Designated as a National Natural Landmark and Erie’s top attraction, Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200 acre peninsula that reaches out into Lake Erie. There is always something fun to do at Presque Isle State Park, where you can easily spend an entire day enjoying the park’s many outdoor adventures. Bring your family and friends and make your escape to Presque Isle! Here are a few of our favorite summertime activities. Main photo by @darlagraffphotography via Instagram
Visit Presque Isle Beaches
Presque Isle State Park features seven miles of sandy surf beaches, providing visitors with the only surf swimming within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The beaches of Presque Isle are great for sunbathing, swimming, kite flying, picnicking and sunset gazing. Presque Isle beaches are open daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. The regular hours are Noon - 7:30 p.m. Parking and admission to the park is free.
Go Biking or Rollerblading
Presque Isle has miles of hiking trails, both paved and unpaved. The most popular and heavily used trail is the 13.5-mile Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose paved trail. Unpaved trails are located throughout the Park and include the Gull Point Trail, Graveyard Pond Trail and Dead Pond Trail. Rental equipment is available near the Water Works Beach area and includes one person bicycles, tandem bicycles, surreys, rollerblades and more.
Explore the Presque Isle Lighthouse
Built in 1873, the Presque Isle Lighthouse offers visitors the chance to climb its tower for panoramic views of Lake Erie, all while learning its vast history and function. Public tours of the Presque Isle Lighthouse are available May through September.
Enjoy the Picnic Areas
Numerous picnic tables can be found throughout Presque Isle and are perfect for a casual day at the beach or a gathering. If you prefer to reserve a table in a specific spot, there is a small fee, however there is no charge if a table is not in use. If you have a larger group such as a birthday party or reunion, there are various size pavilions available for rent. To inquire about picnic or pavilion rentals click here.
Take a Ride Aboard the Lady Kate
Enjoy a leisurely 14-mile, 90 minute tour of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie aboard the Lady Kate. This fully narrated sightseeing boat tour includes Erie’s lighthouses, Gull Point Nature Preserve, Presque Isle’s shores, Erie’s skyline, beaches, wildlife and more. Sunset tours are also offered. The Lady Kate is docked at Perry Monument. Tours are available May 22 – September 26.
Learn about the Perry Monument
Located next to Misery Bay, the Perry Monument is dedicated to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who was a prominent naval squadron leader during the War of 1812. Perry, along with Presque Isle, played a vital role in the victory over the British in the War. Interpretive panels detailing the story of the War of 1812 and The Battle of Lake Erie line the sidewalks surrounding the monument.
Explore the Lagoons
The lagoons of Presque Isle are perfect for exploring by canoe, kayak, paddle board or row boat. You can bring your own equipment or the park offers rentals for various watercraft. Throughout the summer, the park offers free guided lagoon by pontoon educational boat tours.