Best Hiking Trails In Presque Isle State Park
Many of the hiking trails in Presque Isle State Park follow the line of Lake Eerie, or the smaller ponds and lagoons which make up much of the peninsula. Enjoy the scenic views but be careful as some of the pools can flood at certian times of the year.
- Long Pond Trail
This one-mile trail takes you along the shore of Long Pond and offers spectacular views across the lagoon.
- Gull Point Trail
Take a hike through the Gull Point Natiral Area following this 1.5-mile hiking route across the sands. Look out for some of the water birds which make their homes here.
- Dead Pond Trail
A slightly more challenging two-mile hike up and down sand dunes and through wooded areas with oak and pine trees.
Park & Trail Conditions
|| We are at this point calling it another season of ski trail grooming. We appreciate everyone that came here to enjoy the trails, at “Maine’s First” State Park. At this time we still do have a decent base to ski on but this will change as we move ahead into spring. I speculate that we will be having a base to ski on for another couple of weeks. The snowshoe trails are still in good shape, but will be changing as it warms up. Hikers should know that we will have snow on the trails up towards the end of April. Please be prepared to use good winter hiking footwear, as you will probably need it. The sliding hill is closed for the season.|
Safety Updates for Maine State Parks and Public Lands.
Location: Off U.S. Route 1 south of Presque Isle on Echo Lake. Lat 46.615453 / Lon -68.008184
Park Hours: Open all year 9:00 a.m. to sunset daily unless otherwise posted at the gate. Visitors may continue to enjoy the park during the off season by parking outside the gate, – without blocking it – on the days it is closed, and walking in during these same hours. Please be aware that facilities are closed during the off season.Fee collected year-round at entry booth by staff or self-service station. Cash or check only, no credit cards accepted.
Swimming At Presque Isle Beaches
Presque Isle beaches allow swimming from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wide, sandy beaches each with its own lifeguard station attract visitors all summer long. First time visitors are often surprised to learn that Lake Erie has tides just like the ocean with waves and everything!
The beaches are numbered from 1-11, each with specific amenities. Swimming is only allowed at beaches with lifeguard stands. A favorite past-time for beach goers is looking for beach glass. Its hard to find, but worth the hunt.
Dog rules state that dogs must be on leash and only in the treeline on guarded beaches. Dogs may swim with supervision in areas outside of guarded beaches.
- Beach 7 and Beach 8 are ADA accessible, including restrooms, changing areas and a ramp that provides ADA access to the waters edge. Beach wheelchairs are available at the Public Safety Building.
- Beach 6 has sand volleyball courts, a beach house with changing areas, restrooms, food and beverage concessions.
- Beach 9 is closest to the Presque Isle Lighthouse.
- Beach 11 , a smoke free beach, is the most sheltered beach featuring shallow water, a large sandy beach, beach house with changing areas, restrooms, and a food and beverage concession. Kohler Beach is also adjacent to picnic areas, playground equipment, and a picnic pavilion making this a popular beach for families with young children.
- Beach 3, the Millroad Beaches and Beach 11 are smoke free beaches, each with its own amenities.
Recommended Reading: Camping World Greenville North Carolina
Presque Isle State Park Travel Planner
Growing up in Northeast Ohio, Lake Erie has always been part of my life at Cedar Point, Put-in-Bay and when seeing family near Cleveland. So, when I got the chance to visit Erie, Pennsylvania recently, going back to Lake Erie was a lot like going home. It felt nostalgic, comfortable, familiar.
I know Im not alone in that. Every year, more than 4 million people visit Presque Isle State Park in Erie. Many of them make regular visits to this historic peninsula camping at their favorite spot, grabbing a bite to eat at a favorite restaurant, and, of course, enjoying long, lazy days on the beach at this Erie, PA state park.
If you have never been to Presque Isle, I hope this post makes you consider Presque Isle for a vacation getaway. If you have been to Presque Isle before, maybe youll learn something new. OR let me know in the comments below if theres something more to add to this post!
Swimming In Lake Erie
While the Presque Isle beaches are open daily from dawn to dusk, swimming is only allowed during hours that lifeguards are present.
Swimming in the lake offers the chance to enjoy its surprisingly warm waters and cool off on a hot day. The water here is quite refreshing and the small waves make it very different from swimming in the many other lakes in PA.
Don’t Miss: Best Camping Spots In Oregon
Attractions Near Presque Isle State Park
While one day at Presque Isle State Park is good, to fully explore this Erie, PA gem, I recommend a three day visit. Allow one day for the beach, one to explore the trails on bike or on foot, and one for boating, fishing or tours.
I recommend a few more days to explore other attractions near the Erie, PA state park!
