Lake Erie is known for its ocean-like beaches and immense shoreline. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and escape to a secluded beach off of Erie’s coast, then you’ll want to plan a trip to Presque Isle State Park. Although this national park is not actually an island, as the name would imply, its thin neck leading to a 3,000-acre peninsula provides endless views of the Great Lake along with an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan your trip to Presque Isle State Park with the help of our exclusive Vacation Guide and discover the best stops along the way.
What Is Presque Isle State Park?
Presque Isle is a large peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. Presque Isle literally translates to “almost an island” in French. The park is located in Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the state’s most visited attractions because of its year-round recreation. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of all the peninsula has to offer, from hiking and swimming to snowshoeing and ice fishing.
What to Bring:
- Hiking shoes
- Tennis shoes
- Clothing layers
- Presque Isle State Park map
What You Need to See
The peninsula is filled with ecological diversity. Because of its island-like topography, it is home to several endangered, migrant bird species and plant groups. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is dedicated to the conversation of these threatened, rare breeds. The center is a must-see while as it fully immerses visitors in interactive exhibits, a “Big Green Screen” movie theater, and a 75-foot lookout tower. The center offers free admission and is open year-round.
Presque Isle Lighthouse is centrally located on the peninsula. Originally constructed in 1873, the lighthouse is one of Erie’s oldest. During this time, the keeper had to climb 78 steps to the top four times a night to refill the oil in the light. Presque Isle Lighthouse still operates under the US Coast Guard and is open for daily tours from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Visiting during the warmer months? You’ll want to spend a portion of your day relaxing or picnicking on one of Presque Isle’s pristine beaches. The sandy coast is as untouched as a Lake Erie shore can be and is perfect for diving into your summer reading list or snacking on hors d’oeuvres. However much time you allot for soaking in rays on the beach, be sure to plan equal time for hiking and exploring the sand dunes and forested areas. The park boasts 11 miles of trails for hiking or biking, and you’ll want to see it all.
Refresh at The Lakehouse Inn Resort
Once you’ve explored all that Presque Isle State Park offers, unwind at The Lakehouse Inn Resort. Pop the cork on a bottle of our house-made wine, indulge in a five-star, chef-crafted dinner at Crosswinds Grille, and stretch out on our outdoor patio with endless views of Lake Erie. Do your feet need some extra attention from walking all day?