments. Contact the park to order a ship slip.
Beaching of boats, water snowboarding, ice boating (ice ranges should not monitored) and boat launches can be found at this Erie PA state park. Test the Pennsylvania Division of Conservation and Pure Assets web site for particular guidelines, together with registration and boating security.
Presque Isle Boat Rental close to the Perry Monument gives pontoon and motor boat leases, canoes, kayaks, row boats, paddleboards and gear to day company on the Erie, PA state park. They function from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and weekends in October. This clothes shop additionally provides quite a lot of guided excursions.
Biking at Presque Isle State Park
Biking is a well-liked exercise at this Erie, PA state park. The Karl Boyes Multi-Function Nationwide Recreation Path, a 13.5 mile lengthy, ADA accessible path runs all through Presque Isle State Park and is fashionable with bikers, joggers and in-line skaters.
The bike path at Presque Isle is a part of the Pennsylvania Seaway Path, which follows the Lake Erie shoreline from Ohio to New York, passing by Erie, PA.
Bike leases are supplied close to the Waterworks Pumphouse space on Presque Isle State Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rental choices embrace bikes, tricycles, surrey bikes and curler blades. Name Yellow Bike Leases at 814-835-8900 to study extra.
Climbing at Presque Isle State Park
Climbing at Presque Isle State Park is geared extra towards inexperienced persons than rugged hikers. The identical trails used for biking enable “climbing” to discover nature up shut. From brief walks (about 2/10ths of a mile) to strolling the entire 13 mile loop, there are many choices. The path is paved, ADA compliant and appropriate for strollers as properly.
Issues to do at Presque Isle State Park in Winter
In winter, this Erie, PA state park remains to be fashionable, particularly with locals. Park rangers supply programming 12 months spherical, and the schedule is out there on their web site.
Well-liked wintertime actions at Presque Isle embrace cross-country snowboarding, ice fishing and ice skating. Ice boating is one other fashionable exercise for the extra adventurous.
NOTE: Park rangers do NOT monitor ice thickness. That’s the duty of these selecting to make use of the lake for winter sports activities.
Issues to do Yr Spherical at Presque Isle State Park
Visiting the Lighthouse at Presque Isle State Park
In-built 1873, the Presque Isle Lighthouse is an energetic lighthouse, nonetheless used as an support to ship navigation close to Erie. Open to guests day by day in the course of the summer time months. With 78 steps to the highest, it is a comparatively simple lighthouse climb. Home excursions and tower climbs with lovely views of Lake Erie are $7. For many who wish to tour the home solely (and skip the steps), admission is just $3.
Within the fall and winter, the lighthouse isn’t open every single day, nevertheless it’s makes an amazing picture op!
Visiting Perry Monument at Presque Isle State Park
Perry Monument at Presque Isle sits on the midway level on the drive by the park. A big car parking zone, restrooms and picnic areas close by makes visiting simple.
On the stroll from the car parking zone to the Perry Monument, indicators clarify the importance of the world within the Struggle of 1812 towards the British, and likewise why Oliver Hazard Perry is honored.
A fast historical past lesson: Early in our nation’s historical past, the British continued to be a menace to American freedom, significantly alongside the Nice Lakes. Captain Daniel Dobbins, a crusing grasp within the US Navy acknowledged the menace — and likewise recognized the worth of what’s now Erie, Presque Isle and Presque Isle Bay to the Navy. He beneficial that ships for the warfare be constructed on this protected space, and a metropolis was born. Six of the 9 ships utilized by the Navy within the Battle of Lake Erie had been constructed right here. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry used the bay strategically to guard his ships and crew from the British, and finally the US gained the warfare. a reproduction of the USS Niagara, one of many ships used within the battle, is moored close by on the Erie Maritime Museum and open seasonally for excursions.
When visiting Presque Isle State Park, stroll alongside the paved walkways beneath a cover of bushes to study extra about what Perry and his crew endured all through the warfare and the lengthy winters afterward. Discover out what he meant when declaring, “Don’t quit the ship!” Take a break on the base of the monument to benefit from the view — and the wonderful Lake Erie breezes.
Issues to do close to the Erie, PA state park
Eating and procuring close to Presque Isle State Park
The Erie, PA state park provides concessions in summer time. Picnics are allowed, as is grilling at grilling stations positioned all through the park. However, for restaurant eating, park goers should go away the Isle peninsula and head towards Erie. Among the hottest eating places are shut by, together with:
- Bayfront Grille on the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Lodge — sure, a resort restaurant! This one occurs to serve unimaginable, cooked to order breakfasts, served within the ethereal eating room with flooring to ceiling home windows that overlook Presque Isle Bay. It is a “come for the views and keep for the meals” sort of place, and an amazing spot to begin your day.
- Icing on the Lake — positioned in Erie’s West Finish, not too removed from the state park, Icing on the Lake is a captivating bakery with scrumptious sweets and treats for the entire household. Picnicking on the bay? It is a good spot to get a yummy dessert. Celebrating a particular occasion? Make it memorable with a celebratory snack. I have to confess, I sampled their cupcakes, cookies, macarons and cake pops. Due diligence achieved, and I really liked each single chunk!
- Sara’s Restaurant — positioned simply exterior the park gates, Sara’s has been a favourite of state park goers for many years. This retro diner serves regionally well-known Smith’s sizzling canines, burgers, fried perch sandwiches, rooster baskets and ice cream. The vanilla-orange swirl is a specific favourite. The restaurant is open seasonally, with outside eating and drive by choices. I attempted a Smith’s sizzling canine and onion rings, and that sizzling canine lived as much as the hype.