I hope this post inspires you to explore Presque Isle State Park and historic Erie, Pennsylvania. Its a vibrant little city thats proud of its heritage and happy to share its beauty.
Happy Camping At The Rustic Presque Isle Campground
Watch the videos to see Michigan in action!
Find more amazing things to do in the UP: Watch my Upper Peninsula videos on youtube
Turn your Michigan road trip into a national park road trip out west?! Take a look to get ideas for your road trip across America!
There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.
Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Read Also: Camping In Michigan In October
Things To Know About Camping At Presque Isle Campground In Porcupine Mountains State Park
1. The Presque Isle Campground is located in a quieter part of Porcupine Mountains State Park.
The campground is located in the Presque Isle Scenic Area of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and this is the less visited area of the park.
2. The Presque Isle campground is named for the Presque Isle River that is located right nearby.
This is a river to admire by looking at, not by swimming or wading in. This river can be powerful!
3. You can go for a hike to see 3 waterfalls on a hiking trail that starts near the campground.
The 3 waterfalls:
6. The campground is for tent camping and RV camping.
7. There are walk-in campsites Presque Isle Campground.
Most campsites at Presque Isle campground are those in which you can drive straight up to. But there are also campsites that require walking a few minutes to get to. These campsites are more secluded and can give you a little more of a feeling like youre out in the wild compared to the regular drive-in sites. Youll be a bit more separated from your camp neighbors. Note that this means you need to hike a few minutes with your camping gear.
Theres a parking area at the trailhead that leads to the walk-in campsites.
8. From the campground, you can take a set of stairs that will lead you down to Lake Superior.
Lake Superior is generally considered cold by most people even in the summer, but there are people who will still get in the water.
9. You can see erosion along the shoreline.
I Went To Presque Isle Campground Quiet Rustic Camping In Porcupine Mountains State Park Upper Peninsula Michigan Travel Blog
Whats a perfect way to camp in the UP?!
Camping at a quiet campground with both a river and one of the Great Lakes nearby!
The Presque Isle River is a river that leads to Lake Superior.
This is one of the Porcupine Mountains campgrounds.
First, some quick things to know about the Presque Isle campground thats located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Go Camping For Free
Places To Stay Near Presque Isle State Park
There are many places to stay near Presque Isle State Park, including camping, hotels and vacation rental properties.
Those who prefer camping near Presque Isle State Park should make reservations early. Three places to consider are:
- Saras Campground is the closest to the Erie, PA state park. Located just outside the park gates, Saras Campground accommodates both tent camping and RV camping. Beach tent camping is very popular, and space is offered on a first come/first served basis. Those wanting to reserve a spot should make requests early .
- Lampe Campground and Marina is located across Presque Isle Bay from the Erie, PA state park. The campground has 42 waterfront camp sites, as well as a free boat launch and bike paths to the state park and Eries Bayfront District.
- Erie KOA Holiday Campground is located about 20 minutes away from the state park. Its included here because of the popularity of KOA campgrounds generally, and for the many amenities it has. This kid friendly campground offers fishing in a catch and release pond, heated pools, pedal carts and bikes for rent. Movies, ice cream socials, DJ dance parties on holidays add to the fun. On rainy days head to the recreation room for air hockey, pool, ping pong and arcade games.
There are many other campgrounds near Presque Isle State Park, so if these dont work, keep looking!
For people who prefer a less rustic vacation experience, there are many hotels in Erie, PA near the state park.
Presque Isle Boat Tours
Presque Isle Boat Tours Lady Kate is a touring boat that docks near the Commodore Perry Monument in Presque Isle State Park. Tours are offered several times daily during the summer months, as well on weekends in spring and September.
Sightseeing tours are approximately 90-minutes long and travel through Misery Bay, Presque Isle Bay, and even out onto Lake Erie. Along the way, guides offer narration of the various sights around Presque Isle and the history of the area.
If you want to get out on the lake and dont have your own boat, these tours are a great option.
Recommended Reading: Rv Camping Coos Bay Oregon
Things To Do At Presque Isle State Park In Winter
In winter, this Erie, PA state park is still popular, especially with locals. Park rangers offer programming year round, and the schedule is available on their website.
Popular wintertime activities at Presque Isle include cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice skating. Ice boating is another popular activity for the more adventurous.
NOTE:Park rangers do NOT monitor ice thickness. That is the responsibility of those choosing to use the lake for winter sports.
Biking At Presque Isle State Park
Biking is a popular activity at this Erie, PA state park. The Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail, a 13.5 mile long, ADA accessible trail runs throughout Presque Isle State Park and is popular with bikers, joggers and in-line skaters.
The bike trail at Presque Isle is part of the Pennsylvania Seaway Trail, which follows the Lake Erie shoreline from Ohio to New York, passing through Erie, PA.
