Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA is one of the greatest treasures of the great lakes region and the entire U.S. Presque Isle receives over 4 million visitors each year, more than the total number of visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Much of the country still doesn’t know about Presque Isle, and what it has to offer.
Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200 acre state park composed of a large sandy peninsula jutting out into Lake Erie. “The Peninsula” as it is also known to locals offers beaches numbered from one through eleven, which are open memorial day through labor day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise posted. Often a few of the beaches may be closed due to a variety of reasons, but since it has a large quantity of beaches allows you to simply drive down the road to visit a different one. Beach 7 is handicapped accessible so it is possible for those in wheelchairs to enjoy the weather and nature as well. Several beaches have concessions while others offer picnic pavilions or beach volleyball courts.
Presque Isle contains more than 13 miles of roads in a loop around its perimeter, as well as 21 miles of recreation trails. One of the most popular activities at Presque Isle next to swimming or otherwise enjoying the sandy beaches is to bike, walk, or rollerblade along the vast paved trails. Not only do the trails offer visitors a chance to exercise and enjoy the park, but also allows you to visit parts of the park not accessible by car. One of these locations is the monument at the far end of the park dedicated to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry known for his actions during the War of 1812.
The most recent addition the immediate Presque Isle area is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC). The Tom Ridge Environmental is a first of its kind attraction to the great lakes area and has, or will soon offer, many exciting attractions. The TREC has over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space highlighting the uniqueness of the area. The center will also show an orientation video for new visitors. The Tom Ridge Environmental center also boasts a large-format movie screen, gift shop, cafeteria, and 75-foot tower overlooking Lake Erie. The building also houses five classrooms, eight laboratories, and the offices of several organizations. The construction of the center was well known for it use of new materials to conserve energy. Also near Presque Isle are a mixture of restaurants and a moderately sized water and theme park.
Presque Isle has lots to offer visitors to keep them occupied visit after visit. Whether you’re a local looking for something to do over the summer months or a visitor stopping by for a day visit, there’s always something to do at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.