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Hiking at Erie Bluffs State Park

5.16 miles of trails

A variety of trails allow visitors to explore much of the park with ease. Former farming roads circle vast open fields and savannas. Wooded paths lead to vistas with scenic views of Lake Erie from atop the 90-foot bluff wall.

Visitors are encouraged to stay on existing trails when possible, and travel on durable surfaces to prevent vegetation damage and erosion.

Erie Bluffs State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles.
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface.
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe.

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route.
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle.
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead.

Black Oak Savanna Trail

0.30 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This family-friendly trail follows the northern edge of an ancient relic dune and is a know location for Black Oaks to thrive. This is a rare habitat in Pennsylvania.

Bluffs Edge Trail

0.39 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

Traveling along the bluffs edge, there are two overlook with views of Lake Erie along the trail. One is 90 feet high while the other is 75 feet high.

Duck Run Trail

0.69 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, mountain biking
Trailhead amenities: none

Duck Run Trail connects White Tail Crossing Trail to the shoreline. Unique views of Lake Erie can be seen once hikers reach the beach. The trail crosses duck run, a small flowing creek without a foot bridge.

Fishermans Footpath

0.13 mile  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This trail goes up and down two ravines and makes its way to an ever-changing sand pit that is at the mouth of Elk Creek. This is a great location for sunset viewing and looking for beach glass.

Lookout Trail

0.22 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This trails makes its way through an older growth climax forest with many large black cherry trees, red oaks, tulip poplars and hemlocks overlooks a ravine to the south with beautiful views.  

Timber Trail

0.97 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, mountain biking, equestrian
Trailhead amenities: none

Timber Trail connects Black Oak Savanna, transition trail, and West Overlook. Succession can be viewed throughout as hikers traverse through grassland to dense forest.

Transition Trail

1.1 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This family-friendly trail starts at the main parking lot and makes its way along the forest edge. It is great for wildlife viewing.

West Overlook Trail

0.57 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, mountain biking
Trailhead amenities: none

This trail follows Duck Run from Whitetail Crossing Trail to the shoreline. Beach, creek, and forest habitats can all be viewed while traversing the trail. Some areas of the trail are very steep.

Whitetail Crossing Trail

0.60 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This family-friendly trail parallels the railroad tracks to the south and a transitioning farm field. It provides opportunities to view a variety field birds and raptors.

Wildflower Way

0.19 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This winding trail climbs the hill overlooking Elk Creek and connects to Fisherman's Foot Path that heads towards Lake Erie at the mouth of Elk Creek. Look for wild flowers blooming in spring and summer.