Bike rentals are offered near the Waterworks Pumphouse area on Presque Isle State Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rental options include bikes, tricycles, surrey bikes and roller blades. Call Yellow Bike Rentals at 814-835-8900 to learn more.
Recommended Reading: Hillsborough River State Park Camping
Picnic Areas And Facilities
The two major picnic areas are well supplied with picnic tables and cooking facilities. The larger of the two, located on the south east side of the park, contains a playground area with merry-go-round, swings, slide, and climbing apparatus. The park also contains numerous park benches. A new stone and log pavilion was constructed in 1999 to replace an old structure that was razed in 1986. The building contains a kitchen, interior meeting rooms, storage areas, restrooms, a 1400 square foot deck, and large interior open area designed for community events, small receptions and other gatherings. The approximately $200,000 project was funded to a large extent by donations and in-kind services and a loan by the City of Marquette. Presque Isle is also the site of the City owned Presque Isle Marina as well as the Upper Harbor light beacon and a long breakwater
Great Things To Do At Presque Isle State Park In Erie Pa
In many ways, Presque Isle State Park seems like Gods apology to Erie for the areas terrible winters. Thats because Presque Isle is a summer playground that offers a ton of fantastic activities for any outdoor lover. Whether you live in the area or are just looking for a great summer destination, Presque Isle is a great choice.
Presque Isle , is a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie from the city of Erie, Pennsylvania. The peninsula was used by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers and was the site of British, French, and American forts in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Today, Presque Isle State Park receives more than four million visitors a year, making it the most visited state park in Pennsylvania. Whether you love relaxing on the beach, learning about history, or being active, there are a lot of great reasons to visit this park in the Great Lakes Region of Pennsylvania.
Here are a few of my favorite things to do at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.
Read Also: Oregon State Parks Camping Reservations
Where To Stay Near Presque Isle State Park
With so many things to do at Presque Isle State Park, you might be wondering where to stay overnight.
Unfortunately, there is no campground at Presque Isle State Park, but there are many places to stay in Erie just minutes away from the park.
Ive personally stayed at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront and the Cobblestone Inn and Suites, both of which offer great views of Presque Isle State Park from some rooms and are a short drive from the park.
If you want to be as close to the park as possible, Red Carpet Inn and Comfort Inn are both just a few blocks from the entrance and have good reviews.
If you are looking for somewhere to camp at Presque Isle, Sarahs Campground is located adjacent to the park and offers camping sites and RV spots. Sarahs also features a very popular spot to eat near Presque Isle.
Tom Ridge Environmental Education Center
Located adjacent to the entrance to Presque Isle State Park is the Tom Ridge Environmental Education Center. Not only does this serve as the park office, but it also features a fantastic museum, observation tower, and movie theater.
The museum and observation tower are free and offer a chance to learn more about the history and geology of Presque Isle. The museum is incredibly well done and offers information and activities for both kids and adults.
The movie theater is nearly as large as an IMAX screen and shows a variety of educational programs throughout the day for a small fee.
If you happen to be in Erie on a rainy day, this is one of the best things to at Presque Isle State Park when the weather isnt cooperating.
Recommended Reading: Camping Spots In New York
Camping At Presque Isle State Park
Those who wish to book an RV in Erie County can do so at one of the many RV campgrounds situated near Presque Isle State Park. One option is Lampe Campground. Featuring 42 sites that have waterfront views, this motorhome campground provides amenities such as 30, 50 amp electric, restrooms, laundry, picnic tables, fire rings, showers, and a dumping station. You must, however, notify this travel trailer campground at least two days before you plan to stay.
Located only a few minutes from the state park is Saras Campground. This family-friendly spot has 100 RV sites that come with amenities such as water, electricity, WiFi, and cable. There are picnic tables, hiking trails, and a laundry facility on the grounds. Youll also find a small restaurant and a souvenir should you need to pick up an item for folks back home.
Campsite Rates & Reservations
Presque Isle Passage offers a full range of campsites. Whatever your style of camping, size of RV, and size of family , we have a campsite that is perfect for you. Thatâs right, we are pet-friendly! The majority of our RV sites are pull-thrus that will accommodate any size camper. Our full hook-up sites include electric, water, sewer, WiFi and cable TV. Sites with 30 or 50 amp electric are available. All sites have a picnic table and a fire ring.Our tenting section has several wooded open field areas that are rented on a first come, first serve basis. Our tent sites are spacious, offering our guests a great deal of flexibility in how they choose to set things up. Each tent is charged as an individual site.All rates are based upon two adults plus their children under the age of 18, so we are truly family friendly. Discounted rates are available, as shown below, for weekly or longer-term stays.
Don’t Miss: Grand Teton National Park Camping Reservations