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Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania's only "seashore," Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating.

Presque Isle is a day-use park that provides year-round recreational opportunities. Overnight accommodations are available nearby.

The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. The park creates Presque Isle Bay, a wide and deep harbor for the city of Erie. The bay attracts many pleasure boats and worldwide freighters -- making Erie an important Great Lakes shipping port.

A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state's endangered, threatened, and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

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.

Tom Ridge Environmental Center

The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is the gateway to Presque Isle State Park, and the gateway to discovery.

This 65,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, green-designed facility encourages visitors to experience the unique history and ever-changing, diverse ecosystems of Presque Isle State Park.

Built to symbolize the peninsula in its architectural design, the TREC opened during 2006 and houses the park office, laboratories, and many opportunities for visitors.

An educational center at heart, TREC is dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit this unique peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle.

Large-format movies, guided tours, and other activities are available.

Admission is free to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.

The park office is open specific hours. The beaches and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.

This state map shows Presque Isle State Park in the northwest corner of the Pennsylvania. 

Directions

Presque Isle State Park and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center can be reached by PA 832 north. The park can also be reached by boat. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 13 miles in length.

GPS DD: Lat. 42.10964  Long. -80.15384

This circular map shows the roads near Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania.

Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window.

Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Environmental Education

The park offers a wide variety of environmental education programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

The Presque Isle curriculum allows students of all ages to explore the resources of the park. The curriculum helps meet the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, and others set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

During the summer, Presque Isle State Park offers DCNR's DiscoverE program. Young learners explore the outdoors through structured play, reinforced by stories, and crafts. Older youth participate in educational and recreational activities, and conduct special projects.

Public Programs

Environmental educators at Presque Isle offer educational and recreational programs throughout the year. There are programs on history, art, wildlife, plants, and outdoor recreation.

Pontoon boat rides through the interior of the peninsula provide opportunities to view abundant wildlife and scenic views. Kayaking the lagoons is very popular.

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.

ADA accessible restrooms, picnic tables, and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park.

The East Pier and West Pier areas feature spectacular views of Presque Isle Bay and the skyline of Erie and have ADA accessible:

  • Fishing piers
  • Grills
  • Picnic pavilions
  • Picnic tables
  • Restrooms

The Tom Ridge Environmental Center and the Stull Center also are ADA accessible.

If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

In an Emergency

Call 911 and contact an employee.

Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office.

Nearest Hospital

UPMC Hamot
201 State Street
Erie, PA 16550
814-877-6000

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Presque Isle State Park