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Presque Isle State Park



Cornplanter State Forest- The Cornplanter Forest District includes Erie, Crawford, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties in far northwest Pennsylvania. Four State Parks within the District are Chapman, Oil Creek, Presque Isle and Pymatuning. Part of the Allegheny National Forest, managed by the United States Forest Service, and the Allegheny, Tionesta, Woodcock and Union City Reservoirs managed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers are within the District as well.

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General Information

Presque Isle State Park
Copyright: Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Presque Isle State Park
Description - 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.

Attractions - 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.

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).

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.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing Popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, ice boating, kite skiing and ice skating which occur on Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay and in the marina area. Look for the impressive ice dunes, built by the combination of lake ice, wave surge and freezing spray. Winter is also a good time to spot the snowy owl.
Yes
ICON Ice Fishing Popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, ice boating, kite skiing and ice skating which occur on Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay and in the marina area.
Yes
ICON Ice & Snowcraft Travel Popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, ice boating, kite skiing and ice skating which occur on Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay and in the marina area. Look for the impressive ice dunes, built by the combination of lake ice, wave surge and freezing spray. Winter is also a good time to spot the snowy owl.
Yes


More Information

Contact Information:
Presque Isle State Park, P.O. Box 8510 , Erie, PA, 16505-0510, Phone: 814-833-7424
, presqueisle@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Cornplanter State Forest - The Cornplanter Forest District includes Erie, Crawford, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties in far northwest Pennsylvania. Four State Parks within the District are Chapman, Oil Creek, Presque Isle and Pymatuning. Part of the Allegheny National Forest, managed by the United States Forest Service, and the Allegheny, Tionesta, Woodcock and Union City Reservoirs managed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers are within the District as well.
Lake Erie Area - The Lake Erie Area is located in Pennsylvania's northwest corner offering a great playground of beautiful beaches and spectacular sunsets. Cultural, historical and natural wonders of this beautiful area attract thousands of visitors to the outdoors each year.
Pennsylvania Lakes and Reservoirs - Pennsylvania boasts as having more flowing water than any other state in the "lower 48." Whether you're looking for limestone streams, famous for trout fishing or whitewater rapids for an afternoon thrill ride, this state can fulfill that desire. The keystone state offers over 2,500 lakes and 300 streams. Ricketts Glen State Park is famous for its 30 waterfalls, the highest being a 94 foot tumble. In addition, Pennsylvania is home to the Allegheny National Forest known for its lush hardwoods, rich wildlife and a 12,000 acre lake considered ideal for catching trophy walleye, pike and muskellunge.
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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