As for procuring, native outlets are the way in which to go for souvenirs and items in Erie. Two outlets stand out:
- Glass Growers Gallery — Open in Erie since 1974, Glass Growers Gallery is an artwork gallery and reward store providing handcrafted items together with jewellery, pottery, artwork, socks, and far more. Situated downtown subsequent to the artwork museum, it’s value a go to to seek out the proper reward or memento.
- Relish — Proprietor, Jennifer Reed, grew up on the shore of Lake Erie, amassing seaside glass. In time, she developed a ardour to create jewellery, often that includes discovered seaside glass. She even bought her school diploma in jewellery design. Immediately, she owns Relish — which options her customized made jewellery items in addition to artwork by native and regional artists. Each piece is a real one-of-a-kind. Relish is positioned close to the state park at 3835 W. twelfth Avenue in Erie, PA.
Locations to remain close to Presque Isle State Park
There are a lot of locations to remain close to Presque Isle State Park, together with tenting, inns and trip rental properties.
Those that choose tenting close to Presque Isle State Park ought to make reservations early. Three locations to think about are:
- Sara’s Campground is the closest to the Erie, PA state park. Situated simply exterior the park gates, Sara’s Campground accommodates each tent tenting and RV tenting. Seashore tent tenting may be very fashionable, and area is obtainable on a primary come/first served foundation. These wanting to order a spot ought to make requests early (fall of the 12 months earlier than isn’t too quickly).
- Lampe Campground and Marina is positioned throughout Presque Isle Bay from the Erie, PA state park. The campground has 42 waterfront camp websites, in addition to a free boat launch and bike paths to the state park and Erie’s Bayfront District.
- Erie KOA Vacation Campground is positioned about 20 minutes away from the state park. It’s included right here due to the recognition of KOA campgrounds typically, and for the numerous facilities it has. This “child pleasant” campground provides fishing in a catch and launch pond, heated swimming pools, pedal carts and bikes for hire. Motion pictures, ice cream socials, DJ dance events on holidays add to the enjoyable. On wet days head to the recreation room for air hockey, pool, ping pong and arcade video games.
There are a lot of different campgrounds close to Presque Isle State Park, so if these don’t work, maintain wanting! (Seasoned campers, share your favourite within the feedback beneath, and I’ll add it to our record! Inform me why you prefer it.)
For individuals who choose a much less rustic trip expertise, there are lots of inns in Erie, PA close to the state park.
Among the greatest inns are handy to the Erie, PA state park and Erie Bayfront leisure space. A few of our favorites embrace:
- Sheraton Erie Bayfront Lodge — Situated on the waterfront between the marina and Presque Isle Bay, there are water views from either side of the resort. It’s steps away from Dobbins Touchdown and plenty of sights. The restaurant provides an unimaginable breakfast, too.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Erie Bayfront — Open for simply over a 12 months, this resort is positioned close to Dobbins Touchdown, and options rooms and suites with views of the marina or of the Erie Maritime Museum. Oliver’s Rooftop restaurant is a good place to catch dinner and a sundown, whereas Oliver’s Beer Backyard, exterior, provides informal fare and a enjoyable ambiance.
- SureStay Plus Lodge by Greatest Western — positioned just some blocks away from Presque Isle State Park, this resort provides comfort on a funds. Free WiFi and breakfast are included with every keep.
Points of interest close to Presque Isle State Park
Whereas in the future at Presque Isle State Park is nice, to completely discover this Erie, PA gem, I like to recommend a 3 day go to. Permit in the future for the seaside, one to discover the paths on bike or on foot, and one for boating, fishing or excursions.
I like to recommend a number of extra days to discover different sights close to the Erie, PA state park!
- Tom Ridge Environmental Middle — Referred to as “TREC” by the locals, this instructional heart is devoted to educating guests concerning the distinctive 3,200 acres of Presque Isle and the numerous completely different types of life that inhabit the peninsula. Palms-on reveals make it simple for teenagers to soak up the data. Expansive home windows and a viewing tower let guests soak within the pure fantastic thing about the world.
- Hagen Historical past Middle — Situated close to downtown Erie, this heart just lately acquired the precise San Francisco workplace of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is included on the “Nice Wright Street Journey” highlighting the famed architect’s storied profession. The Hagen Historical past Middle spans 4 buildings with quite a lot of reveals together with the youngsters’s museum, Civil Struggle exhibit, and several other reveals highlighting early Erie historical past.
- Waldameer & Water World — Close to the doorway to Presque Isle State Park, this throwback model amusement park is open seasonally. The park has greater than 75 sights together with curler coasters, water slides, kiddie rides, a carousel and traditional household rides. Admission to the park is free, and company pay for rides as they go utilizing tickets. I really like a park the place non-riders don’t should pay to carry the baggage!
- The Schooner Lettie G. Howard — This historic schooner sails from Dobbins Touchdown (on the Erie aspect of the bay) providing an informal day sail across the Erie Bay Space sharing the fascinating historical past of the schooner, Presque Isle and Erie, PA. Solely accessible within the hotter months, it is a once-in-a-lifetime alternative to expertise what life was like for sailors earlier than engine powered boats.
I hope this submit evokes you to discover Presque Isle State Park and historic Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s a vibrant little metropolis that’s pleased with its heritage and joyful to share its magnificence.