What to do in Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park encompasses 3,200 acres of sandy peninsula that arches lake ward into Lake Erie. The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. The parcel of land is a National Natural Landmark. Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state's endangered, threatened and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

The park is a major recreational landmark for about four million visitors each year. As Pennsylvania's only "seashore," Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating and hiking.

Presque Isle State Park has been rated by Birder's World magazine as one of the top birding spots in the country. Its location on the Atlantic Flyway makes it a favorable spot for birds to stop to feed and rest on their migration across Lake Erie. Waterfowl migration occurs in March and in late November through December. Shorebird migration peaks in April and in August. Warbler migration is observed in mid-May and in September. Over 300 different species have been identified on the peninsula. A bird checklist is available at the Stull Interpretive Center.

A good place to begin your visit at Presque Isle State Park is at the Stull Interpretive Center, located near Barracks Beach. At the center, you can learn about the park's resources by viewing exhibits on the ecological succession of the sand spit and the natural and man-made forces that continue to shape Presque Isle. Other displays depict the park's impressive inventory of birds, plants and flowers.

Environmental education programs and boating programs are offered throughout the summer months. The park is available to winter sporting enthusiasts.

Presque Isle State Park encompasses 3,200 acres of sandy peninsula that arches lake ward into Lake Erie. The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. Presque Isle creates Presque Isle Bay, a wide and deep harbor for the city of Erie. Presque Isle Bay attracts many pleasure boats and worldwide freighters, making Erie an important Great Lakes shipping port.

Presque Isle is also a National Natural Landmark. Diverse and rare plants and animals attract naturalists. Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state's endangered, threatened and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

Presque Isle is a major recreational landmark for about four million visitors each year. As Pennsylvania's only "seashore," Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating and hiking.

Whether you come to enjoy the sandy beaches, study ecological diversity or learn about the historical significance of the peninsula, there is something for everyone at Presque Isle State Park. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 14 miles in length.

Recreation
Presque Isle is a day use park that provides year-round recreational opportunities. Over fifteen miles of trails appeal to hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers. Presque Isle offers swimming, boating, fishing and beautiful sandy beaches to its summer visitors. Winter enthusiasts come to the park to enjoy the outdoors and participate in a variety of ice and snow activities.

Presque Isle State Park has been rated by Birder's World magazine as one of the top birding spots in the country. Its location on the Atlantic Flyway makes it a favorable spot for birds to stop to feed and rest on their migration across Lake Erie. Waterfowl migration occurs in March and in late November through December. Shorebird migration peaks in April and in August. Warbler migration is observed in mid-May and in September. Over 300 different species have been identified on the peninsula. A bird checklist is available at the Stull Interpretive Center.

Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. All restrooms at Presque Isle State Park can accommodate wheelchairs. The 9.6 mile multipurpose National Recreational Trail consists entirely of a paved surface and provides entrance to its end at the Perry Monument. Access to surf-type swimming is provided via ramp and mats at the Waterworks Beach (Beach 7). Fishing piers, picnic pavilion tables and grills are wheelchair-accessible for visitors at the East Pier Picnic Area, which also provides a spectacular view of Presque Isle Bay and the skyline of Erie. Stull Interpretive Center is wheelchair accessible.

A good place to begin your visit at Presque Isle State Park is at the Stull Interpretive Center, located near Barracks Beach. At the center, you can learn about the park's resources by viewing exhibits on the ecological succession of the sand spit and the natural and man-made forces that continue to shape Presque Isle. Other displays depict the park's impressive inventory of birds, plants and flowers. Books, field guides and other nature-related items are available here. The Stull Interpretive Center can be reached at (814) 833-0351.

After viewing exhibits, you may want to experience the natural or historic wonders of Presque Isle by participating in an environmental education or interpretive program. A variety of programs are provided for the community, scouts, civic organizations and school groups. Programs focus on historical, natural and environmental issues. Pontoon Boat programs are available at scheduled times from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the Canoe and Boat Livery Concession.

Location
Presque Isle State Park is located on the northwestern tip of Pennsylvania on a small land mass jutting out into Lake Erie. You may reach the park by traveling SR 832 or by boat from the metropolitan city of Erie.

Climate
Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Presque Isle State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Address
P.O. Box 8510
Erie, PA 16505-0510

Phone: 814-833-7424

Email: presqueisle@dcnr.state.pa.us
  • Presque Isle State Park Travel Q&A

advertisement

advertisement