Presque Isle State Park

Quick Facts

Presque Isle State Park

Pennsylvania

(814) 833-7424

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, 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 gateway to Presque Isle is the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC). An educational center at heart, TREC is dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit this unique peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle. There is free admission to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower. Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches lakeward into Lake Erie. The park is reached by PA Route 832 or by boat. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 13 miles in length. The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. The park creates Presque Isle Bay, a wide and deep harbor for the city of Erie. The bay attracts many pleasure boats and worldwide freighters, making Erie an important Great Lakes shipping port. Presque Isle is a National Natural Landmark. Because of the many unique habitats, 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, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. 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.

Map of Presque Isle (PA)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.143569, -80.110988

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Activities

  • Boating

    Both non-powered craft and registered motorboats are permitted. Internal combustion engines are prohibited in the interior lagoons, which are defined as the continuous body of water between Misery Bay and Marina Bay, excluding Grave Yard Pond. A boat rental concession is located in the Grave Yard Pond area and provides a variety of powered and non-powered craft. Beaching of boats along Presque Isle shoreline is permitted except at the Gull Point Natural Area between April 1 and November 30, and within 100 feet of designated swimming areas. A slow minimum height swell speed must be observed within all park waters which includes all waters within 500 feet of the shoreline.

  • Bicycling

    The Karl Boyes Multi-purpose National Recreation Trail makes a 13.5-mile circuit of the park. This paved trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail.

  • Fishing

    Common species are perch, bass, walleye, trout and steelhead in Lake Erie, and panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt and steelhead in Presque Isle Bay. Bowfishing is permitted. Popular shore fishing locations are Waterworks and Ferry Dock ponds, East and West piers, Perry Monument, North Pier, lagoons and all boat landings.

  • Hiking

    Nearly 11 miles of hiking trails appeal to hikers, nature walkers and cross-country skiers. The paved Karl Boyes Multi-purpose National Recreation Trail provides nearly 14 miles of scenic trail along Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and in-line skaters.

  • Historic Sites

    The gateway to Presque Isle is the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC). An educational center at heart, TREC is dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit this unique peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle. There is free admission to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic facilities with tables, grills and charcoal disposals are available throughout the park.

  • Water Sports

    Water skiing is permitted in Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. Departing from Perry Monument on Presque Isle State Park, experience the scenic beauty of the Peninsula and Erie waterfront while viewing three historic lighthouses on the 65-foot great lakes vessel, "Lady Kate." The 14-mile, 90-minute tour ventures out onto the open waters of Lake Erie. You will view Presque Isle's shores, Erie's skyline, lighthouses, ships, the beaches, Gull Point Nature Preserve, wildlife and numerous other sights. Live narration takes place on each tour by knowledgeable guides that identify and describe points of interest while they supply enlightening information about the area's ecology, history, development, nature and more. Recreational scuba diving is permitted in designated waters of Presque Isle State Park. On Graveyard Pond across from Misery Bay, the boat rental offers canoes, kayaks, small motorboats and pontoon boats for rent. The sandy beaches, washed by the clear waters of Lake Erie, provide visitors with the only surf swimming within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  • Winter Sports

    Popular winter activities include ice fishing, iceboating and ice skating which occur on Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay and in the Marina area. Contact the park office for conditions. A cross-country ski concession, located at the picnic shelter area, operates during the winter, conditions permitting. Equipment rental is available.

Directions

Driving

The Tom Ridge Environmental Center and Presque Isle State Park can be reached by PA 832. The park can also be reached by boat. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 13 miles in length.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(814) 833-7424

Links